Eastern Propane – Paying for NOT buying a product

Imagine my surprise when I received a bill from Eastern Propane with a charge for NOT buying enough propane. I thought I was being environmentally sensitive. It is an interesting business model to charge customers for not buying goods and services.

 THIS INVOICE IS YOUR 2012 ANNUAL MINIMUM CHARGE FOR THE PROPANE TANK(S) ON YOUR PROPERTY Your Annual Minimum Charge is based on gallons consumed in the year 2012 and on the size of your tank(s). We have deducted the gallons you purchased during the year 2012 from the minimum gallonage requirement, which is 50% of your tank(s)’ useable capacity. This bill represents the difference between the minimum and what you actually used. Example: If your tank capacity is 100 gallons, you would need to purchase a minimum of 50 gallons; otherwise you would be billed for the “shortfall” at your current rate per gallon. The necessity for the Annual Minimum Charge is to provide us with a minimum return per year to cover the cost we have invested in the tank(s) and pressure regulator(s) on your premises. We have always had an Annual Minimum Charge, notice of which appears on all of your invoices. If you have not been billed a minimum charge in the past, it may have been because you had met the minimum gallonage requirement. If you do not wish to keep the tank(s) on your property and be billed the minimum charge, please call to have the equipment removed. The above annual minimum tank use standard will stay in effect through December 31, 2013 and thereafter until changed by Eastern. We appreciate your business and thank you for being a loyal customer of Eastern Propane & Oil.

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