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Beware of Blue Rhino
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Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 7/09
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You're right on that ccctimtation....there are less broken chips in the Lay''s bag now. Aaaand I didn't mean to pick on Lay's, but it seems that everything is overpackaged these days. Now I understand the vulnerability of a potato chip, but this also applies to cereal, CD's, and so on. I still remember when sugar was sold in a 5# bag, the bag is still the same, only it's 4# now. It's also fairly clearly marked, so now my grocery list reads 4# of sugar.....

Back to Blue Rhino, seems these companies can get these stickers to announce 25% free, etc. Guess Blue Rhino does not want to broadcast 25% less. It would appear that a lot of these companies (Wal Mart included) start small, get going, get trusted, then do whatever they have to do to cut down on product, inch up the price, and most important make more money, all at the expense of us, the consumer.

I think Blue Rhino needs to have their feet held to the fire, unfortunately, they are not the only ones imho that need that.

It's time java

Tina


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Posts: 147 | Location: South Florida - La Belle | Member Since: 03-21-2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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An interesting read from The New York State Consumer Protection Board

The New York State Consumer Protection Board (CPB) is reminding consumers who thought they were getting a full tank of propane gas for their grills to check to be sure. According to a May 22, 2009 report from the Associated Press (AP), when oil prices increased in 2008, propane suppliers reduced the amount of gas pumped into each 20-pound tank by two pounds without posting the change or conspicuously alerting shoppers in an effort to avoid raising prices. Some companies also exchanged the size of the tanks they provide to consumers who obtain refills, converting them to 15-pounders instead of the earlier version 20-pound tanks.

"Consumers have the right to know what they’re paying for," said Mindy A. Bockstein, Chairperson and Executive Director of the CPB. "The CPB strongly advocates for transparency in the marketplace, as sometimes consumers are not provided with all the facts they need to make informed decisions. While we continue to work with the business community to enhance protections and the amount of information provided to us, it is imperative that shoppers pay close attention to deals and offers to make sure they are getting their money’s worth."

The CPB is advising consumers to:

  • Check the size of their propane tank before exchanging it for a new one to avoid spending the same amount of money for a smaller tank than the one being exchanged;
  • Weigh their tanks before leaving home and then again after refueling;
  • Inspect cylinders for dents, damage, rust or leaks to be sure they are safe. (Exchanged tanks will come with an inspection sticker that should state when this inspection occurred.)

    HOW TO TELL IF A PROPANE TANK IS FULL

    The only real way to tell if a propane cylinder is full is to weigh it. But there is a trick to weighing it, because, according to the web-based Propane 101, the cylinder capacity is determined by two things: water capacity (WC) and tare weight (TW). The WC shows how much water the propane bottle can hold in pounds, and this amount is stamped on the outside of every tank. The TW is the weight of an empty canister, and is also displayed on the tank. For example, on a 20-pound tank which is normally used for a gas grill, the numbers shown would typically be "WC 47.8, TW 18." By referring to a standard chart used by the industry (shown at right) a person will be able to determine that 47.8 pounds of water converts to 20 pounds of propane. Therefore, when a 20-pound cylinder is weighed, the scale would have to read 38 pounds (20 lbs + 18 lbs = 38 lbs) for it to be full.


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    Posts: 7289 | Location: Newburgh, New York | Member Since: 05-10-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Bill N.Y.:
    An interesting read from The New York State Consumer Protection Board

    The New York State Consumer Protection Board (CPB) is reminding consumers who thought they were getting a full tank of propane gas for their grills to check to be sure. According to a May 22, 2009 report from the Associated Press (AP), when oil prices increased in 2008, propane suppliers reduced the amount of gas pumped into each 20-pound tank by two pounds without posting the change or conspicuously alerting shoppers in an effort to avoid raising prices.


    That's spin. As posted here in 2006, Blue Rhino was selling tanks filled to only 18 lbs. They have lowered the amount every year since.

    quote:
    Some companies also exchanged the size of the tanks they provide to consumers who obtain refills, converting them to 15-pounders instead of the earlier version 20-pound tanks.


    The signs on BR stands all say 15 lbs. No mention is made of some tanks being smaller than standard. They seem to be filling to 15 lbs, regardless of the size of the tank, if a 2 lb smaller tank even exists.

    Has anyone seen any bottles two pounds smaller than the standard 20 pound tank?

    Amerigas is still at 17 lbs.


    quote:

    Exchanged tanks will come with an inspection sticker that should state when this inspection occurred.


    Is this a NY thing? All I have ever seen in CA and AZ is a date stamped into the metal. No sticker, no mention on the BR label. And I have found a number of BR tanks with long-expired inspections. Never saw a fresh one. However, I have exchanged all my old non-OPD bottles, so my BR experience is not current.


    .

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    quote:
    Has anyone seen any bottles two pounds smaller than the standard 20 pound tank?


    There are both 5, 10, and 11 (which is the little fat guy) lb. tanks, which some folks use for portable gas grills and the like, as well as the "disposable" 14 oz. canisters. The latter can be refilled (safely) with an adaptor. The trick is to put the little canister into the freezer, and fill from a larger tank.

    I refill mine from the Barth's tank, since because I replaced the propane genset, the 29 gal (25 useable) tank lasts a year.


    Rusty


    MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Rusty:
    quote:
    Has anyone seen any bottles two pounds smaller than the standard 20 pound tank?


    There are both 5, 10, and 11 (which is the little fat guy) lb. tanks,


    The NY article intimated that there were tanks out there just two pounds smaller than the standard 20 lb tank. That would be an 18 pounder.


    quote:
    The latter can be refilled (safely) with an adaptor. The trick is to put the little canister into the freezer, and fill from a larger tank.

    I refill mine from the Barth's tank, since because I replaced the propane genset, the 29 gal (25 useable) tank lasts a year.


    Does your tank have a wet leg?


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    That would be an all-new size. And I'd suspect Blue Rhino behind the impetus to adopt it.

    My tank has been queried, and refuses to discuss "wet leg", citing Federal pornography strictures.

    However, I'll chime in with the fact that the output is liquid until around 60% capacity..


    Rusty


    MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

    '94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

    Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

    Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
    In either case the idea is quite staggering.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

    It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
     
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    quote:
    Originally posted by bill h:
    Has anyone seen any bottles two pounds smaller than the standard 20 pound tank?
    I've never seen one either. I guess, but I have no way of knowing, Blue Rhino could be getting the same sized tanks and then re-certifying them to a lower "water capacity (WC)"
    quote:
    Originally posted by The New York State Consumer Protection Board:
    Exchanged tanks will come with an inspection sticker that should state when this inspection occurred.
    quote:
    Originally posted by bill h:
    Is this a NY thing? All I have ever seen in CA and AZ is a date stamped into the metal.
    Like you, as far as size and certification stamping, that's all I've seen myself. Thus, the title of my post.

    An interesting read from The New York State Consumer Protection Board

    I was hoping for a little insight and discussion as I truly don't know. Maybe it's like Rusty said.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Rusty:
    That would be an all-new size. And I'd suspect Blue Rhino behind the impetus to adopt it.
    Seeing that I reluctantly funded this report I decided to copy it word for word without permission or attribution in the form of a link back... They didn't ask me, why should I ask them!

    Any-who, now that my exercise in civil disobedience is done, here is the link back to that NYS Watchdog Website.


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    I contacted AmeriGas last night and asked them about their propane cylinder volume. I also asked if they would be willing to accept a Blue Rhino propane tank as an exchange. AmeriGas services Home Depot while Blue Rhino takes care of Lowes. Here is their response.
    quote:
    Thank you for your recent email to AmeriGas concerning cylinder exchange. I’m certain your local Home Depot would be happy to accept your empty BlueRhino cylinder in exchange for an AmeriGas grill cylinder.

    To answer your questions concerning the amount of gas in our cylinders, this may be helpful:

    Propane grill cylinders can hold 20 lbs of propane, but for safety reasons the standard exchange fill since at least 2002 has been about 17 pounds or approximately 4 gallons.

    In August 2008, the cost of propane was rising sharply. AmeriGas was one of the propane providers who chose to reduce the amount of propane in its cylinders from 17 to 15 pounds in order to avoid further increases, at that time, in the cost per exchange for consumers.

    We immediately changed our cylinder label to be sure consumers knew they were buying 15 pounds of propane. Unfortunately, some consumers feel they were not sufficiently informed, and that’s a serious concern to us. Because we want all of our customers to be satisfied with our products and services, we are offering a rebate of $2.50 to all those who use our cylinder exchange.

    We are also taking steps to make the change even more visible, including cylinder stickers, banners and information cards at every point of purchase, and information on our web site (www.amerigas.com). The rebate form may be found at: http://www.amerigas.com/pdfs/A...-Exchange-Rebate.pdf

    For more than 50 years AmeriGas has been a part of communities like yours. We’re committed to being the most reliable, safest and most responsive propane supplier in every market we serve.

    Again, thank you for contacting us and please let us know if you have further questions or comments.

    William D. Katz
    Vice President
    AmeriGas Propane, Inc


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    Posts: 7289 | Location: Newburgh, New York | Member Since: 05-10-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    quote:
    Originally posted by bill h:

    Amerigas is still at 17 lbs.




    That's what the sign said last week. Today, I was at the same hardware store, and made it a point to check, since Bill N.Y. had posted on this. They had a brand-new (or at least repainted) cage with new signs that said 15 lbs. There was also the rebate notice mentioned in Slick Willy Katz's reply to Bill N.Y.

    I asked how long the bottles had been 15 lbs, and was told, "quite a while". I asked if anyone complained, or even noticed, and the reply was "Not that I know of." I asked if the bottles were marked 15 or 17 lbs, and he didn't know. I'm not sure they were even aware (or cared) that the sign on the cage said 17 lbs. The ones in the cage today had labels that said 15 lbs, but I don't know what tank labels were there last week when I noticed the 17 lb sign on the cage.

    Since Slick Willy said, "We immediately changed our cylinder label to be sure consumers knew they were buying 15 pounds of propane," but made no mention of the signs on the cage, my spin detector is beeping here.

    He also said. "We are also taking steps to make the change even more visible, including cylinder stickers, banners ....." The sign on the brand new cage is exactly like the old one, except that the new weight is 15 lbs instead of 17. The tank labels are also the same. Nothing is "More Visible."

    Someone with photographs of the discrepancy between cage signs and tank labels could make them a little uncomfortable in a class action suit, methinks.

    Another hardware store sells Presto 15 lb tanks, with the sign also saying 15 lbs.


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    Which store and what address Bill? Not that I want to be the AmeriGas spokesperson... I do want to see what his reply is to this will be. Could you supply a picture or two?


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    Posts: 7289 | Location: Newburgh, New York | Member Since: 05-10-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    At 17 lbs. or 4 gallons, you are paying $6.00 a gallon for your propane. No thanks, not when i can have a tank filled at around $2.50 a gallon or less.
     
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Bill N.Y.:
    Which store and what address Bill? Not that I want to be the AmeriGas spokesperson... I do want to see what his reply is to this will be. Could you supply a picture or two?


    Ummmm..........I seem to have missed your post. Anybody---PM or E mail me if I don't respond in a day or so. I don't mean to ignore anybody.

    Anyway, the store is Culver City Hardware, 5429 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230-5511

    Sure, I can take a picture of the new cage and sign. But, since it now reads 15 lbs (or did the day I posted) I don't know what it would be worth.

    Too bad I didn't photograph it the week before when it read 17 lbs. I really didn't consider it particularly noteworthy, as Blue Rhino, et al, have been short-weighting customers for years.

    But, lemme know. I always need an excuse for a bike ride or a trip to the hardware store.


    .

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    quote:
    Originally posted by bill h:
    Sure, I can take a picture of the new cage and sign. But, since it now reads 15 lbs (or did the day I posted) I don't know what it would be worth.
    Not worth anything as I'm sure the sign is the same one I saw last weekend that said 15lbs. If anyone see one that says 17lbs... snap a picture and post the location.

    But Bill, if you want to go to the hardware store... don't let me stop you. Wink
    quote:
    Originally posted by Shadow man:
    At 17 lbs. or 4 gallons, you are paying $6.00 a gallon for your propane.
    So, they are going to give you 2.50 if you fill out their rebate form for the missing 2 gallons... It just doesn't seem "Fair" Thumbs Down
    quote:
    Originally posted by William D. Katz, Vice President, AmeriGas Propane, Inc:
    Unfortunately, some consumers feel they were not sufficiently informed, and that’s a serious concern to us. Because we want all of our customers to be satisfied with our products and services, we are offering a rebate of $2.50 to all those who use our cylinder exchange. The rebate form may be found at: http://www.amerigas.com/pdfs/A...-Exchange-Rebate.pdf
    I think Danny said it best... Thumbs Up
    quote:
    Originally posted by Danny Z:
    I thought my new grill was a real LP Hog, but it turns out I was just getting screwed by a Rhino.


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    Posts: 7289 | Location: Newburgh, New York | Member Since: 05-10-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    Took another look at the local Blue Rhino tanks and they do say 15 lbs. in small print so the deal is even better! 3 1/2 gallons for $23.99....over $6 a gallon. Smiler
     
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