On 16 Jan 2012, I checked my propane tank and it was at 9% full. I called Thrifty Propane an hour later. On 17 Jan 2012, delivery driver indicated that he delivered "800.5 gallons" of propane when the actual amount was approximately 710 gallons. As I said, I had been reading the gauge periodically about once a week for the months of Dec and Jan as it ran down from 30% to 10%, because I knew the tank was running low. I checked the tank again the day before delivery (16 Jan) and it read 9% full on a 1000 gallon tank (roughly 90 gallons). The Thrifty propane driver delivered propane while I was at work (17 Jan), and left a receipt on the door that said he had delivered 800.5 gallons. I ran to the propane tank that night to check it because the max safety limit on the tank is 800 gallons, and I thought he might have overfilled the tank. Most propane tanks are rated at 80% capacity to prevent overpressure. [continued below]....
..... However, the gauge read exactly 80% (800 gallons). There is NO WAY that I could use 90 gallons of propane in one day. Absolutely no way. I don't even think a small leak could dissipate that much propane in one day. The usage rate in January is no more than 5 gal/day on the worst day, and that would be an extraordinary event. And the temperature that delivery day was 50 degrees. it was unusually warm. I called customer service, and he told me that they routinely filled propane tanks to 85% (which is patently UNTRUE. Propane tanks should never be filled above 80% to allow for expansion). When I told him that I had checked the tank, and it was exactly at the 80% mark, he became irritated, and said he needed to transfer me to the sales department. When he said this, I told him that I thought he was giving me the run-around, and if that was the case I had no options but to file a police report. He said I was threatening him (which I didn't) and hung up on me. The whole thing was very strange and surreal, because I'd never had any issues like this on any previous deliveries. I was a little ticked off at this point, but kept my cool and called the sales department. A sales rep ("Vicky") answered, and was very polite and professional, unlike the previous gentleman. She took my complaint, acknowledged that my story fit my historical profile of past deliveries, all of which had been between 690-700 gallons, because I always order at the 10% mark. She then promised to relay my complaint to "Dee", her supervisor, who would call me at 1 of 2 numbers I provided her. I thanked her for her time and believed the issue would be resolved. But Dee never called. I called the sales department back on 19 Jan at 4:20 PM, after giving them 2 days to respond. A man answered and said neither Vicki nor Dee were available, but he would be happy to help. I explained the history, and he read the notes in the computer and said something about "gauges sometimes stick", and that he wasn't calling me a liar, but he's never heard of having any issues with drivers. He then said that the computer said that Dee called and left a message. I checked both voicemails, no messages of any kind were left. he promised to relay the message to Dee again to call. I made one more call to the sales department, and finally on 20 Jan/6:30 PM EST I returned home from work to find the supervisor (Dee) called and said that she thinks my "gauges are sticking, they sometimes stick", and that for the low-low price of $99, plus $60/hr, she can have a service guy come out and look at my tank. REALLY? Wow, thanks for that. My gauges are not sticking! I intend to file a police report and record my notes, because I have a feeling I will be called a liar as this goes forward.
I just have to say that this whole thing is very bizarre. I've been doing business with Thrifty for the past two years, and have never had a problem. I have always checked the propane delivery against the propane tank gauge, and it has always been on-the-money within about 5 gallons of expected versus reported. My tank gauge is not "sticking". I watched it go down to 10% slowly over the last week before delivery, and it performed as it normally does. And the propane drained at the normal rate. There is just no explanation for this bizarre behavior, and I wouldn't believe it myself if it weren't happening to me. Customer service was especially poor, and I've dealt with all manner of customer service reps.
I recommend taking a picture of your gauge percentage before and after delivery to ensure you are not ripped off. My guess is that the delivery driver is at fault, so different areas may fare better. At any rate, I am out $180 on propane that I was charged for and did not receive. Very irritating.
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