Propane rip-off

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1D10T wrote:

system, than the shelf frontage. Those cute plastic cubes everyone likes to have follow them home, fit 4 gallons perfectly. The racks on the truck fit the plastic cubes, etc.
-- aem sends...
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Sorry I wasn't more clear Ed. My inquiry was about cereals.
This is part of a reply from Del Monte Foods Consumer Affairs concerning StarKist Tuna:
"Our decision to reduce the net weight of many of our StarKist Tuna products was not an easy one to make. Over the past several years, the cost of tuna - by far our largest single ingredient - has reached the highest level in history and, unfortunately, is not expected to decline. Along with all consumer packaged goods companies, we are seeing much steeper costs in virtually all ingredients and packaging materials. And while all of us are feeling the pain of higher fuel costs at home, this situation is also having a major impact on food manufacturers. For our canned products, it may be helpful to know that the reduction in the amount of the tuna is actually quite small. In most cases, we've taken out more of the liquid ingredients (such as water, oil, vegetable broth) than tuna. Also our 3 ounce and 12 ounce can sizes have not changed. Leading up to this decision, we challenged ourselves to reduce costs and improve the sustainability of our products by reducing waste in every aspect of our business. By lowering net weights and reducing packaging, we save two million gallons of water a year and a significant amount of fuel and transportation costs (equal to a reduction of two million miles). These changes were necessary so that we can continue to offer our products at a reasonable price."
How does the above reply answer my question of them as to why the size was reduced, with the price remaining the same? (Not to mention the current 50% lower cost of fuel.)
Joe Arnold Still pissed with being judged a fool.
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Sorry aem, didn't mead Ed.
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Let's see, If I get 14 sq ft into which I can put X number of 128 oz containers, don't I still get 14 sq ft into which I can put X + y number of 120 oz containers?
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re: The problem comes in with regular customers
I'm a regular customer...been buying propane for a long, long time. They didn't fool me.
re: no notice of a change in weight was posted
Hmm...maybe I got a very special tank of AmeriGas 'cuz it is clearly posted on the label. It's sitting on my deck next to my grill. Stop over and take a look. I might even throw a steak on the grill for you.
re: Fact is, 99.9% of people that have been buying full tanks for the past 20 or 40 years don't look at the net weight every time they buy.
And for that reason the store has to post a change in the net weight? Where? Should they take an ad out in the paper? Should they get on the local news? Should they post a big sign over the metal bin that holds the propane saying "Attention! You are only getting 15 lbs for your $20, not 17 like you used to."?
It's been caveat emptor for as long as I can remember.
Can you imagine the labor it would take if the buying public had to be notified with a sign or notice every time an item that used to be "this" is now "that"? That's what labels and unit pricing tags are for. Be an educated consumer and do your homework.
re: but they don't put 120 ounces of milk in a 128 ounce container
But they *can* as long as they mark it as such. I have certainly seen containers that are not as full as they used to be, but the label told me how much I was getting and how much I was paying for that amount.
Oh wait, I got a better idea. Let's have them re-tool the propane tank factories to make the tanks smaller. That way a tank with 15 lbs in it will be full. Of course, they'll have to raise the price even higher to cover the cost of re-tooling and manufacturing all the new tanks, but at least the tanks will be full. Will that make you happy?
People have no problem responding with RTFM when somebody asks something technical, but apparently nobody is obligated to RTFL.
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re: The problem comes in with regular customers

re: no notice of a change in weight was posted

re: Fact is, 99.9% of people that have been buying full tanks for the past 20 or 40 years don't look at the net weight every time they buy.
I don't doubt the marking at all. You are one of the very few that actually looks at that. Most people have no clue aside from the fact it is a "20 pound" tank.

When prices drop, they have plenty of signs reading "New-- Lower Price" in big letters Same can be done with higher price if they wanted to.
re: but they don't put 120 ounces of milk in a 128 ounce container

They did it for icecream containers, tuna cans, and many other items. Can be done. I'd rather p ay the higher price and keep containers the same and make less trips. There is a definite cost to the lower price as the product does not last as long nad has to be hauled more often.
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Then why did you say "The tanks size was not changed and no notice of a change in weight was posted."?
Do you want them the label the tanks as "15 lbs, used to be 17"? or "The tank formally known as 17"?

Right, but why would they want to?

You don't refill ice cream containers or tuna cans. They are always made new. I'm not a manufacturing engineer, but I'm pretty sure that retooling for ice cream containers and tuna cans is a lot cheaper than retooling for propane tanks and having to pull all of the existing ones off the market. In addition, I'm sure we're paying for the retooling of the ice cream container and tuna can lines. You should be *thanking* them for not making 15 lb tanks. It's keeps the cost down.

That's a totally different discussion. The fact that you would be willing to pay the higher cost doesn't mean that you're getting "ripped off" if they put 15 lbs in a container that can hold 17 - and mark it as such.
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Then why did you say "The tanks size was not changed and no notice of a change in weight was posted."?
Do you want them the label the tanks as "15 lbs, used to be 17"? or "The tank formally known as 17"?
*****************************************************************
I said it because people are getting less than expected. Less than they used to get. I also stated the label has the weight in the fine print, but the container size is the same. The eis no notice, of course, on the display. If the amount was increased, yo can be sure it would be touted and new and wonderful and clears acne on teenagers, or whatever.

Right, but why would they want to?
******************************************* Honesty and integrity? They could have said "now, for your convenience, easier on the back to haul"
You don't refill ice cream containers or tuna cans. They are always made new. I'm not a manufacturing engineer, but I'm pretty sure that retooling for ice cream containers and tuna cans is a lot cheaper than retooling for propane tanks and having to pull all of the existing ones off the market. In addition, I'm sure we're paying for the retooling of the ice cream container and tuna can lines. You should be *thanking* them for not making 15 lb tanks. It's keeps the cost down.
*********************************************************************** You'd be amazed at how much goes into icecream containers, retooling printing plates, changing master cartons, wrappers, pallet layouts, fillers batching, etc. Very expensive. Propane tanks just need the center section shortened, bt allthe welding remains the same, as are the fittings.

That's a totally different discussion. The fact that you would be willing to pay the higher cost doesn't mean that you're getting "ripped off" if they put 15 lbs in a container that can hold 17 - and mark it as such.
*********************************************************** Call it what you want (or not). Call it the great propane charade of 2009. You can bet at the corporate meetings they discussed making more profit, now how to save the consumer a bigger payout. IMO, when you short fill a big container it is deception. Cereal makers were dointhings like that years ago and the truth in packaging laws stopped them. The executives would not be back peddaling in the newspapers around the country if what they did was a good thing.
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The print size on my tank is not "fine". It's at least as big as their claim that "America's Grillin' with AmeriGas." More importantly , it's the same size print as when it used to say "Net Weight 17 lbs." It's prominently displayed on what could be considered the front panel. No deception, no attempt to conceal the net weight figure from the consumer.

When you see a sign that says "New - Lower Price" do you blindly assume the amount of product you are getting is the same? Unless it says "Same Amount - Lower Price", I'm checking the label and/or unit pricing is to make sure they're not trying to fool me.

Is that why they only put 15 lbs in the tank? If not, then they are not being honest. What I'm hearing here is that you don't think it's enough that they clearly marked the label with the net weight of the product but that it would be better if they treated us like idiots by claiming they are trying to save our backs.

Now you're treating me like an idiot. If not, then you don't really understand how complicated it would be to "just shorten the center section". Let's go all the way back to the sizing of the raw material to eliminate waste and follow it through each part of the assembly line where nothing is in position to weld, move, stack or pack the shorter tanks. Printing plates, wrappers, stackers, tar weight stampers, everything has to change.
Let's call it a wash on the manufacturing end. However, if we really want full tanks, then you'll to have to pay for the smaller tanks and lose the exchange discount, at least the first time you go to exchange the tank. What's the point? There is no payback period because I didn't save anything. I don't need to pay for a 15 tar tank just so it will be full. I'll keep my 17 tar and save the cost.

The truth in my packaging says that there is 15 lbs net weight in my tank. That's really the only truth an educated consumer needs.
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Now you're treating me like an idiot. If not, then you don't really understand how complicated it would be to "just shorten the center section". Let's go all the way back to the sizing of the raw material to eliminate waste and follow it through each part of the assembly line where nothing is in position to weld, move, stack or pack the shorter tanks. Printing plates, wrappers, stackers, tar weight stampers, everything has to change.
*********************************************************************** You may feel like an idiot, but I'm not treating you like one. I've been in manufacturing and packaging for the past 40+ years. I've been in the factories that make tanks, I've been in the factories that make containers. I've done some of the engineering to make special sheet metal parts, and more.
Fact is, reducing the amount of product in a package is done for one reason and one reason only. To keep the selling cost the same and hope the customer does not notice the difference. Ice cram was sold in half gallon containers for decades, then they went to 1.75 quart and now 1.5 quart. At what point does it stop? 4 ounces? 2 ounces? It is a silly game that will catch up in the end and the ratio of packaging material to product increases making it less and less cost effective for the company and consumer. The lid stays the same if the container is 3" high or 6" high or 12" high. The ratio of product gets less and less efficient though.
If enough of us make it know that the practice is shady, at best, companies will stop the nonsense. You may continue to pay the higher price for less merchandise if you choose. I'm making my voice heard.
BTW, it is tare weight
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re: You may continue to pay the higher price for less merchandise if you choose.
I'm not "choosing" to pay the higher price for less merchandise because I don't have a choice - unless I chose not to buy at all. If I want propane/ice cream/cat food/underwear/nuts/whatever I have to pay the price that they sell for.
My only option is to be a smart consumer and get the best deal I can. The only way I - or anyone - can do that is to read the labels, determine the unit price and decide (chose) whether to make that purchase or not.
Good luck with your campaign to get manufactures to change their practices. I guess when we start paying $20 for 17 lbs instead of $17.65 for 15 lbs all will be right with the world. Oh wait, doesn't that work out to $1.18/lb in both cases?
Don't blame the manufacturers if consumers aren't reading the labels on the products they buy. If that were the case, they we could all sue AmeriGas if our family dies because we opened the tank in the house and let the gas fill the room just prior to lighting that stogy. All of the warnings are right there on the label - in a text size that is considerably smaller than the net weight text - but that wouldn't matter because according to you we don't have to read the labels to understand what we are buying. That's not our responsibility.
Let's make a deal - you keep trying to get the manufacturers to raise their prices and keep the net weight constant and I'll keep reading the labels so I know what I'm paying for.
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I'm not "choosing" to pay the higher price for less merchandise because I don't have a choice - unless I chose not to buy at all. If I want propane/ice cream/cat food/underwear/nuts/whatever I have to pay the price that they sell for.
************************************************ So they why not continue to buy those items int he same s izes that have worked for decades?
My only option is to be a smart consumer and get the best deal I can. The only way I - or anyone - can do that is to read the labels, determine the unit price and decide (chose) whether to make that purchase or not.
************************************************* Make your voice heard. It can work. Just like elections.
Good luck with your campaign to get manufactures to change their practices. I guess when we start paying $20 for 17 lbs instead of $17.65 for 15 lbs all will be right with the world. Oh wait, doesn't that work out to $1.18/lb in both cases?
************************************************ Yes, but when the same size container that has been filled to 17# suddenly becomes 15 pounds for $20, it is a deceptive practice. You can tell me all you want, but my guess is that you have not read the label every single time you buy propane for the past 30 years or so.
.
Let's make a deal - you keep trying to get the manufacturers to raise their prices and keep the net weight constant and I'll keep reading the labels so I know what I'm paying for. ************************************************* I do both.
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Errr...maybe because in some cases they're not available anymore? But you know what, even if they are, it doesn't mean I'm going buy it. What if, due to a sale or coupons, the unit price of the smaller container of Ice Cream is less than that of the bigger one? As I've said quite a few times before: it's all about the unit price, not the size of the container.

I don't need to make my voice heard. It appears you've missed my point during this entire discussion It doesn't bother me that they've kept the price the same and lowered the quantity. They haven't fooled me. They haven't "ripped me off". I know exactly what they're doing: They're raising the unit price and as long as consumers are aware of that what difference does it really make? No matter how you look at it they've raised the price.

Not if it's marked as 15lbs. Not if it's marked as 15lbs. Not if it's marked as 15lbs. Not if it's marked as 15lbs. Not if it's marked as 15lbs. Not if it's marked as 15lbs. Not if it's marked as 15lbs. Not if it's marked as 15lbs. Not if it's marked as 15lbs. Not if it's marked as 15lbs. Not if it's marked as 15lbs. Not if it's marked as 15lbs. Not if it's marked as 15lbs.

So what? If I don't read the label then I'm a lousy consumer. It's my responsibility not the manufacturer's. I don't need my hand held by a manufacturer's rep (via some big sign) when I pick up the tank and I don't need a store employee stopping me and asking if I know how much fuel is in the tank. It's my responsibility to be aware of what I'm buying, nobody else's.

Then I guess you haven't been ripped off. Good for you.
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Errr...maybe because in some cases they're not available anymore? But you know what, even if they are, it doesn't mean I'm going buy it. What if, due to a sale or coupons, the unit price of the smaller container of Ice Cream is less than that of the bigger one? As I've said quite a few times before: it's all about the unit price, not the size of the container. ******************************************************************** My point is that there is no valid reason to change the container size except to decive the consumer. You won't openly say that you agree, but everyone knows that is the real reason. Larger containers are more economical as I pointed out also.
I don't need to make my voice heard. It appears you've missed my point during this entire discussion It doesn't bother me that they've kept the price the same and lowered the quantity. They haven't fooled me. They haven't "ripped me off". I know exactly what they're doing: They're raising the unit price and as long as consumers are aware of that what difference does it really make? No matter how you look at it they've raised the price. ************************************************************************** SAee above comment as to why that did that.

Not if it's marked as 15lbs. Not if it's marked as 15lbs. Not if it's marked as 15lbs. Not if it's marked as 15lbs. Not if it's marked as 15lbs. Not if it's marked as 15lbs. Not if it's marked as 15lbs. Not if it's marked as 15lbs. Not if it's marked as 15lbs. Not if it's marked as 15lbs. Not if it's marked as 15lbs. Not if it's marked as 15lbs. Not if it's marked as 15lbs. ************************************************************************************* No matter how many times you say it, no matter that it is marked, the people that came up with the idea just figured few people would ever notice. Now that prices are down, they have not gone back to 17# either, keeping even more profit.
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Interesting... Earlier you complained that we were getting "deceived" when they didn't fill the propane tanks with the full 17 lbs (even if they marked the container with the actual net weight) and argued that they should change the tank size to match the contents. Now you say that the only valid reason to change the container size is to deceive. Which do you want?

Wow - you can read my mind over the internet. What technology is that - MoIP?
Have you ever considered the "price point" argument? At some point the price - not the unit price, but the purchase price - of a given item might turn a consumer away. To stay under that price point, you simply raise the unit price and lower the number of units in the container.
Once again, no deception because the price is given, the unit price is available and the net weight is marked.


That's where being an educated consumer comes in. I just paid $13.99 for a full 17 lbs at my local BJ's. If I choose to buy a 15 lb tank of AmeriGas at the Orange box for more than that, I may not be making a great choice, but I didn't get deceived by anyone. I choose to pay the higher price for less merchandise - merchandise that was clearly marked with both the price and the contents. In this case, I voted with my feet by going to BJ's.
Look, it's clear that you want them to raise the purchuse price by keeping the containers the same size as they've always been. That's fine, good luck getting them to do that. Really, I mean that. However, don't fault me for being a pragmatist. Ice cream now comes in smaller containers. Coffee now comes in smaller containers. Some items come in the same size container but have less merchandise inside. Bottom line is they raised the unit price but kept the purchase price the same. It's still a price increase, but as long as the package is marked accurately, no one is getting ripped off.
RTFL
I'm done.
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Interesting... Earlier you complained that we were getting "deceived" when they didn't fill the propane tanks with the full 17 lbs (even if they marked the container with the actual net weight) and argued that they should change the tank size to match the contents. Now you say that the only valid reason to change the container size is to deceive. Which do you want? ***************************************************************************** Both. I'd rather see the 17# thank fill to full capacity, not underfilled for deception. If the "new" standard is 15#, then size the tank accordingly. Anything else is bull crap.
Have you ever considered the "price point" argument? At some point the price - not the unit price, but the purchase price - of a given item might turn a consumer away. To stay under that price point, you simply raise the unit price and lower the number of units in the container.
Once again, no deception because the price is given, the unit price is available and the net weight is marked. ***********************************************************
The ice cream companies tried that silly argument. Fact is, they have been using half gallon containers for 60 years that I know of and raised prices along the way as needed. People buy more ice cream than ever. All of a sudden,t he pricek point crap will stop people? I don't think so. Sell at a fair price and skip the sales. It has been years since I've paid full price for ice cream, I stock up wehn it is on sale for half price, won't touch it between times. Skip hte sales and lower the price allt he time.
Look, it's clear that you want them to raise the purchuse price by keeping the containers the same size as they've always been. That's fine, good luck getting them to do that. Really, I mean that. However, don't fault me for being a pragmatist. ******************************** I won't. Just remember that when the tank is down to 3# and you have to go back to the store every time you grill a burger.
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As long as you keep insisting that a package that is clearly marked with the net weight of the contents is somehow "deceptive" there is no point in discussing the issue with you.
RTFL
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As long as you keep insisting that a package that is clearly marked with the net weight of the contents is somehow "deceptive" there is no point in discussing the issue with you.
RTFL
**************************************************** I agree that reading labels is important and is a part of personal responsibility.
In addition, businesses have a responsibility and should have ethics and morals too. To short a container that has been filled to a given amount for decades is a way of circumventing those ethics. I'm not so sure it would be looked upon well by the truth in packaging laws either, but I'm not a lawyer and I'm not going to do the research.
If you want to sell your product for $1 or $10 a unit, that is your choice. At least the ice cream makers used the proper sized package for the reduced amount. The propane guys figured few would ever notice. They did. It made the newspapers around the country. Why? Because it is a sleazy way of doing business.
End of conversation.
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Except for the ones like Breyers, who whipped air into the product to increase volume. When it melts, it looks like a wet sponge. Weigh Breyers compared to their competitors.
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wrote in message

Containers where the customer can see the product tend to get resized to meet the newly downsized weight/volume,or where the customer views the product level inside the container as "too low",but stuff like metal propane tanks would not get resized,the change is too small and not readily visible to the customer.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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