Propane tank fees the subject of Cuomo settlement

Ashley Stinnett Jun. 17, 2009, 12:00pm


NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo has reached a settlement with Suburban Propane over allegations of misinforming customers of new rental fees.

According to Cuomo, in May 2008 more than 20,000 propane customers were charged between $50-$96 dollars more on the year than what they had been paying. However no notice was sent out by Suburban Propane explain the new fees, Cuomo says.

Prior to May 2008, the New Jersey propane supplier had not charged a rental fee to New York customers for use of its tanks.

Under the agreement, Suburban Propane will begin giving credits, in the amount of one-third the rental fee, to the accounts of customers affected by the fee from May 2008 until March. The company will also pay $35,000 in fees and charges to the State.

"Today's settlement provides financial relief to tens of thousands of New Yorkers who were blindsided by surprise tank fees," Cuomo said.

Suburban Propane serves more than 125,000 New York residents and is responsible for all routine maintenance, insurance, and tank replacement.

Michael J. Dunn, Jr., President of Suburban Propane, noted that, "Our tank rental fees help us cover a portion of the ever increasing costs we face in connection with the provision of Suburban-owned storage tanks to our propane customers, including costs to acquire, inspect, maintain and insure the tanks.

"If one of our tanks ever needs to be repaired or replaced, we do so at no extra cost to the customer."

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