Dozens of North Alabamians are scared they won't be able to heat their homes this week because they are running out of propane.
We requested receipts, documentation, and any kind of proof that is the case. After a series of about ten emails back-and-forth, the company president, Eric Small, has not provided any physical proof that United Propane did, in fact, have to pay a higher price to get the gas.
William Dye said it's that lack of transparency that he is tired of. Like hundreds of others, Dye was told he either pays the higher price or he is left with an empty tank.
"Supposedly that was a good deal, where they secure the fuel and hold it. Then all of a sudden it's not there," Dye said. "We don't have that kind of money every month to adjust in our income to add another $300 or $400 to our fuel and utilities cost."
The Alabama Attorney General's office continues to get complaints about the company, but would not specify how many. Last week, they received about 100. At last check, the Better Business Bureau has received more than 60 complaints about the company.
UPG said previously that anyone who paid a higher price than what they were contracted for will get a credit back onto their account, however some people have said they cannot afford the higher price to begin with.
Doris Brown is retired and disabled, and said she can't afford the nearly $4 per gallon she was told she would have to pay. She pre-bought gas for less than $2. Brown said she understands that the company is not doing anything illegal, but feels they are taking advantage of customers in a time of need.
She said she is trying to conserve gas by not using her stove and turning down her heat. She said she is even considering sleeping on the couch next to her space heater.
"I just want to be warm," Brown said, adding that as long as the price is up, she will continue to add layers to stay warm.
United Propane President Eric Small refused the opportunity for an on-camera interview, but late Monday, provided a graph of cities and terminal rack prices. However, it was without context of past prices. When and if we get material that proves UPG is paying an increased price for gas, we will let you know.
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