I need an assist here…
I heat my home with propane. I have a 500 gallon tank out back. I have a contract with what I feel is a generally reliable national firm. I deal with its local office. They’re suppose to track degree-days heating and fill my tank up automatically when their formula tells them I’m low. They leave me a note and send a bill. Simple enough, right?
So over the holidays my propane runs dry. Not a drop. We come back from a trip and the house is cold as sin (38 degrees at its coldest). I call the emergency number and they get a tankful to me special delivery. They’re all apologetic and I move on.
Amount delivered: 342.8 gallons
FTR, the never fill past the 70-75% mark. Some sort of safety issue, I think.
Wait for 2 1/2 weeks to pass. It’s now 1/17/01. I come home from work and there’s another note on my front door. It’s their little yellow form saying they’ve dropped off 291.6 gallons that day. Bill to follow.
“???” says I, “That can’t be the case.” I think call and leave a message. No call back.
Amount Delivered: 291.6 gallons
So that would mean I’ve used 291.6 gallons in 17 days.
Let’s make a best case scenario: My tank has 342.8 gallons on 12/31/00. On 1/17/01 they fill me up to 500 gallons (full capacity). That would mean between 12/31/00 and 1/17/01 I used 134.4 gallons of propane. In addition to that my tank now reads 70% full. I’ve kept an eye on it for 4 days now and it’s barely moved in that time. My take on that last fact is that I do not have a gas leak that would deplete my tank.
The upshot of the above scenario is that, under the most understanding of circumstances, I would have used somewhere around 300 gallons of propane. I think this is, to say the least, bull-puckey.
I spoke with their office manager this morning. I quote, “No one ever realizes how much fuel they use in the winter. It’s been exceptionally cold.” Also, she tell me my last delivery (prior to this series) was 11/3/00 so that in 30 days I used 342.8 gallons so it shouldn’t be unreasonable that in the last 30 days I used 291.6 gallons.
Well, check me if I’m wrong but that makes it 58 days between the 11/3/00 and 12/31/00 deliveries and 17 days between the 12/31/00 and 1/17/01 deliveries. When I mentioned that I was told I’d have to speak with her manager in Front Royal. She gave me the 800 number and said goodbye (polite the whole time…no worries there).
How pissed should I be?
Is there a case for civil or criminal fraud here?
What steps do y’all think I should take from here?
Petroleum derivatively yours,