UPG Pre-Paid Propane Supply Unavailable Until Feb. 15; KY Atty. General Investigating

Feb 6, 2014


Credit Flickr Commons-George Thomas

Kentucky's Attorney General's office is questioning a Paducah based company's reasoning for cutting its deliveries of pre-paid propane.  

United Propane Gas President Eric Small told WPSD-TV that a current propane shortage and transportation issues have made it impossible to get pre-paid propane to customers before February 15th.

Over the last two weeks, dozens of United Propane Gas customers called Attorney General Jack Conway's office claiming that they were unable to reach a UPG representative in order to secure a written waiver to have their propane tank filled by another company.

Conway obtained a one-day blanket waiver and then filed a complaint and obtained a restraining order allowing customers of UPG and its 23 subsidiaries to secure propane from another supplier without a written release until February 3rd.  

On Thursday, UPG President Eric Small told WPSD that the supply may be unavailable for longer period of time. He said the company’s pre-paid propane stored in Texas may be unable to ship to Kentucky until February 15th. Prepaid customers, if in dire need, are being forced to get a waiver to buy the propane at a higher market price than what they spent for their pre-paid contract.  

Conway’s Communication Director Alison Martin says the Attorney General is deciding whether to take further legal action.

“We are currently reviewing all options, but I don’t know that we necessarily agree with the UPG President," said Martin. "We have been told that Texas is relaxing its supply, or it’s availability of supply, and that many other companies are receiving their shipments out of Texas.” 

Martin said Conway is currently seeking additional company records to decide if further action needs to be taken against the company.

"Once we obtain the necessary information we will determine if any laws have been violated. And our office of Consumer Protection will make a determination as to whether any additional legal action is warranted." 

Martin says other complaints include allegations that UPG had been upping prices on pre-paid contracts during the cold weather, which would be a violation of the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act.