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Old 11-12-2008, 10:22 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,134 posts, read 22,273,218 times
Reputation: 16222

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I used to have Amerigas as a Propane provider. Doesn't surprise me one bit that, that was their response. They wouldn't come and get a tank from my place either, until I dropped off a letter to the manager telling them they had 48 hours to come get their equipment and restore the location back to original condition or else I was going to consider it abandoned and would talk to my lawyer about recovering cost associated with abatement and fees. Next morning they had a crew out there to pick up their stuff. Show them photos taken of the area with something with the date on it like a newspaper so they know you have a recent photo of the area and that they cannot leave it tore to pieces and claim that is the condition it was in when they got there. Make sure to be on hand to step outside with a camera and snap a few when they get there as well. I didn't have a bit of problem with them afterward, and their guys did a great job cleaning up the area when they were done. Just frustrating as anything dealing with any Amerigas office that I have seen. Remember, the guys that show up to remove their property have nothing to do with the treatment and run around the office gives you, don't take out your frustration on them.
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:44 AM
 
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 23,874,869 times
Reputation: 5787
Our propane tank at the lakehouse is underground. Our commercial propane tank at the office is not (but it is one of the HUGE ones that is used to fill the smaller propane tanks). Even our commercial propane tank we rent from the propane company. Our other large commercial tanks for other gases we do own (most of the producers want you to rent them but we buy and we also LEASE the smaller "large" ones to our customers). By the customer leasing the larger more expensive tanks (these are usually stainless) if something goes wrong we are liable to repair/replace. If the customers demand increases we can swap it out for them to a larger tank and the only cost to them is the increase in rent. We own the tanks/cylinders outright though.

If the person in possession of the tank for ANY industrial gas does NOT OWN the tank/cylinder then the only company that CAN fill it is the one that does own it. Only "customer owned" tanks/cylinders can be filled by anyone. We would be in serious violations if we filled a customers tank/cylinder that they did not own outright and leased/stole/etc from another company (you would be surprised at the number of stolen tanks/cylinders out there. They cost us a LOT of money to buy new and keep tested). It is easily identifiable by those in the industry if a tank/cylinder is a customer owned or rental. Most average consumers propane tanks (gas grills and such) are "customer owned" and can be traded anywhere that is licensed to do such. We do have customers with propane tanks (forklifts and such) that do not own theirs but rent them.

Amerigas usually only rents their propane tanks. We deal with them as well. Not as much as we used to but just a MINOR bit now. We like to use another locally owned propane company that we know. They can be a pain to deal with some and they do raise their rates on you without warning at times. The price of propane has gone THRU THE ROOF in the last 2 years. Since we are a dealer and any purchase of gases is "wholesale" prices we sometimes jokingly see the price of the gas grill propanes and say we should start buying from those business (grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, etc). It really is pretty sad. For THOSE businesses it is not a "profit" item for them it is more of a "lose leader" and they don't have to be licensed out the wazoo either since they don't fill onsite - it bites. Amerigas should be able to come out and remove the tank and not bother you one bit. If you can line up the new company to be there if you want the tank in the same spot. Amerigas won't have to "clean up" or fill in the hole and the new company might give you a discount if they don't have to dig it. Never hurts to ask. You can also ask the new company if they will sell you a propane tank and then you can use whomever you want if prices start to fluctuate too much. However, most will make you lock into a contract to purchase the gas for a certain period of time. Seldom will they lock in the price of propane for a year or more. SHUCKS!

The sellers sound like a bunch of flakes. They did not know which company they did business with for propane??????
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Maryland
27 posts, read 148,253 times
Reputation: 16
No, I wouldn't do that... frustrations are saved for my husband.

I sent an email to Amerigas this morning explaining the situation, telling them their prices are the highest in the area and if I am truly bound to buy gas from them where is it stated in writing, where is the documentation that states they own the tank because so far I've only received a verbal. The woman I spoke with at the local office wouldn't provide anything in writing. We'll see what they say.

.... are cement shoes in my future???
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Maryland
27 posts, read 148,253 times
Reputation: 16
momo, they gave me the name and phone number for three different propane companies before telling us it was Amerigas who they used. They have said / done other things that make me think they are flaky, too.

Shouldn't Amerigas have some sort of documentation the tank is theirs? The lady I spoke to at the local office said no, it was theirs and that was that.
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Old 11-12-2008, 12:22 PM
 
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 23,874,869 times
Reputation: 5787
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasAMC View Post
momo, they gave me the name and phone number for three different propane companies before telling us it was Amerigas who they used. They have said / done other things that make me think they are flaky, too.

Shouldn't Amerigas have some sort of documentation the tank is theirs? The lady I spoke to at the local office said no, it was theirs and that was that.
So this is not the only thing that they have been flakes about????? YIKES! Be VERY careful then and make sure your realtor has the contract correct down to the "T". Don't want any surprises at closing. I'm assuming inspections have already been done? If they were required to go back and do any repairs make sure you get copies of all receipts just in case.

Well, yes and no. Since it is underground you can't easily see the seriel number on it nor any label. Depending on how long ago Amerigas bought the tank themselves they may not have any records of the seriel number. It SHOULD however be on their first invoice to the customer when they installed it. Depending again on how long ago that was - it could be history. You should see our attic at the main office - GADS - boxes of invoices for YEARS!!!!!! Pain in the rear to go thru as well. Unless we know EXACTLY which year it was first installed it would be like finding that needle in a VERY LARGE haystack. Then it would also be under whomever was the homeowner that had it first installed. If the sellers were not the ones that had it installed and the property has changed hands a number of times it would be anyones guess whose name and what year it was under. Technology has changed some of this and made it easier to keep track of when purchases/installations of such w/ seriel numbers are done and records are kept on a database but that is only in recent years. Not all tanks/cylinders have barcodes (most don't). If they have the invoices for the last year (Amerigas and/or the sellers) it will have a rental fee attached. This is good enough to prove "ownership" especially since NO ONE can fill it unless they own it. Amerigas is NOT going to let someone have a tank and NOT pay rent on it. It could be yearly, 6 months or monthly. Ask for a copy of the last years invoices so that you can get an idea of "utility costs". It should also be mentioned in the contract that it is a "rental". Ask the sellers for a copy of their contract w/ Amerigas.
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Old 11-12-2008, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Maryland
27 posts, read 148,253 times
Reputation: 16
momo, thanks for the info, I sincerely appreciate it!

Thankfully, our realtor was an attorney in her first life and she has been a real stickler with the details of the contract. We are, however, concerned with the repairs we asked for--our realtor requested receipts but I have not seen them to date, will follow up.

Thank you, again. If I hear anything from Amerigas I'll report back.
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Old 11-12-2008, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Apple Valley Calif
7,405 posts, read 11,982,778 times
Reputation: 5138
Most tanks I've dealt with are owned by the propane company. They place the tank and charge no rent on it providing you continue to buy propane from them. I have never heard of a customer owned tank, with the exception of the small BBQ tanks.
It would be foolish for a home owner to own the tank. Why buy a tank if the propane company will give you one for frree, and take care of all manitenance..?
I'll bet the home seller doesn't own the tank, but the propane company should have a record of it...
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Old 11-13-2008, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Maryland
27 posts, read 148,253 times
Reputation: 16
Yesterday afternoon I received a call from Amerigas in response to my email. They are sending me a contract that shows they own the tank and are waiving the $45 gas check fee which I did not request but thought nice of them to offer. Still, I reiterated their prices are high and the man I spoke with admitted they pre-bought at a time when prices were higher--of course those prices are passed on to the consumer.

After hearing some of the pros and cons of owning the tank I'm not so sure I want the responsibility.

Thank you, everyone, for your feedback and input--you helped educate this girl who has been living with forced air for 20+ years!
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Old 11-13-2008, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
2,978 posts, read 7,690,983 times
Reputation: 2202
Been where you are TexasAMC -- except in my case it was learning more about septic systems than I really needed to know, and all about underground oil tanks. Have neither of those now, but heck now I'm learning about irrigation systems and heat pumps.
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Old 12-10-2009, 10:58 AM
 
2 posts, read 26,825 times
Reputation: 11
Interesting thread and wonder if I can dust it off. We have an underground 1000 gal tank owned by Amerigas and have used them for seven years. I am considering another propane provider and when checking with Amerigas, they told me that since they own the tank, if I go with someone else, they will come and dig up the tank and charge me for the excavating costs. The also told me that they do not sell their tank to another provider. I am not paying a monthly lease fee on the tank as I purchase enough propane to keep Amerigas happy. There is nothing in the Supply Agreement about charging me for the removal.

So...can Amerigas do this? If, worse case scenario, they want their tank back, they can charge me for digging it up? Hummmm

Bob
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