Rise in customer complaints of propane companies sparks state crackdown

January 09, 2018 11:27 PM

AMSTERDAM - Tom Krutz of Amsterdam is not happy with his propane supplier, Ferrellgas.

“On the 25th we went online and applied for the delivery,” Krutz said. “And at that point I was at 20 percent.” 

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That was December 25.

With about 20 percent of propane left, Krutz was expecting to get a new delivery by January 2nd. 

January 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th passed and Krutz still did not receive his propane delivery. 

“Sunday I contacted Angela Santa Barbara's office because he was on Facebook and he wanted to hear from anybody,” Krutz said. 

In fact, Assemblyman Angelo Santa Barbara said he has been getting dozens of similar complaints.

“Now the messages are becoming a little more urgent because people are saying now I'm at a point I have no heat, Santabarbara said. “Now it's day two. Now it's day three. Some people today, day five with no heat.”

With the help of Santa Barbara's office, by Monday Krutz had propane delivered to his Amsterdam home. 

He also received a $100 next day delivery fee.

“They turn around and blame the customers for their inability to prepare themselves,” he said. 

“Now New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has launched an investigation into possible misconduct by propane suppliers across the state. 

“My office has been flooded with calls from New Yorkers all across our state who've experienced extreme delivery delays and possible price gouging by their local propane suppliers,” Schneiderman said. 

Some customers complain that one propane company will refuse to fill another company's propane tank and suggest consumers buy a new tank.

“So I've introduced a bill to allow customers that are leasing their tank to also choose from multiple suppliers when there's a supplier fails to deliver,” Santabarbara said. 

Krutz is happy he's got his gas but

“And actually having the delivery of propane now, I feel a little bit guilty because I know there are still other people who are out there that haven't received it,” Krutz said. 

Krutz credits Santabarbara and Schneiderman's office with helping him get his propane.

Both Schneiderman and Santabarbara are urging anyone who has had similar experiences to contact their offices.


Nia Hamm

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