An inside perspective of the propane industry as Ferrellgas complaints continue

13 Investigates is getting an inside look at how the propane industry works.

We interviewed an Albany man who used to work with one of the biggest propane companies in the country.

This is important because we are continuing to get so many messages about Ferrellgas.

Brian Webb called 13 Investigates on Wednesday night; after seeing the coverage about Ferrellgas and the continued issue of late propane deliveries.

Webb did not work for Ferrellgas. He worked for a different company for about four years. He retired at the beginning of 2021.

Webb provides a different perspective on the issue and how the industry works.

Throughout 13 Investigates’ reporting on Ferrellgas, the company has told us they have been experiencing high demand, especially when the temperatures were recently below freezing.

Viewers continuously tell 13 Investigates that propane trucks are filling up their tanks days to weeks late.

We explained this to Webb and asked him if that is normal during the frigid winter months.

This is what Webb said:

"I will only say, when I was working in the industry, it was not normal, and really, we did not consider that an acceptable level of service for our customers."

It is still not clear what impact the pandemic has had on this situation. 13 Investigates will keep working to learn more.

Ferrellgas has said 10% of propane in your tank is low, but there is still fuel enough in the tank to last you for several days.

Webb said it depends on the situation.

That includes how large your tank is, how much heat you’re using and what are you using the propane for.

He gave us an example:

"If someone has, let’s say, a 500-gallon tank, 10% would be 50 gallons. If that tank is providing heat, cooking gas, hot water, maybe another device…If it is a heavy load on 50 gallons, including heat, most homes will be in extremis," Webb said. "They’re not going to last more than a couple of days."

In a statement from Ferrellgas, they said:

"We have deployed additional assets to the Capital Region to supplement the efforts of our local employee-owners who are working double shifts, seven days a week to serve the customers in their community. As the largest propane provider in the Capital Region, we take our duty very seriously to ensure the warmth and safety of thousands of customers each winter. We use technology to estimate when customers who are on "keep full" (aka automatic delivery) are in need of a delivery. We supplement those routes with "Will Call" (want to manage their delivery schedule) deliveries as efficiently as possible. We ask that Will Calls give us 7 business days and to call no lower than 30% on their tank. This ensures that they will have plenty of propane before their delivery. Keep Full is a free service for our customers that we encourage them to sign up for so we can proactively plan their delivery.

"If customers are close to running out of propane, they should call us directly at 888-FERRELL to schedule an expedited delivery."