Ohio attorney general's office monitoring propane pricing complaints, shortages

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Attorney General Mike DeWine said last week that his office is actively monitoring complaints regarding propane prices and shortages. His office also will work with other states to look for possible anti-competitive activities related to the sale of propane.

"We want to assure Ohioans that we will carefully monitor reports of potential price gouging or other unfair business practices related to the extreme cold," DeWine said. "We want all Ohioans to be safe during these frigid days. If you use propane to heat your home, be especially careful. Contact your propane supplier before your tank reaches emergency levels and reach out for help as soon as you need it." 

Approximately six percent of Ohioans use propane to heat their homes. In Ohio, consumers have been informed that propane availability is limited this winter and that recent price increases are due to increased demand and depleted inventories. 

DeWine's office has been in contact with propane suppliers and is taking propane complaints from consumers. In some cases, consumers say their propane suppliers are not filling tanks as quickly as normal or that they are charging higher prices, which some consumers believe to be price gouging.  

Laws that address price gouging vary from state to state. While Ohio does not have a statute that deals directly with price gouging, state law bans unconscionable sales practices.

Consumers who suspect price gouging or other unfair business practices should contact DeWine's office by calling 800-282-0515 or visiting www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov. Consumers should submit as much information and documentation as possible with their complaints.

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  • I purchased some Propane from Surburban Propane earlier this year, I received it March 5th and I paid $4.49 per gallon along with the usual delivery charges. I called a different Propane supplier to see if they accepted new customers and they had propane for $3.36 per gallon. Unfortunately they were not accepting new customers at the time..

    In my opinion, there should be some sort of regulation in this industry from either the Federal Level or at least the state level... There appears to be a wide open "charge whatever you would like to charge" scale the various Propane Suppliers are using for the Residentual customers. Some individuals I have talked with were paying approximately two dollars a gallon earlier this year,and I have read in line today where individuals in Michigan were charged as much as eight dollars per gallon...

    Many individuals are on fixed income and I can see where this would be devestating to their individual financial wellness. 

    I guess you can decide if this gouging, I am not convinced this additional cost is absolutely necessary, but I will obviosuly have to pay what I am being charged until someone at a fairly high level completes an investigation and at least lets companies know there is Big Brother watching. 

     

  • I agree with I would certainly say a 62% increase in the price of a gallon of fuel was excessive.

    I understand there is some sort of shortage at this time, but I do not understand why the excessive increase. My income of one month does not cover the cost of refueling.

     

  • Propane Pricing complaint:

     

    On 12/31/13 I ordered 301 gallons of propane fromThrifty Propane for a toal of $801.98 or $2.66 a gallon. Ordered again on 1/26/14, a quantity of 201 gallons(100 gallons less) for total of $869.77 or $4.32 a gallon. I would certainly say a 62% increase in the price of a gallon of fuel was excessive.

    I understand there is some sort of shortage at this time, but I am quite sure their cost did not increase that much.

    Jim Peroli