Investigation continues into Ferrellgas customers not receiving propane deliveries

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Some Ferrellgas customers are still waiting on propane deliveries.

The New York Attorney General’s Office is investigating the practices of Ferrellgas after numerous complaints of price gouging and late deliveries. As a result, Ferrellgas could have to pay.

Melinda VanPatten is a Ferrellgas customer living in Gloversville. She has waited weeks for a delivery.

“I’m about ready to burst into tears right now,” she said. “I am so frustrated.”

When VanPatten submitted her request for a gas refill on December 26, she had no idea she would be waiting weeks for a delivery.

“Friday, no delivery, I called them,” she said. “Saturday, no delivery, I called them. All I get is, ‘I’ll talk to my supervisor; I’ll talk to my manager, and I’ll get back to you.’”

Tuesday marked the fifth day with a completely empty gas tank, and she said Ferrellgas has given her every excuse even after last week’s stretch of bitter cold.

“The weather, getting caught off guard is not an excuse,” she said. “This is January in the Northeast. Getting caught off guard is cold weather in June. This is January.”

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara visited VanPatten’s house to see how she’s been keeping warm – through a single electric space heater and a small tank hooked to her Ferrellgas unit.

“It was getting so cold that my son went and borrowed a tank and got it filled at a local gas station because they have gas, and he rigged it up for us,” she said.

Santabarbara said the situation has inspired him to introduce a bill that could help people like VanPatten.

“Unfortunately, what happens when you lease tanks is that you’re locked into one supplier,” he explained. “So if that supplier doesn’t show up, you’re at their mercy as to what their delivery schedule is going to be and when they can actually get there to service the tank. This bill will let you go to another supplier to make sure families can keep the heat on in their homes and keep their families warm.”

Santabarbara said he plans to get the bill on the state assembly floor this week. Until then, VanPatten said only one thing will ease her frustration.

“I just want a delivery of gas and not to be outrageously charged,” she said. “That’s all.”

NEWS10 ABC spoke with VanPatten by phone late Tuesday. She said a Ferrellgas delivery truck came to her home and refilled her tank.

The AG’s office said anyone who has had problems with Ferrellgas can place a complaint by calling the hotline at (518) 776-2000.

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