If you use propane to heat your home or as a fuel for any other appliances such as a pool, heater, or more, picking the right provider to take care of all your propane needs should not be a quick decision. It really does pay to find a propane company that offers you the best value along with professional, reliable service.
Use following guide/checklist to help pick the propane provider that’s best for you and your needs:
- Examine reviews by existing customers to find out which ones best satisfy their customer’s needs and evaluate their product/service qualities compared to other companies.
- Make sure the provider offers pricing plans or programs that are reasonable and work with your budget.
- Look at delivery services they offer to find the most efficient plan for you.
Familiarize yourself with services that local propane providers offer, including:
- Propane delivery and fill-up
- Emergency service and repairs
- Installation of indoor and/or outdoor appliances
- Purchase or rental of propane equipment, including propane storage tanks
Familiarize yourself with Propane Products, such as:
- Home heating systems
- Home hot water systems
Evaluate delivery propane provider delivery options, including the following (and make sure to pick the one that works best for you):
- Automatic delivery – Propane supplier scheduled deliveries that keep your propane tank or tanks full regularly based on your estimated propane usage
- As needed deliveries – You call your propane supplier when you need a delivery, which works best if you like to monitor your own propane usage. However, be aware that restrictions can apply with this option.
Always ask propane providers the following important questions:
- Is there a fee for installing and setting up a new tank?
- What are the monthly lease or rental fees, if you do not own your own tank?
- Are there minimum monthly purchase requirements? If the answer is “yes,” do you meet the minimum? If the answer is “no,” what are your options?
- Is there a cost for propane deliveries? Or fees for transporting propane? If suppliers charge these fees, they usually involve the number and volume (gallons) of propane fuel you need at deliveries.
- Are there fees for disconnecting and/or tank removal, if you change suppliers or fuel type? Many propane suppliers have personnel costs for service closeouts and removing propane tanks without no possibility of continuing cash flow from soon-to-be formerly active customers.
- Are there any fees if you have a fixed-term contract with your supplier and terminate it early? And specifically, what actions may lead to these fees? Contract language should specify these charges, which are now pretty much standard charges for most propane delivery firms.
- Are propane techs and drivers, nationally certified? If not, ask this follow up question: Why not?
- Is the supplier registered and insured in your state? All propane dealers must register with a State Department (varies from state-to-state) to sell and deliver this fuel and be insured to enter your property. Avoid any propane provider evades this question.
- Do they provide 24/7 customer service and support?
- Will you talk to a live customer service representative when you call, whatever the time?
- Do they offer emergency services after hours?
- What service limitations, if any, exist for emergencies, such as gas leaks, heating system repairs, hot water systems, and generator repairs?
Always check the safety, service, contract and delivery record of propane suppliers you’re considering by doing the following:
- Check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which tracks any customer complaints and problems a member organization experiences and records how they were handled to satisfy the customer.
- Don’t be hasty to discard a company with multiple complaints until you check how they responded to any problems/issues. Timely responses and resolutions to problems or complaints can transform unhappy customers into happy ones quickly.
- Check out customer testimonials and reviews on independent websites, not just the company’s website. Be sure that customer reviews are real on propane supplier websites and not written by the company.
- It’s possible to find customer reviews on websites that do not have an affiliation with individual propane suppliers. Search for the potential propane supplier’s customer reviews and complaints, if any.
- Always carefully read any written contract from a propane supplier. You both need to understand any/all products and services they may offer.
- It is critical to consider pricing, delivery and service commitments that you have agreed to with any propane supplier. If you think that you have a good deal with your provider, that won’t matter when they cannot be there for you on the coldest night of the year.
- Try to find a propane supplier with trusted, reliable service and, if possible, automatic delivery service.
If you’re looking for a propane provider, please give your local Carpenter & Smith team a call. We’ll be happy to help answer any of your questions and can take care of all your home propane needs. Call 845.782.8161 today!