Pattersonville couple switch propane companies after lack of delivery from Ferrellgas

PATTERSONVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A local couple took things into their own hands after dealing with propane delivery issues.

A Pattersonville home has propane again because of a new tank, but the couple that lives there said it would have been easier if they could have had another supplier fill their Ferrellgas tank.

January 4 was the day Bill and Liz Austin ran out of propane.

“It was scary,” Bill said. “I didn’t really think of much else except where we’re going to get our heat.”

They never thought they would be in that situation since they requested a refill from Ferrellgas in December when their tank was at 20 percent.

“We called them plenty of times, but they didn’t come,” Liz said.

“Nowhere in the whole process did we get to talk to anyone in Johnstown,” Bill said.

For nearly one month, NEWS10 ABC has been reporting about propane customers who ran out of fuel while waiting for their refills. According to the New York Attorney General’s Office, Ferrellgas is responsible for most of them.

The Austins’ neighbor provided them with small emergency tanks so they didn’t go without heat, but they needed another solution.

“Finally, we contracted with another company and told Ferrellgas to take a walk,” Bill said.

The Austins got a brand new tank from Superior Plus. But if the ground was frozen, that would not have been an option and neither would getting another supplier to fill their tank.

Currently, most tanks are owned by their providers and other companies refuse to fill them due to liability concerns. Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara hopes to change it under a bill he’s co-sponsoring with Sen. Jim Tedisco.

“They would be able to have another supplier fill that tank if that supplier fails to deliver,” Santabarbara said.

The bill passed the state assembly but details are still being worked out in the senate. In the meantime, Ferrellgas came to the Austins’ home Friday night to take their empty tank. However, they left without doing so when they saw a NEWS10 camera.

It didn’t surprise the Austins.

“I’m wondering if they’ll ever come back to get them,” Bill said.

NEWS10 reached out to Ferrellgas to ask why they did not take the Austins’ tank, but the company did not respond Friday night.


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