Customers complain of propane price gouging - CBS 5 - KPHO

TOUGH QUESTIONS

Customers complain of propane price gouging

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Imagine paying five dollars a gallon for fuel to heat your home, knowing others in your neighborhood are paying two dollars less.

That's what several propane customers in the TV5 viewing area say is happening to them, and they want to know why.

Tyler Smith still can't believe how much he was charged for propane. "Last time we filled up, I think we paid $2.28 for it," says Smith.

That's not what Smith paid per gallon on Saturday. He says he paid more than double that amount. $5.59 per gallon. Smith was suspicious something wasn't right.

Following calls and emails to TV5 from other consumers like Smith, we wanted to find out what people across the state are paying.

We asked what prices were the same day Smith paid $5.59 per gallon. We found much lower prices.

We didn't stop there. We contacted the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. We were pointed to a chart showing the average price of propane over the past week and a half, $2.73 cents per gallon. Nearly half of what Smith paid.

Why is propane so much higher from Ferrellgas, the company Smith has a contract with?

A spokesperson for Ferrellgas posted this message on the TV5 Facebook page.

Based on the date of delivery and based on the supply point the propane being delivered was pulled from, some propane users are paying significantly higher for propane. In the short term, based on where propane companies were able to secure product, these amounts could vary by retailer.

As for Smith. He says it's an answer he's not buying. He's taking his business elsewhere.

Many suppliers across the state, including Ferrellgas, have price protection plans which locks in a rate. In Smith's case, he says he keeps an eye on prices. That being said, he knew he had the option and that prices were going up but says he never expected $5.59 per gallon. The price of propane Tuesday at Ferrellgas is $3.62 cents.

TV5 has confirmed that the state attorney general's office has received 3 complaints so far regarding FerrellGas.

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