Customers report lack of propane refills

CAPITAL REGION (NEWS10) – For a few days now NEWS10 ABC has been receiving calls from frustrated area propane customers.

They claim they’re running out of fuel, while waiting on deliveries from their provider Ferrellgas.

That’s the sound of the empty tank outside of Tyler Swearingen Glenville home. We met him Wednesday, hours after the propane ran out.

Inside, space heaters were running 24-7 as they waited for their supplier Ferrellgas to deliver more fuel but the call center told them it might take a while.

“Told 7-10 days, minimum,” Swearingen said.

But, he’s not alone.

NEWS10 ABC heard from many more Ferrellgas customers. People like Erin in Greenfield.

“We have four young children, luckily they are staying warm in school. But this is very unfair.”

Wayne Kant is yet another Ferrell customer without Propane.

“[Called] last Tuesday, the 26th of December.”

So, why doesn’t he and other customers hire another company to fill up the tanks? Well, they can’t because Ferrellgas owns the tanks.

“I’m not for lots of federal regulation, but someone needs to do something,” Kant said.

NEWS10 ABC visited the Propane service’s office in Johnstown where a driver was nice enough to hand us a phone number.

Ferrellgas Media Relations provided NEWS10 ABC with the following statement:

“Ferrellgas is working around the clock to make sure our customers receive their propane deliveries. This is a situation that is not unique to Ferrellgas or to propane consumers in New York state. Many propane consumers were caught off guard by how quickly these extreme cold temperatures arrived in the region. We continue to encourage Will Call customers to monitor their propane levels and to contact us when their propane tank is at or near 30%. This gives us plenty of time to schedule the delivery. Those whose tanks reach this level receive postcard and email reminders from us throughout the year. We also continue to encourage Will Call customers to enroll in our Keep Full program, through which we monitor their propane tank levels for them and schedule automatic deliveries. Finally, we are reminding our customers that they can bypass our telephone queue to make a delivery request or pay their propane bill via the Ferrellgas website.”

The former president of the NY Propane Association doesn’t fully agree.

“So far with maybe the exception of Ferrellgas, everything has been holding up,” Rick Cummings, of Mulhern Gas Company, said.

Senator James Tedisco’s office says his staff is looking into the law and possibly drafting new legislation to keep this type allow other companies to step in when a problem like the one with Ferrell arises.

A spokesman for the New York Attorney General’s Office released the following statement on Thursday:

No New Yorker should have to freeze in this weather. Following our outreach to the company, Ferrellgas has committed to making deliveries today and tomorrow, and working with us to identify others without propane — so that customers can fill their propane tanks and heat their homes. We encourage all other customers without propane to contact our office as soon as possible.

 

New Yorkers can also call the AG’s Consumer Hotline at 1-800-771-7755 or submit a complaint online: https://forms.ag.ny.gov/CIS/consumer-complaints.jsp

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