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Last August I carefully went though my previous year’s propane invoices and checked around for pre-pay pricing. I settled on a deal with my incumbent vendor for $2.19 per gallon and bought what I thought would get me through the winter – 1,200 gallons. Last month, I blew through that amount. So when the truck rumbled up the driveway, Alice giving cry to an intruder at 7:30 in the morning, I was worried.

I retrieved the invoice they stuck in the side of the garage as I backed the truck out to go to work. Then I almost careened over the embankment when I read the bill – 252 gallons at $3.79. How could they justify $1.60 a gallon increase over what I paid last summer? Where was I going to come up with almost $1,000?  I called the company and politely explained I was destitute. I had budgeted and prepaid and still was not working. I simply could not pay the bill. The woman I spoke with was very understanding and kind. She offered a $.30 reduction, all she was allowed in her position, and when that wasn’t enough, she offered to speak with the sales manager and get back to me within 48 business hours.

When I picked up my messages, she had called back with a price of $2.69 per gallon. A whopping $1.10 per gallon discount from the original price. How many people just pay the bill without question?   I guess it pays to bitch.

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5 comments on “Speaking Up Pays Off…

  1. Touring NH says:

    Amazing they dropped the price by that much, makes one wonder just how much profit are they trying to make on every customer. I don’t begrudge them a profit, but….really?

    1. I was shocked at how low they came down…makes you wonder, right?

  2. If they can afford to come down that much then they must be making even more per gallon. Every business has to make a profit but that seems crazy. I wonder if you shouldn’t report them, or at least ask someone how legal this practice is.
    I don’t think they should have delivered it without asking you first anyhow.

  3. mariekeates says:

    It is astounding how much money companies are prepared to knock off if you ask nicely. We have piped in gas here and it is horrendously expensive. The problem is you just use it without really thinking or knowing what you’re using and then you get the bill every three months. Our utility companies (mine is British Gas) make massive profits and, I know from experience, don’t treat their workforce as fairly as they could either, although they pay well.

    1. Particularly when it comes to staying warm, I try to not just “hit the button” to warm it up but this winter was brutal.

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