You may have seen advertisements for First Fuel & Propane on television. They claim you will save when you buy fuel from them. They say they want you to become part of the “First Fuel & Propane family.” I have received many phone calls regarding First Fuel & Propane over the last few years and none of them were good. Recently a 69 year old customer of theirs, who is disabled and on a fixed income, sent me sent some documents that I’d like to share with you. The first document is the contract. The second document is the customer’s letter to me outlining his problem with First Fuel & Propane. The third document is a letter from First Fuel & Propane to the customer advising him of consequences if he defaults on his contract. The fourth is an invoice reflecting a $471.08 annual usage charge, $4.99. per gallon rate and a $5.95 environmental fee.
This is a good example why the Galway Co-op was formed. In my opinion, this is nothing less then corporate bullying. Signing that contract would be against the better judgment of most people. First Fuel & Propane contends that because they; set him up with leased tanks at no charge, did a pressure test at no charge, and gave him a first fill special, he now has to stay with them for the life of the contract, which is 5 years. So in other words, the $4.99 per gallon they are charging him now can go to, let’s say $20.00 per gallon? The $471.08 annual usage fee can go to, let’s say $1,000.00 per year? And the $5.95 per delivery fee can go to, let’s say $10.00, and there will be no way out of the contract? Is this what we want from a fuel distributor?