Action 9: Couple upset with fee for propane tank retrieval

by: Don Griffin Updated:

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A man said his propane tank company added a new charge to his service, so he decided to get rid of it. But when the company came to pick up the tank, he said they made him pay for it.

James Hough uses a wood stove and also heats with propane gas.

But five months ago his supplier, Piedmont Propane Services, billed him and his wife, Shirley, $55 for a tank lease fee.

“We had never signed a contract or never paid a lease fee previously,” Shirley Hough said.

They refused to pay it and had the company pick up the tank.

But the tank had $92 worth of propane left inside, and they said Piedmont never paid them for it.

Instead, they said, the company demanded $95 for a tank retrieval fee, which the Houghs claim they were never told about by manager Tim Jenkins.

“I told Tim it wasn't right,” James Hough said. “I just talked about 10 minutes with him. I said, ‘This ain't right at all.’”

“We didn't feel he should keep our gas that we had paid for in the tank and then charge us a $95 fee for picking up his own tank,” Shirley Hough said.

The Houghs, who have a small farm, said they need their money to pay bills.

“We're on a fixed income and we have to count every dollar,” Shirley Hough said.

So Action 9 got in touch with Piedmont Propane Services.

Jenkins said his intention is to always leave the customer feeling they've been dealt with in an honest and ethical manner. He then sent the Houghs their $92.55.

“It makes me feel good,” Shirley Hough said. “Thanks to you, Don.”