WATCHDOG: Buying Propane Is A Frustra...

WATCHDOG: Buying Propane Is A Frustrating Business

There are 31 comments on the Hartford Courant story from Nov 17, 2008, titled WATCHDOG: Buying Propane Is A Frustrating Business. In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

Jim Brangi of Killingworth got tired of cutting, hauling, splitting and stacking firewood five years ago and purchased a gas log and a gas stove to help heat his home.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Courant.

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Gave up My propane

Redwood City, CA

#1 Nov 17, 2008
switched to electric and turned off the fireplace. It was not worth it when the prices were 1-2 dollars more a gallon.
HaHaHa

East Granby, CT

#2 Nov 17, 2008
propane is way too dangerous
Dumb Idea Detector

Bristol, CT

#3 Nov 17, 2008
Good job Watchdog. The propane industry is one if the crookedest going.

Now, how about those craft stores and their phoney custom framing sale ads that appear in your newspaper every sunday?
Thomas

Cheshire, CT

#4 Nov 17, 2008
Last year,Got rid of my 100 tank and company, went to a camper store bought three 30 pound tanks, a regulator ,three way valve, hoses for two tanks, along with a outside plastic storage bin for the tanks,'Home depot" get one tank filled each month at a gas station........
Anon

Durham, CT

#5 Nov 17, 2008
Sheesh, it makes the home heating oil companies sound downright altruistic.

I'm glad we didn't consider propane seriously, because I doubt you learn about these things ahead of time...
Bill R

South Dennis, MA

#6 Nov 17, 2008
I built a house 3 yrs ago and installed a 500 gallon in ground tank which i own... after shopping around, its easy to get verbal teaser rates for the first year.. but after 3 fills they raised the price i called to complain and told them to take m off delivery.. the manager called back a day later and offered me a compromise.. i told them to pound sand as they didn't live up to their word... I found an even better rate and have been their customer for 2 seasons now.... its best to own the tank if you can and shop aggressively
Old Timer

Beacon Falls, CT

#7 Nov 17, 2008
Thank you for pointing out the scam these energy companies have.

I'm sure one of them will whine about their costs.
And I don't begrudge anyone making a living.

However, energy use is my 4th highest expense and I'd like to know why it costs so much more per gallon than the dealer price when the terminal is in New Haven.
tony

United States

#8 Nov 17, 2008
Holy Smokes!! He could not get quotes from other companies? No one wanted to go against Bemer probably because they have an agreement with him. You no toucha mine and I no toucha yours. A sure sign of collusion. How can this still go on? I guess it ain't just the rubbish industry.
ricbee

Wallingford, CT

#9 Nov 17, 2008
Thomas wrote:
Last year,Got rid of my 100 tank and company, went to a camper store bought three 30 pound tanks, a regulator ,three way valve, hoses for two tanks, along with a outside plastic storage bin for the tanks,'Home depot" get one tank filled each month at a gas station........
For those who can add & subtract finding a better way is always possible in a free country.

Since: Jul 08

Southington

#10 Nov 17, 2008
It really doesn't seem like any one here uses much propane. Find a dealer that will tie you into a price based on the New York Price. It's in the paper everyday and they can not pull your leg because it's printed.
John G

Greenfield, MA

#11 Nov 17, 2008
I live in Enfield, CT and get my propane from a Mass dealer, Energy USA. They own the tank that was installed when the house was built 10 years ago. I feel their rates are fare and I pay .25/gal rent. My furnace is very efficient and clean.
Samantha

West Hartford, CT

#13 Nov 17, 2008
I am glad this was written! I have dealt with Propane Gas Service since they were filling the tank I bought with the house and they are the most unethical business owners I have ever had the mispleasure of dealing with! My tank was only for cooking and when I got a new stove and didn't need it anymore, they said they would be happy to come and get the full tank, credit me back at a minimal rate and charge me $150 fee for the pick-up. So they get a full tank and I am lucky to break even. I asked Bemers for a quote and they want to charge me $1800 to connect a fireplace and then sign a 7 year contract at $3.25 when I know my neighbor is getting propane from them for $2.87! Didn't bother to explain the quote but he enclosed the contract with a SIGN HERE sticker. What am I, an idiot? Someone needs to step in...
Paul

Andover, CT

#14 Nov 17, 2008
Have used Hocon gas for years for pool heater, two aboveground tanks - I do pay a tank rental fee every year but no long term contract and good service
ricbee

North Egremont, MA

#15 Nov 17, 2008
Samantha wrote:
I am glad this was written! I have dealt with Propane Gas Service since they were filling the tank I bought with the house and they are the most unethical business owners I have ever had the mispleasure of dealing with! My tank was only for cooking and when I got a new stove and didn't need it anymore, they said they would be happy to come and get the full tank, credit me back at a minimal rate and charge me $150 fee for the pick-up. So they get a full tank and I am lucky to break even. I asked Bemers for a quote and they want to charge me $1800 to connect a fireplace and then sign a 7 year contract at $3.25 when I know my neighbor is getting propane from them for $2.87! Didn't bother to explain the quote but he enclosed the contract with a SIGN HERE sticker. What am I, an idiot? Someone needs to step in...
You need to say,"no" & go find a better deal or do you want your mommy to do it?
WHResident

Manchester, CT

#16 Nov 17, 2008
ricbee wrote:
<quoted text> You need to say,"no" & go find a better deal or do you want your mommy to do it?
Must be tough to live with all that hate, day after day, huh??
michael czmyr

Chicopee, MA

#17 Nov 18, 2008
i had just sent in to farrel and att. general a letter of what happened to me, yes it is terrible that they charged you that rate, they told me when i got propane from osterman that it runs 5 to 10 cents cheaper than oil, well i filled up in the 14th of november and when i seen what i paid i almost dies, 3.679 a gallon because i didn't buy enough last year, and thats all i'm buying this year, i'll hook up electric baseboard in my garage apartment and run my pellet stove or wood, the electric would be a backup, i started doing buisness with osterman in 2006 didn't take long for them to stick up there.
ricbee

United States

#18 Nov 21, 2008
WHResident wrote:
<quoted text>
Must be tough to live with all that hate, day after day, huh??
Whattayou a shrink?
Bob

Newington, CT

#21 Dec 1, 2008
Crap from the propane dealers association. No one is advocating "doing work" on a propane system. The entire system is installed. It's just changing a tank similar to a camper or gas grill. OOOOOH scare me I'll pay whatever you want for propane.

Watch out for Bouchard Fuels in Southington.
greg wrote:
From letters to the editor, Hartford Courant 11/27/08:
Our membership read in horror the advice Watchdog columnist George Gombossy has given to propane consumers in Connecticut [Nov. 23, "Propane Problems: Turning Up Heat"]:
"If you use a small amount of propane, think about buying your own tank; then you can have anyone fill it. I checked Thursday at the Enfield Home Depot, and 100-pound tanks (which hold about 25 gallons) sell for $129. Or buy a 40-pound tank and, with a friend, take it to a propane dealer and fill it yourself for some real savings."
Encouraging consumers to connect and reconnect their own propane gas connections is reckless advice. More significantly, untrained or unlicensed consumers (or anyone who is not properly qualified to do so in Connecticut) performing work on a propane system could potentially cause serious personal injury, property damage and loss of life.
The activity encouraged by Mr. Gombossy is not the same as a consumer connecting an outdoor gas grill. Nor does Mr. Gombossy offer any Department of Transportation advice for transporting the type of cylinders he has encouraged readers to purchase.
Making connections to a consumer system is much different and requires special consideration of inside gas appliance controls that could fail after a system interruption. Consumer meddling with gas-fired equipment and propane storage and distribution systems is the single greatest cause of propane accidents nationwide.
Mr. Gombossy's advice encourages reckless and dangerous intervention with a safe consumer storage and pressure delivery system. Furthermore, it ignores a collateral code requirement that a propane gas system must be leak-checked after every interruption in service, as well as the need to safely relight gas pilot flames.
Joseph U. Rose, President, Propane Gas Association of New England, Moultonboro, N.H.
Where is the Courant's oversight of the "column"?
The DOG suggests a course of action that could lead to loss of property and even life. Your house is not a gas grill. This from the consumer "expert!"
He should fired for putting people at risk!
John

Bristol, CT

#22 Dec 2, 2008
Great article! Too bad propane dealers.... WAH WAH WAH
David

Meriden, CT

#23 Mar 20, 2009
Does anybody have an idea where one can buy a new or used 500 gallon propane tank in Connecticut? I am with Arrow (hate their service) and they will not sell their tank?

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