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Suburban Propane tank rental fee: The Real Deal

If you're a heating oil or propane customer, you're already paying a lot of money to fill-up this winter -- but, now, an added cost to rent the tank? <IMG alt="" src="http://www.centralmediaserver.com/WIXT/ForumTalk.gif" border=0> <A class="" href="http://www.9wsyr.com/content/news/real_deal/story/Suburban-Propane-Tank-Rental-Fee-The-Real-Deal/QYiF3OU5jka35htO27JbZw.cspx?p=Comments">Your Comments</A>
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Syracuse, New York (WSYR-TV) - If you're a heating oil or propane customer, you're already paying a lot of money to fill-up this winter -- but, now, an added cost to rent the tank?

 

It's happening to some customers of Suburban Propane.

 

Ed Demott's been a customer of Suburban Propane for 15 years.

 

“They come basically once a year and fill up the tank -- I haven't had a problem,” he says.

 

Ed only uses the propane for cooking and to run his generator.  Because he's got a smaller tank, he pays a premium charge of $5 a gallon, nearly double the price for heating customers. 

 

So he was surprised when he got a letter in the mail from Suburban this week, claiming that since Demott isn’t buying a full 100 gallons every year, they will have to start charging him an annual fee of $57 to cover the “capital investment” they have sitting outside his house.

 

“I'm paying an outrageous amount for the fuel now, and now they're going to charge me for a rental fee?  For a tank I've had for years?,” Demott says.

 

He immediately called Suburban to complain.

 

“I told them I don't want their tank no more -- I'll switch companies -- and now they're going to charge me to take my tank away and give me 50 cents on the dollar for the fuel that's in my tank -- and my tank is full!,” says Demott.

 

If he does decide to cancel with Suburban, he'll throw away $300.  But it may come down to principle.

 

“I'd be happy for them to just take their tank and break even -- I don't want to pay this company another cent,” he says.

 

Ed feels stuck, and he plans on filing a complaint with the state attorney general's office.  We've heard from others in similar situations with bigger tanks than Ed's and have also reached out to the Attorney General's office about this, they're looking into it.

 

Suburban did not return our multiple phone calls for comment.  

 

If you want The Real Deal, call us at 446-9900 or e-mail us anytime at yourstories@9wsyr.com.

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