Prepaid Propane Customers Not Getting Their Gas

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By Fanna Haile-Selassie
By Randy Livingston

GRANTSBURG -- There are several propane customers in our region that want to know where is the gas they paid for. South Propane customers who prepaid last summer say they're being told they don't have access to that gas and will have to pay the current, high price to stay warm.

Grantsburg resident Mary Ann Evetts paid nearly $900 for 600 gallons of propane last July. It's practically a steal these days at $1.39 per gallon, or so she thought. Until she got a bill for her last propane request, despite still having 100 gallons to her credit.
 
When Evetts called and asked why, she was told South Propane in Vienna was not delivering prepaid gas at this time due to supply issues with parent company United Propane Gas in Paducah, Kentucky.
 
And right down the road, her son JD Mathis is having the same issue.
 
"South Propane, they're local, they're good people, and I don't want to hold hard feelings towards them. I just want what we've paid for," Mathis explains.
     
But Mathis and Evetts say they're stuck in a tight situation, because the other company just up the road, Ferrellgas, is even worse.
 
"I called them yesterday for a price on their propane, she quoted me $5.90 a gallon, and it's $3.09 in Vienna," says Evetts.
 
Mathis explains his phone conversation with Ferrelgas, "They wanted to know who I was, and that determines how much you pay for fuel. Who you are. And I didn't tell her and she said between five and six dollars, and it was going to go up probably again next week."
 
Mathis says he eventually called back with his name and got that price down to about $4.50 But he says he'd rather wait until South Propane finally brings him his gas.
     
And the parent company says it's coming. The nationwide shortage has put UPG in crisis mode, requiring their drivers to just focus on filling tanks, rather than fulfilling contracts.
 
"Our focus is to keep people and make sure people get gas. So in order to do that, that's why we've set the system, it's going to print out current price. Any adjustments we need to make, we will make when the crisis is over," explains Eric Gibson with UPG.
   
News 3 also talked to a Ferrellgas spokesperson out of Kansas. He wouldn't comment on the situation for those customers in Johnson County, but he sent us a statement saying:
    
"Given the wild fluctuations in the wholesale price of propane, it's possible that the amount paid to secure propane is different this week from retailer to retailer. This could lead to short-term differences in the amount charged to consumers."
Marion Regional
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