Friday, March 4, 2016

The Gas Company Strikes Again...Part III

...Part III of my latest encounter with the gas company. Check out parts one and two to get you caught up.

Me: "Fill 'er up"

Rep: "You want me to fill it up?"

I started doing the calculations in my head. I recently returned from a two-week trip up the East Coast and it was less than two months before Christmas. A fill up would be a very large chunk of change that I really didn't want to pay, but the price was so good and I knew it would only be going up during the winter months. I could be warm now but end up eating Ramen noodles and Vienna Sausages during the Holidays. There's nothing wrong with that but I do have a fondness for more traditional holiday fare.

Me: "On second thought, let me get 300 hundred gallons. I checked my various sources and they said it wasn't supposed to be that cold this winter."

Rep: "I read a report here at the office that said that, too, but I saw a woolly worm the other day and it was completely black."

Me: "Uh oh. That's bad." We chatted some more while she rang up my total and once you added in the taxes and fees it was nearly $500. I was quite pleased with this because my total consumption for the year is never more than 425 gallons and I usually only purchase a 100 gallons at a time because it's so expensive.

Rep: "Okay, everything is set. Did you want to pay by credit card?"

Me: "Uh, no. I'll be up with a check later today."

Rep: "Sure. Thanks for calling. Have a good one."

I did go and pay by check later that day and the propane was delivered eight days later. I did have to call and ask about it at the one week mark because...well...I've had problems in the past. The delivery ticket was lost somewhere in the office and it was delivered the next day. (I only live three miles from the location.)

I was still happy. You can't beat $1.29...

...Or maybe you can.

On February 15, I checked the gauge carefully (I use carefully here because there is that time when I used a lighter as a flashlight to check the gauge one winter evening and almost blew myself up) on the buried propane tank and it was nearing 10%. It turned out that it hasn't been that cold this winter--certainly not for an extended period of time and for a moment, I thought about not ordering anymore gas. I could always put on a second sweater (I always wear one sweater because it's an old drafty house.)

I thought better of it when both cats looked at me and shivered. (Not really, but Wally sleeps on the vent.)

So I placed the call.

The price per gallon was now $1.89--certainly higher than $1.29, but way better than $2.79 or higher which is what I have paid in the past. I ordered a 100 gallons, verified my 10% (which was dropping fast), and paid the bill. The estimate for delivery was 7-10 working days (I would probably be out by then and they would try to get me to pay for the suck test. It's happened in the past.).

Imagine my surprise three days later when I returned home from Walmart (another place that sucks the money right out of your wallet) and found a delivery ticket in the door. I jumped out of Friend's truck, opened the lid and read the gauge. I almost passed out when I read it. It said 80%.

Me: "It says 80%."

Friend: "You're kidding?"

Me: "Maybe, the gauge is stuck." I stuck my hand further down in the tank and tapped the gauge several times. It didn't move.

Friend: "I don't think it's stuck."

Me: "WHY?"

Friend: "We got 369 gallons..."

It was Friday, after 4:00 pm. They close at four and are closed on the weekends. They don't offer anything online (although, they are working on that), so I had all weekend to think about it.

Me: "You're kidding, right? It says 369 gallons..."

This story is longer than I expected. Check back on Sunday for the conclusion....

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