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Old 12-10-2009, 10:15 AM
Location: Fuquay Varina
4,530 posts, read 6,604,961 times
Reputation: 11197


Charge them for storing it on your land, equal or more than the amount they want to charge to dig it up and remove it.
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Old 12-10-2009, 10:42 AM
Location: Vermont
10,281 posts, read 11,166,011 times
Reputation: 14096
The standard practice in the industry is that one dealer won't put product into another dealer's iron. They claim that it's for safety and liability purposes, although I have never truly believed that, since this practice also has the benefit of keeping customers locked into the incumbent dealer.

I do have a friend who owns her own tank, and she occasionally has to prove it to a dealer. The benefit to her is that she can shop around for prices, and buy from the dealer with the lowest price. It can make a significant difference. I don't think she's ever had a problem with the tank, but it's always a possibility, and the risk is on her in that instance.
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Old 12-15-2009, 03:06 PM
2 posts, read 47,193 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks. As an update, the competition wants my business so bad, they're willing to pay for the excavation, give me a two year fixed price that is well below Amerigas, and an initial fill at $1.99 per gal. They are very reputable and the neighbors are also interested. One thing they said is not to tell Amerigas what's going on until it is done as they've been known to come out a week early, dig up the tank, and leave you with no gas but a bill for the dig.
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:18 PM
26,579 posts, read 52,046,854 times
Reputation: 20358
In 1964 my grandparents had a propane tank installed at their home...

Every year they paid rent on the tank.

The propane company changed hands many times over the years until Amerigas took over.

The rental fee quadrupled in price... we told Amerigas we were exercising our right to buy the tank for $150... less than one years rental.

They said we could not do it because they don't sell their tanks... Went to the office with the contract from 1964 and said I'm here with $150 and I want a bill of sale.

Several calls were made and I did leave with a Bill of Sale... it really pays to keep good records...

Should the home every be sold, there is a Bill of Sale to prove ownership...
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Old 03-01-2010, 01:29 PM
1 posts, read 26,756 times
Reputation: 11
We own our tank. The previous owner bought the tank from level/horizon propane company. Amerigas bought out horizons assets and slapped a sticker on the tank stating property of Amerigas. We asked them why they did this and the answer was that they claim all tanks by default and ask the owner to show proof of purchase
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:01 PM
5,818 posts, read 13,271,430 times
Reputation: 9276
We asked for a buy-out price on the tank from Amerigas and paid for the tank and received a Bill of Sale. Now we go with the company with the best deal.
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:22 AM
1 posts, read 26,600 times
Reputation: 12
We are going thru hi-jinks with Amerigas. We recently converted no natural gas, and have been approached by people interested in purchasing our tank. Our lp company, like yours changed hands several times before being bought by Amerigas. It was my father's understanding that he had initially leased (or rented) the tank in 1974, then in 1977 purchased it. They came out and replaced the tank, and scheduled a number of payments (which he paid). The only paperwork they can provide me with is the front of the original contract for the lease, with notations about new terms, (not what the terms pertain to) and a new serial number added. Where on your contract was the option to purchase? It is my belief the we own the tank. They, of course claim it for themselves, and also wat to charge us to empty it and remove it. I, understandably, would rather sell it to someone else. What do you think? We are in northern Wisconsin. Thanks Nancy
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:09 PM
Location: Vermont
83 posts, read 239,545 times
Reputation: 99
Let me just say that I'm not trying to sway anyone away from one propane company or another, just call me a "modern day Robin Hood"...

I am in the propane industry and know the wholesale price at the pipeline from which I load and transport the product daily all over the northeast.

I have used our local fuel dealer for more than 15 years here, because A) they gave us credit without filling out a contract, and B) they were cheap.

I noticed last year the name/logo on their equipment changed slightly. When I investigated, I found they were gobbled up by a national corporation known as Inergy Propane, Inergy Services,LLC, and a couple other a.k.a.'s.

Inergy is a publicly traded company. They don't operate like the mom's & pop's of yesterday. This season was off by a long shot compared to last season in terms of temperature, so less propane was sold/delivered than last year. I was told by one other location manager who works for Inergy that they don't care whether or not the winter was bad or good...they just want their numbers to be a good as last season, or better, period.

That said, I saw propane in remote parts of northern Vt. go to $6.00/gallon. Inergy has been on a buyout frenzy the past several years, gobbling up all the older, aging companies and keeping the same names and appearance to elude the transition. Customers don't know they were bought out, thinking everything's the same. So in order to please the stockholders and present them with their 30% return continuously, the prices were inflated to make up for their losses. Meanwhile, the small, local guys are making out like a bandit, while Inergy companies were at $6.00/gal., the small guys were delivering for $2.50/gal. and winning countless numbers of customers who were not going to pay those exorberant prices. In addition, the small suppliers are still making a phenominal margin, and all the power to them as long as they stay within a decent range and don't get greedy.

I just called a local smaller private supplier yesterday, and told them I knew the behind the scenes story, as I am in the business daily. I told them I was happy with my current supplier, but not with the price. They (the new private co.,) offered to come immediately and switch the tank out, and charge me just .80 over wholesale, which is a good deal because I know what that is on the spot market. Now that makes me happy...I don't mind someone making money, I like to myself...just don't like getting raked over the coals. Now I know they will remain honest, and that's all I ask. I don't really care about some already-filthy-rich investor and his 30% return...

So to review friends, let's take a look at how to make a difference in this crazy energy market collectively and make a difference in a couple of ways. One way is to save ourselves money, the other to make the big guys understand that without happy customers, they are nothing.

Suburban, AmeriGas, Inergy, Pyrofax and a few other big guys are among the most expensive in America to deal with. Don't be intimidated by their scare tactics. Just mention that you know what the spot market prices are, and you can do so by going to ino.com and seeing for yourself. You'll even see the gas, oil, crude and many other commodity prices there. Think about the profit margins these outfits rake in when the gas costs them $1.50/gal. and you pay $5 or $6...To make $1.00/gal. profit used to be considered a manopoly to most...Considering the millions of gallons they sell each year. Getting a little uncomfortable with this yet?

Another way is to get out from underneath that leased tank as mentioned before, and buy your own. Then you have the power to shop. It's true most companies won't fill other people's tanks for liability reasons. You'll have to spend $75.00 every couple years (I think) to get a re-cert. on the tanks condition, but if you buy a newer one, it'll last a good long time. Your friendly neighborhood independent propane gas service tech will be happy to do this, and he'll keep your pilot lit too...

Hope I didn't rustle too many employees of the big guys tailfeathers here...but as I said, call me a modern day Robin Hood.

Plus, the old saying still stands that there is power in numbers.

Last edited by LowboyTZ; 04-21-2010 at 12:19 PM.. Reason: Spelling kereckshins...
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Old 04-28-2010, 07:35 PM
1 posts, read 26,543 times
Reputation: 17
I purchaced a home with a underground propane take.I got a phone call from amergas stating they own the tank.this was never told to me when I purchased the home now they want me to sign a contract. When I bought my home I thought I owned my take. I don't wanna do buisness with them. Isn't this the previous owner responsiablity?
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:01 AM
1,644 posts, read 4,097,585 times
Reputation: 443

When we bought our home in NC we were living in the UK.
We didn't think about the propane/propane tank as not familiar with it and no one mentioned it. Neither attorney nor real estate agent.
Same with the well and septic tank.
Neither were checked as part of the inspection.

When we arrived at the house 3 weeks later we foundd we had no heat or hot water.
We had no idea who supplied the propane, but after eventually ringing around lots of suppliers located the one who did and they told us that because the previous owners had requested a final account and no-one had asked for a supply they had disconnected the pipe from the tank.

No letter , no nothing.

The tank had propane in it , which they tried to charge us for. We debated and said that the previous owners had already paid for it and they agreed.

We don't pay rental, but I have always assumed that they own it but becaue we purchase enough propane from them we are exempt.
As for inspection, what should they be inspecting each year, and should they tell us they've done this as the tank is on our property ie safety?
We have now owned the house for almost 4 years.

Additionally, what sort of maintenance should they carry out on the tank?
It could do with a paint.

I think I will take a look at our contract.
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