Prepaid propane customers not getting agreed prices

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Reporter- Elizabeth Fields
Photojournalist- Randall Barnes

UPDATE (1/30/14): A spokesperson from United Propane Gas responded to our request for comment about prepaid gas prices.

"Unfortunately, gas we prebought to cover prebuy for our customers is not available right now because of the shortage. We are hoping sometime after February 15th that it will be available for us to take to them," it read in part.

A question on many people's minds was whether they would honor agreements of prebuy prices set before the shortage. The UPG spokesperson confirmed that they will honor all of their agreements, and that they will honor the customer's gallons at the prebuy price in the future.

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MASSAC COUNTY, Ky.- When Sandra Powers of Brookport saw her propane tank was getting low last week, she was glad she spent the extra $298.00 back in the summer to buy 200 extra gallons of propane. But when she called United Propane Gas to redeem her 200 gallons, they told her they couldn't do that.

"Now I'm having to pay way over what I had to last summer," she said. "It just doesn't seem fair."

It may not be fair, but it is in her contract she signed with the company. It says if the corporation is prevented from fulfilling it's obligations because of "fire, riot, war, act of god, failure of transportation facilities, supply or pipeline allocation, delays at terminal loading facilities, inability to receive it's supplies from carriers...or any cause beyond reasonable control of the corporation the corporations obligations hereunder shall be suspended while such conditions exist."

Powers said she knew there was a clause in the contract when she signed it, but had never run into problems even though she's been prepaying for propane for years.

When her tank fell to 5% she felt forced to pay the full price, which means 150 gallons of propane cost her more than $600.00.

"What about the people who don't have that money? They're stuck between a rock and a hard spot," she said.

Even though her tank is 35% full, Powers won't be turning up the heat in her home. She said she'll keep the thermostat low to make sure what supplies she has, lasts through the rest of the shortage.

She hasn't been able to get any straight answers from UPG about whether or not she'll ever get her 200 gallons of gas, or her money credited to her account. She doesn't know how long they'll suspend the prepaid or how long they honored it before she called to order hers.

"I don't want my money back," she said. I want my gas. I want my propane."

Local 6 reached out to UPG several times before this story aired and as of air-time did not get a call back.

 

 

 

 

 

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