CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — NEWS10 has been following the situation with Ferrellgas customers who have been telling us that they are tired of waiting on the propane company to deliver as they watch their tanks hover near empty.
NEWS10 has also received a few emails and calls from Ferrellgas customers who have not had any problems with the company, too. But the situation is certainly keeping First Fuel & Propane and other Capital Region providers busy as they respond to desperate calls from Ferrellgas customers.
“In the last, you know, couple weeks I would say 20 to 30 Ferrellgas costumers,” said Austin Coon, one of the owners of First Fuel & Propane.
He says, that in 2018, Ferrellgas asked Coon to service their customers after the national propane company failed to make deliveries.
“We actually had a company card for Ferrellgas, and they gave us permission to go fill their tanks. But this year, we are not going to do that,” said Coon.
Most companies are reluctant to fill up another’s tank citing safety and liability concerns.
Bill #A01451 contains a statute allowing for these kind of fill ups during emergencies. Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara is sponsoring the bill. It passed four times in the New York State Assembly, but each time failed in the Senate. Santabarbara says he has a now has a new partner with Senator James Skoufis, and he has high hopes for its passage in 2022.
NEWS10’s Anya Tucker asked Santabarbara if the bill would eliminate liability on the part of another company making an emergency fill. Santabarbara pointed to all the tests that propane companies would do anyway as a safeguard.
“Whether we pass this bill or not, the liability that exists with propane companies exists exactly the same,” he added.
Coon says he is not for the bill.
“I am not a huge fan of it because it gives companies that aren’t doing a good job an escape, and it comes down to safety for us.”
And Coon says he would rather customers make a clean break.
“We’re here. Other companies are here to help them. Family owned companies are the way to go.”