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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Texas Community Propane, Inc

I called them about our first bill. We just moved to Texas and have never used gas before. Prior to moving, I called to find out what are bills would be. They had told me 20-30 dollars. But our bill was almost $90.00.. One may ask why; as we did. So I called and guess what, talk about rude. Her reply was what are you hoping to accomplish, I said I just want an explanation. She replied, you are still going to have to pay your bill by the due date. Duh, Really. I just want to know what happened to $20-30 dollars.... Businesses should be held accountable. Yet where I live there is only one propane, one water company. No choice. So they can charge what they want and be as rude as they want. Maybe we should go back to a time with none of these services. I'd love to see their faces.

Debra Manor, Tx.


DO NOT WAISTE YOUR TIME! TELL THEM THIS IS A SCAM, AND LET THEM KNOW YOU FOUND THIS INFO THROUGH PUBLICCOMPLAINTS.ORG

72 comments:

  1. You pay for the gas you use. If they told you an amount it was probably based on what you told them. You probably did not care how much gas you were using since you assume, "oh it's only going to be 20/39 dls." It doesn't work like that anywhere in the USA. You pay for what you use.

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  2. I agree with Debra, Texas Community Propane is a rip!! We have no choice what so ever on who to use for our services, they are rude, and good luck getting any information about them. You have to use a P.O Box for everything, they will not allow you to come to their office to pay a bill, you can not find out who is in charge, and they charge you $14 to pay by Credit Card. I understand you pay for what you use, but I don't there is not way that her bill could be $20 or $30 dollors, they charge a $10.50 service charge to have someone on call, in addition to your security deposit and $95 new membership fee. I am sure they are in it to serve the community....bull, they are unfair, rude, and have absoulty no compassion or care for their customers!

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  3. I am currently sitting here waiting for someone to come take my meter in to have it checked. They would not do it themselves. I was told it would cost me $150. So, here I am waiting all morning with my money order. Even though my usage jumped 3 TIMES from Oct. to Nov. They didn't think that was uncommon. They quoted me my usage from last winter. Ok. Fine. But can anyone who lives here tell me that the last three months were as bad as the coldest months last year or the year before? Each month for the past three months were just as high. I'm not talking about dollars, but actual usage on the meter.
    I agree with everyone who has had to deal with this company. They ARE rude. They care very little. We are just complainers to them, not customers.

    I don't want to get started on the water bill which is $100 whether you use a single drop of water or not. What happened to the so called "lawsuit" which was going to save us from the apparent $156 bill which is scheduled within a year or two?

    It's no wonder there are so many homes for sale or sold. DR Horton has done NOTHING to save this neighborhood. They build, sell and get out. We are on our own. However, I signed my paperwork yesterday to sell by April. See ya.

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  4. I just dealt with the BITCHES there on a bill that was late. It's going to cost me over 400.00 to get it turned back on. Bill was like 120.00 but now they said that there is a 250 deposit that is needed ( didnt have one 2 yr ago when i first moved in) and if i wait to pay the bill it goes up to close to 500. they SUCK, No web site, cant pay online. what the hell do they use at the "office" stones to write on? Get w the times. Damn i wish there were another co. that i could use, but no, you have NO Choice but to BEND over and keep asking for more

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  5. How can anyone charge $350 for a gas deposit. Especially to people who are never late on bills. This company is completely screwing the public over because they can! If people don't complain, then it will just keep happening. The employee i spoke with when i complained about the deposit told me, that is what a cold months bill could amount to. Yeah right lady, this is Texas. It is just another way to take our money! This company is the biggest crock!

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  6. Texas Community Propane is a criminal organization. My bill increased from $61.09 to $186.52 the next month. Nothing in my daily routine has changed and my boyfriend has been out of town every week for the past two months so it’s just me in the house. This cannot be right and the offer no explanation other than “everyone’s bill went up this month.” WOW…that’s customer service! I really think the operation is run out of a trailer in someone’s back yard. The installation guy was a dirtball and they charged nearly $200 in connection fees. AND you are charged a $10.50 “Mo Acct Fee.” I guess this is paying the lot rent on the trailer. Deed restrictions can bite me…I’m converting everything in my home to electric ASAP!

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  7. Has anyone had any luck complaining on this company? They are rude and impossible to work with! I have lived in a brand new house for less than 6 months and my heater has gone out and now my water heater went out!!!!!! Is there anything we can do? I am going to file a complaint with the BBB!

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  8. Physical Address:
    Texas Community Propane
    2579 Western Trails Boulevard Austin, TX 78745-1688
    (unmarked office upstairs)

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  9. I believe propane gas is regulated by the Texas Railroad Commission. We may want to try there and see what happens

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  10. Texas Community Propane has a monopoly over our subdivision. Belterra. We have no other providers available. The company has exploited this fact and has charged the homeowners an exorbitant amount of money for propane usage. My last bill for a 2400 sq. ft. house was $424.00
    It's insane and no one will address the issue, you call the company and they take your # and never call back.

    These people are thieves and we need to band together and mount a protest.

    http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/divisions/gs/rap/complaints/icp.html

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  11. I live in Manor in the BriarCreek Sub. My bill has been around $300/month, for the past 3-4 months, it's killing me. Has any of you banned together on this issue. I would think that if we sent a complaint to RRC as a large group, it may get more attention. Has anyone thought about a lawsuit. My email address if anybody wants to get in touch with me. zwsmith2000@yahoo.com

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  12. I am very upset about the service I am getting from this company also. The told me to get the service turned on there is a $150 deposit..OK..They failed to mention that there is a $95 dollar activation also, even though I asked about that..and a $10.50 reoccurring monthly fee, just because they can...And what really gets me is that upon receiving my first bill less than a month after I had moved in there was a late charge of $10 dollars. So I called them and they would not explain this charge and would not remove it. I would cancel service in a hart beat if they were not the only provider...I am pissed...

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  13. I thought I would give you guys the physical address of Texas Community Propane. They are located at 2579 Western Trails Blvd. Austin, TX 78745.
    The vice president of Texas Community Propane is Mr. Patrick Usener At 877-635-5427 PO Box 90901 Austin, TX. 78709.
    I thought everyone might want this information.

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  14. My email is in regards to the outrageously terrible service provided by Texas Community Propane. As the story goes, I recently moved to Hutto, Texas (10-1-06) in the Lakeside Estates subdivision. Upon connection of my utilities I was surprised that there was only one choice for gas services, which is provided by TCP. So thinking there would be no problem with starting services with them I contacted them to arrange connection. I gave them all my information set a connection date and then they started telling me about all the fees that would be included to start services, a $275 dollar deposit, $95 dollar non refundable new membership fee. Which I thought was outrageous! But there is no other option for gas services in my area so I was stuck. Shortly after I got service connected in the beginning of Oct. 06 I received a bill on Oct 17th for the $95 member’s fee, which I was planning to send in with my first bill. I did not receive that bill until around Nov. 5th or so. With transition to a new job and my daughter being born on 10-31-06 I was overwhelmed with stacking bills and was not able to pay for the gas bill. When I received my first pay check which working for the State I get once a month I contacted TCP to make payment arrangements. I was told I had to speak with a manager about my account, so I was then transferred to a Melissa, I began to tell her I was needing the amount of my past due bills and where I could make a payment. This is where the trouble started! She immediately began to raise her voice at me saying that they disconnected my services on 10-24 and that I had tampered with the meter and had been stealing gas. I was very calm with her and advised her I had no knowledge of this and I hadn’t the slightest clue on how to “steal gas” she then began to call me dumb and a thief numerous times. I asked her “what if the service tech connected it wrong” and she replied that it was impossible to do it that way, I then said if it is impossible for him to do it how I could turn it on then. She replied with “Don’t play dumb sir you know you did it” I remained calm with her trying to let her know that I had no way of tampering with the meter and wouldn’t do anything to put myself in a predicament like that. She never took the time to listen to me and continued with the insults of calling me a liar and thief and that I should be lucky they don’t call the police on me. I then asked for her to explain that why if they disconnected my service in Oct. they still came out and checked the meter and was charging me for the gas usage. And why they never contacted me about this problem. She then stated she doesn’t have time to go over this with me and that I was stealing gas from them and they have proof of the meter being tampered with (which I requested to see numerous times but was told I had to get it from there lawyers) and if I wanted any to know anything further I would have to speak with their lawyers. Or if I wanted to reconnect services I would have to pay the past due balance and a new $500 dollar deposit on top of 300$ they want to charge me for “tampering” with the meter. I desperately tried to explain to her that my services were never disconnected and that I continued to receive bills showing my current usage and past due amount. And why they never attempted to contact me about this matter, she then again stated she doesn’t have time to go back and forth with me about this. All I wanted was for her to explain this to me. Getting nowhere with her I asked to speak with her manager, she advised me that she was the “head honcho” there and there was nothing else I could do. Either pay the amount they wanted ($1,017.00+300) or live with out hot water and heater in the middle of the winter. I didn’t know what else to do but tell them I would pay the bill. I have a newborn child that can’t be in the cold and need hot water for everyday usage. Which pretty much mean I was submitting to saying I was guilty of “stealing gas” which I am not After speaking with her I tried to call back and ask for a different manager but being that I had to give them my info for them to access my account they were right away very rude with me saying that have nothing to say to me until I pay the amount due. Every time I called them everyone was very rude and short with me always saying they don’t have time to talk about my account, no one could ever explain anything to me when I ask questions there response is always “either way you have to pay us what you owe” I have looked them up online and found numerous complaints about this company with people saying that they are very rude no matter what the situation no one there ever has anything to say except pay us or lose service. I don’t know what else to do. I don’t have the money for a lawyer to fight this and I have to have heat and hot water, but I don’t want to give up and let them think I am a liar and a thief. I don’t think its right that no one there can take the time to speak to me. Regardless of the situation I am still a customer right? I am not sure if there is anything I can do but forfeit the money and stay quiet. I just thought the TX. Railroad Commission should be aware of this company and possibly investigate anything. Thank you for you time and I hope that no one else has to be in the predicament I am in. Any advice is appreciated.

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  15. I live in the Benbrook ranch sundivision of Leander-TCP is full of it - CRIMINALS. myself as well as many of my neighbors have all had 200+ / month gas bills for going on 3 months - this is BS .... i have a electric dryer and we cook more w/ the microwave than anything. only thing that is left is showers and heat which heat is NOT allowed in my house unless it gets below 49 degrees- which we can all agree happens very rarely in this part of Texas. they are rude, unwilling to explain anything i have heard thru teh neighborhood grapevine taht city of leander is willing to step in and hear our issue not sure if it will do any good but worth a shot .... concil meeting thurs night 04/06 pm - hope a bunch of you show - good luck to all !

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  16. Texas Community Propane has someone looking at the complaints - email your issues to
    customerservicemanager@texascommunitypropane.com. They resolved mine.

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  17. Good Luck everyone! I have a great story but it would take to long to share. FYI..I've been putting up with TCP for the last 4 1/2 years. My neighbor's and I got smart; we bought electric heaters this year and they worked like a charm! The highest my bill got this winter was $56. Anyways, I hope Leander looks into this problem because this issue really bites!

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  18. This is a copy of the e-mail I just sent to TCP. Their response will determine if I push it further, but if it walks and talks like a duck.....


    I am a new customer with service established on April 5, 2007. I have a couple of questions that I think should be addressed. First, I am the only person who has been living in the house where service is located. The heaters have never been turned on since I have lived in the house. The only gas appliances are 2 hot water heaters, 1 of which is always set to vacation setting because nobody goes upstairs; and the stove.

    Picture a single person who works Monday thru Friday from 7am until 6pm and is not in the house during that time. That same person, me, showers in the evening and cooked probably 3 times per week on the stove.

    1. My first bill from 4/5/2007 to 5/7/2007 was $208.01. Granted it included fees that I had not received prior knowledge of, $10.50 monthly maintenance fee and $95 new account fee. That leaves a gas usage total of $102.51 for roughly 30 days. That amount is totally absurd, but I decided to see what happened the next month.

    2. My second bill from 5/7/2007 to 6/4/2007 was $10.50. It said I had zero usage for the entire month. During that period, my wife and sister who both lived in Georgia visited for 5 days over the Memorial Day weekend. What explanation can be offered for this? Now, based on the statistics from the first bill, I expect to see a bill for $500-$600 in the middle of the summer.

    Questions:

    1. Why did I not receive an accurate second bill?

    2. What explanation can be offered for the high bill from 4/5/2007 to 5/7/2007 for a single person at the beginning of summer?

    3. What is the monthly account fee ($10.50) used to pay and how is it decided and regulated?

    4. What is the new account fee ($95) used to pay and how is it decided and regulated?

    5. What is the $250 deposit used to pay? When, if ever, does that amount get returned?

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  19. Update to my July 2 post.

    They appear to have a new manager who is being pro-active in repairing the image of TCP. She immediately responded to my questions with valid answers that made sense. She didn't offer any lame excuses, and continually apologized for their errors.

    Apparently they hired a new person to read the meters. They must have forgot to tell that person that he had to actually read the meters and he was not as good of a intuitive person as he was a scam artist. After about a month, TCP discovered he was goofing off and was estimating meters...hence my enormous bill in April. My May meter reading was actually still lower than the jacka$$ had projected, so they gave me a zero balance. I was apparently only 1 of many, many customers with the same problem.

    They read the meter again in early July and it was corrected, so now we're good to go.

    Yesterday we received a doortag that said our propane was going to be disconnected this morning at 7am for an unpaid bill. The bill for the zero usage had a 10.50 charge for "account maintenance" that I had not paid until they sorted everything out. I sent a quick e-mail and followed it up with a phone message.

    First thing this morning there was a call from Jackie, who is their new customer service manager. Everything is back on track.

    Yes, it was a bit of a hassle for me, but if they realize their problems and are fixing them, I guess I can understand that.

    I suggest any problems be quickly escalated to the manager (Jackie Burge) and her direct e-mail is customerservicemanager@texascommunitypropane.com.

    Hope it helps someone else.

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  20. This is very interesting. I was looking up information on how to make a complaint against these people. We live in Benbrook Ranch in Leander and it is the same thing, you have to use them. They called me last week and said I needed to be home today from 7:30 am until noon for them to do "meter maintenance". Turns out they actually changed my meter because I didn't have any usage for the last few months. The poor guy, I kind of went off on him because I said the only thing that is gas in my house is my stove and my heater, which I am not using. I told them all they had to do was look at my bills from last summer and they will find the same thing. All I can say is that my bill better now go through the roof now because of a "new" meter. I am calling them to give them a piece of my mind. I could have told them all this if they had just been honest upfront instead of lying and calling it 'meter maintenance'. Now I am very suspicious.

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  21. Update to previous post:

    I read in a previous post that the Texas Railroad Commission oversees the propane companies. This is true, but they only address safety issues. They cannot help with anything else. They said the best way to handle this is to do something civil, meaning making complaints to the BBB. I checked the BBB for central Texas and this company is listed as unsatisfactory, as they have had a lot of complaints. I would like to know who decided for us that we can only use ONE gas company? Are the builders and city planners in on this together?? I am calling the city of Leander on this to see what they can do. I also sent an email to this new manager, Jackie so we'll see what happens.

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  22. If I had a choice I would NEVER do business w/TCP. They are EXTREMELY rude, won't answer your questions, and respond with an I don't care attitude. It is true, they will not let you speak to manager (someone in charge-always claim no one is there) and the only way to deal with them is through their PO Box. I have called and written City of Leander asking for them to investigate TCP business practics, but rec'd no assistance. I was told the City of Leander has the ability terminate their contract with TCP and seek a different propane provider. The bills (amounts) are very inconsistant & high. They charge a service fee of $10.50 per month, which is just another way to charge you more money. I regret buying a house with propane, I don't use my stove and use cold water whenever possible to avoid paying money to TCP. This is the WORSE company I have ever had to deal with. They need to be shut down.

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  23. I'm Somewhat relieved to find out that we are not the only people fighting TCP. We recently moved into Benbrook Ranch 12/21/07 and discovered that our stove had not been converted to LP when it was installed. When they finally came out to do the orientation, we asked the tech about it, and he proceeded to do the conversion WITHOUT TURNING OFF THE GAS FIRST. As this "Trained Gas Safety Expert" is wrenching on the fitting, he is creating a gas leak. When my husband commented that he smelled gas, the tech told him that there wasn't any and that it was ok. Because he could still smell the gas, my husband began venting the house. Thank God! When the tech was done playing with my stove, he asked my husband to look at the flames and make sure it looked right. Within seconds the stove flashed and burned both my husband and the tech on the face and arms. The flash was so strong it made the second floor jump. Needless to say, the tech covered up his mistake, and hightailed it out of my house, only to come back looking refreshed and with his supervisor about 20 minutes later. The Supervisor told us (between answering his personal phone calls) that he didn't see any damage or injury. (I guess my husbands missing hair, or the black soot all over my beige floor and walls, and the thick coating inside my oven, didn't give him a clue) And that they are trained to not turn the gas off to whatever appliance they are working on. He proceeded to tell my us to go ahead and sign the PROPANE SAFETY paperwork and that he could just read it later. When we refused to sign it without reading it first, he threated us with a disconnection and reconnection charge. I guess he had a hot date waiting and couldn't be bothered to wait a few minutes while we read the paperwork. Or maybe the stench of burnt hair and vinyl was starting to make him queasy. We had multiple conversations with "Pat"? he never told use exactly who he was, just someone in charge. Nor could he provide any medical information that we could give to emergency room personnel. He told us to give the hospital our information and we could send a bill to TCP. After this fun night, it took several days of calling to get someone to call us back so that we could get the stupid orientation done. When they finally came back this morning, they told my husband that they would waive the $95 account set up fee if he would sign their waiver of liability and not hold them responsible for any of his "percieved" injuries. Um, Hello, Bribery!? Needless to say, he did not sign the form, nor did he pay the $95. We still had to pay the $150 deposit though. I have filed complaints with both the BBB and Railroad Commission, and would be more than happy to head a neighborhood committee aimed at getting rid of TCP in Benbrook Ranch. I have been a customer of Atmos (TXU) for the last 4 years and have never had one single issue with them. Had it not been for my husband opening all of the doors and windows of the house, the entire neighborhood would have witnessed the explosion of my home and our charred bodies flying through the air.
    I am hopefull that if enough residents file complaints and demand a new company, that the City of Leander will listen. If not, we find a lawyer willing to take on a class action.
    Benbrook residents, you will probably see me at your door in the near future, but if you have any comments or helpful information, please feel free to contact me. Dana (ldybgdana@aol.com)

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  24. In regards to post dated 1/3/08. "Pat" is the owner of the company, he is partnered with a man named Barton. Barton is an attorney. Know a person who was just hired to replace the tech that had the oven explode in your home. The tech quit because it frightened him. The person I know that just got the job there, had NO prior experience, they sent him to take test for licence. It is an open book test, any idot could pass it!!!!

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  25. I just moved into Benbrook Ranch myself not even a month ago and received a disconnect notice. I never received a bill to begin with and just last week received a bill with a past due amount and this months amount. I hope that we can all pull together and get the city to allow us to use Atmos gas or another more reputable propane gas company. I guess I will be researching on how much an electric heater will cost. Thank god the water heater is already electric. We were going to get a gas dryer but changed that decision as soon as we were told that the propane prices go up with the regular gas prices. I didn't want to change to an electric stove, but I think now that I may have made a mistake by not doing that by reading all these horror stories. Oh my god, please have mercy on all our poor bank accounts. Count me in on signing any petitions to get rid of TCP out of our neighborhood/city.

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  26. I am STILL a very very dissatisfied customer of TCP. Whats the update on any subdivisions getting together on this problem?? I see most of the post are from the Leander area but this problem spreads to Hutto as well. We all need to start contacting our State Reps. for there assistance. My most recent problem was receiving a 300 dollar bill for the month of Dec. Now some of you might say "well its Dec. its cold. that may be right" But heres the thing. I was out of the country with family all but 5 days in the billing month. Ive tried numerous times to get them to look into it. and they always have same ole excuse. " I don't know what to say Sir, looks like you just used that much gas" I WAS OUT OF TOWN LADY!! where the hell did the gas go??? They never have any answers. At least none that isn't to there advantage. We need to get these people set straight. Bombard the Customer Service email with complaints, The BBB already has an unsatisfactory rating on them. What the hell else is it going to take? Anyone in the Lakeside Estates Subdivision please contact me so we can get things right for us. Were already getting hit hard in the wallet on automobile gas. Why hurt us on the one place we have left our homes? Its such a shame, the other day i received my monthly yellow notice of services disconnect and as i was leaving my neighborhood i noticed that a majority of the houses on my block and others have the same notices. They are taking advantage of us cause they know we can not get service from any other provider. I have contact Atmos and they informed me they do not provide service in my area. Im tired of them. As i can see we all are. Lets get them taken care of. Bombard the Cust. Service with our email.
    customerservicemanager@texascommunitypropane.com

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  27. I AM TIRED OF THIS COMPANY I HAVE CONTACTED 7 ON YOUR SIDE AND THEY EANT NAMES OF PEOPLE THAT ARE BING RIP OFF AND NUMBERS PLEASE CONTACT ME AT KSTEAMER28@YAHOO.COM WE NEED TO STAND UP THIS COMPANY AND I AM WILLING TO GO ALL THE WAY IF I HAVE 2 LIVE HERE FOR 10 MORE YEARS

    KIM- BRIARCREEK

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  28. A year ago there was a public meeting against TCP. I was billed NOTHING for 3 months after that! Which prooves they were caught with their pants down! The cat left the room and BOOM! August came and I got a $160.00 "HEATING" bill again. It's been up there ever since! Looks like we need another meeting folks! And this time, bring the yokes!

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  29. I live in Briarcreek also, I have been here for almost 2 years,never had gas cut off, they use to leave a notice on your door, all of a sudden,I come home and my house is cold, no hot water, never knew what was wrong, I had to get a neighbor to show me the lock these uncaring people put on my gas meter,with out leaving a note. They charged quite a bit to turn it back on, i paid a deposit to have it hooked up, that i never got back, so now they have charged me another deposit,PLUS, charge me on the new bill for the connection and pay by phone fee AGAIN, I have never dealt with such uncaring people in my life. Someone that knows what to have done about this needs to let us know. I am also single, leaving my home at 6:30AM and never coming back in until 10:15PM and working everyother Saturday from 8:00AM to 3:00PM, so would someone please tell me how they calculate a 190.00 gas bill when I am never home.

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  30. If we can all send in a complaint to the Attorney Generals Consumer protection Dept. We can get these people dealt with. Below is a link to the Complaint Form. PLEASE fill it out and send it in. the more people we have complaining about these people the better case we have. in the form include any other neighbors or friends you have with problems with TCP. The more info the better.

    https://www.oag.state.tx.us/forms/cpd/form.php

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  31. 7 on your side is doing a story on TX. Com Propane. if you all can email any information to 7oys@fox7.com it will help out with the story. They are wanting to do the story next week sometime. 4/07-4/11 so your info is needed asap. THanks for all your help and we should get some help in this matter!

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  32. Does anyone know if Falconhead & Falconhead West in Lakeway, using Texas Community Propane? Please share any info. My husband & I really like the area & are looking to build there, but don't know much about the utility providers in that area.

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  33. I don't have TCP but I had Sharp Propane and am experiencing the same kinds of issues. I pay my propane bill over the phone every month. In Jan I was told I only owed $7.50 by one of the associates. I told her I thought my bill was for more like almost $30 or something but I didn't have the bill in hand. She advised me no I only owed $7 dollars and change the service fee due. I thought that was strange and made sure to document her name on the bill when I got home for future reference. When I got my bill in Feb it said $7.50 so I went to call to make a payment I was told that the billing was not right and they would need to send someone out to check our meter because it may have been tampered with and if it was I would be responsible. I told the lady I thought my bill was wrong last month but the associate I paid the bill with told me I only owed $7.50 . Plus why would I even mess with the meter I didn’t know which side of the house the meter was on at the time. I was told I would receive a corrected bill in March. When I finally received the bill was for over $500. I called to get an explanation but kept getting the run around from manager there. Last year my bill for this house was less than what this bill was and I had 5 people in the household last year and we had a severe ice storm. This year I was gone the beginning of January and there was only 2 people in the house with no ice storm this year. Sharp advised me that the signal that is sent out to them for billing was not working but that nothing was wrong with the meter. I asked them how was I supposed to trust the reading that they provided me if the signal wasn’t working and how is the meter supposed to be functioning properly. I asked for a detailed usage for the months those months but was told they would not be able to provide me with a detail usage from Jan - March and this was an estimated usage based on last year. I explained them they can't base it off of last year since the household was not the same and neither were the conditions. After arguing with her for over an hour I was told that they no longer owned my subdivision (Forest Bluff) and that any concerns I would need to deal with the new company. I just now received my first bill from the new company and it was for $76,907.30 (and no I didn’t make a typo). I freaked out and called the new company and though this would be even more proof that something was wrong with my meter. After calling the company Texas Utility Group they told me they only handle the billing and Jarsco is the company that reads the meter and services them. So I called Jarsco and they advise me that the information they got from Sharp was wrong, bad data and bad readings and possible bad sender units, and they were investigating the matter. So I thought okay I am going to go to Sharp and show them that there is something wrong with my meter and they would not be able to deny it. WRONG. Sharp continues to say nothing is wrong with my meter my previous over $500 bill is right but that this new bill is just a wrong reading. Jarsco now tells me after demanding a new meter I will have to pay for one if nothing is wrong with mine. I have filed a claim with the BBB and am at the end of my rope. Everyone keeps passing the buck and no one can give me a straight answer.

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  34. I now feel sick to my stomach. I just purchased a home in the Briarcreek subdivision, Manor Texas.

    I am having my 'intro to propane' and connection this week.

    Has the company gotten any better?
    Is there a way to get their service disconnected and have a propane tank installed on your lot?

    If my bills are 100+ a month for gas I am going to be in deep trouble. I have lived in a rental with single pained glass and no attic insulation and never got over 100 USD worth of use in a month.

    This may turn out to be a "bad experience" in first home buying... *Sigh* I will be sure to post back as soon as I have dealings with them.

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  35. If signing the Customer Service agreement read it carefully. The word Lien appears, which is NEVER a good thing.

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  36. We're having a house built in Belterra. Since this began I heard rumbling of tales of extortionate propane bills. I decided to do a tankless water heater to help with that situation, but in reading this entire page, I only end up having that same 'sick to my stomach' feeling as the 5/11 poster.

    We're pushing things a little tight with the mortgage. We don't have room for $100+ (minimum) gas bills in our budget and would never have thought this would be something I needed to worry about.

    Knowing how I don't handle being ripped off very well doesn't help matters for me either. I already feel anger in reading the scenarios presented.

    There has to be a body TCP is accountable to.

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  37. My wife and I have been amazed at the wide range of prices charged by propane companies. We recently moved to Austin. When we were living in the Northeast last year, we found that our neighbor was paying over $1.80 per gallon MORE than we were paying (tank size identical - same amount of propane gas per year). We found a website with helpful propane information. The address is http://www.localpropaneservice.com.

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  38. I had called the company to ask what the 10.50 is for along with my regular bill, which can range anywhere from 40-334 a month from summer through winter. They stated that it was incase we needed service it would be free of charge. I said evidently it isn't free because I am paying 10.50 for service a month automatically and if I never use it it will add up to a lot of money. I am sure it is a need if you really need it, we shouldn't have to pay then for anything that goes wrong if it is not our fault. Then 10.00 late charge on top of that sometimes my husband doesn't work, and we have to pay late, but we still pay and we are charged more money. I would like to know what the extra 10 goes to. I guess they don't know.

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  39. After reviewing your guys comment it worries me. I called Texas Community Propane about pricing, and they told me to leave a number for call back.

    I am just worried that I am almost closing on my house in Belterra and that I am worried about the gas price.

    I was hoping if any can help answer this questions.

    1. How much are the setup fees
    2. What are the setup fees
    3. What is an average of gas price / electric on a 2700-2900 sqft

    Thank you

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  40. I lived in Lakeside Estates in Hutto for over 5years. I was always caught by surprise by how much my bills fluctuated. I learned to buy a good electric heater for the winter.

    I have unfortunately been disconnected once and had to pay the $250 deposit plus the re-connect fee. The $250 was eventually credited to my account two years after.

    Oh and I have had to pay over the phone on several occasions and had to pay the $14 fee for that. Why $14? What costs the business $14 for taking my payment over the phone?

    Since being laid off this past summer and moving out of state I am selling my home and had my service disconnected which cost $12.50 for a lock meter fee. I had it disconnected because I don't care to pay the $10.50 account fee plus whatever for every month the house is vacant in this market. Now I am selling the home and need the service turned on for inspection. Temporary service will cost $124 for 2-3days. I should have just paid the monthly account fee. The funny part is that the inspector indicated to me that he could light the stove with the gas meter locked. The closed valve is still leaking gas into the pipes. Is your valve leaking? How would you know? Would TCP acknowledge it and repair it?

    I agree that TCP charges absurd fees that are not justified other than they can because who else are you going to turn to?

    It is interesting to see not one positive comment about this business...they have some explaining to do.

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  41. For all of you experiencing the central propane gas scam, this is a relatively new (and bad) thing in central Texas. You are not alone and the Railroad Commission has refused to anything about it so far.

    The developers cut deals with the propane vendors like Sonterra Energy, HBH, Texas Community Propane, and others. TYpically the developer will get some financial kickback from the gas company. For example, the developer might get a cut of the revenues of the gas sold less cost. THere are various schemes out there.

    The developer will write restrictive covenants that burden your lot to require you to install and use propane gas appliances in your home for gas fired heaters, ranges, water heaters, etc. This creates the artificial demand and can be enforced against people under threat of fine and foreclosure on their home.

    Generally speaking there is no economic regulation of these central gas systems. That's why hedge funds are investing in the newer companies that have gotten into this business. Since there is no economic regulation, they can charge whatever they want, increase prices at a whim, etc.

    So now you have restrictive covenants requiring you to use the propane system and the argument is that you "chose" this when you purchased there. In all likelihood, you were never told that they could charge what they want. Your restrictive covenants will put no burden on them to even be around next week.

    I would like to raise a legal challenge to the enforceability of restrictive covenants that basically require you to use an economically unregulated developer-designated vendor into perpetuity. The purpose of these restrictive covenants is to ensure that as a mandatory member of the HOA, you will also be forced to be an involuntary customer of these unregulated utilities.

    Developers aren't just building homes and moving on, they're looking for ways to continue bilking homeowners forever.

    Is there interest in anyone else joining in this challenge? Among other things, the Texas Free Enterprise Act provides for attorney fees and possibly treble damages if successful. Don't count on the Attorney General tackling this - their office generally refuses to investigate any of the bad things going on in these subdivisions. So are others interested?

    There are at least 30+ subdivisions where this racket is going on in the Austin area.

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  42. I would also suggest checking with the Public Utilities Commission which I've had great luck with when getting the run around from the phone or electric companies.

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  43. I am a homewoner in Belterra, and I would be more than happy to participate in any efforts to de-regulate this monopoly that TCP has on us. We have resorted to using space heaters around the house to prevent atronomical bills. Part od it is financial, and part of it is principle. They just do not behave like a reputable company. I had to call 4 times just to get service initiated. The deposit is ridiculous, and it is beyond shady that they try to hide the location of their company. Maybe I am polyanna about this, but I am very confident that in the end residents will be successful in bringing them down, or at least forcing them to run an honest business.

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  44. More of the same in 2009. I live in Belterra in Austin, and TCP sent out a letter with about 20 different events and discretions that will result in an extra charge, including not having several pieces of information on the check accompanying the bill. This company is the pure scum of the earth, and needs to be taken down.

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  45. I ditto everything said above.....I am a builder in a subdivision in which Texas Community Propane has a "monopoly" on the service. Four years of dealing with this company has rendered nothing but frustration. Zero customer service, unexplainable/unreasonable fees, etc. The majority owner of this company is Barton Predaux. His cell phone number is 512-775-2751. He truly is the scum of the earth. Contacting your State Representative and/or State Senator will create the biggest wave toward bringing this excuse for a business to start utilizing fair business practices.

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  46. EVERYONE NEEDS TO SEND AN EMAIL TO 7 ON YOUR SIDE AND LETS PUT THEM IN THE PUBLIC EYE. GETS MORE PEOPLE ON OUR SIDE SO WE CAN ALSO GAIN THE ATTENTION OF OUR STATE REPS!

    7oys@fox7.com

    7oys is willing to do a story they just need people to interview. Contact Chris Coffey for details.

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  47. I emailed my State Rep. Everyone else should too. If your not sure who your Rep is check the link below and send them and email. Make sure to link this page in your email! LETS GET THIS DONE FINALLY!

    http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/welcome.php

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  48. When sharing the info on this site with Austin's Fox 7 News station, hoping they may do a story in their "Seven On Your Side" investigative series, I received the following response:

    "Thank you for the story tip. You may also want to report this to the Texas Railroad Commission...which regulates the propane industry in our state.

    Chris
    7oys@fox7.com"

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  49. Thanks John! I wrote to our senators and representatives, as well as an email to 7 on your side. Please everyone, do the same, especially with our government representatives. You wouldn't believe powerful just a few letters/emails can be. I know this from experience!

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  50. $250 deposit and wouldn't take a past reference. Ridiculous.

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  51. We just bought our first house & moved to Hutto a month ago. Wish we had known about Texas Community Propane or we may have reconsidered. We are not wealthy people & I was laid off in July, 2 months after finding out we were expecting our first child. I think it's criminal, ESPECIALLY in light of what is happening with the economy, that this company charges these outlandish fees...does no one have any sort of moral compass anymore? Both my husband & I have written to our local city council men & women & also the mayor of Hutto. Have been told they are looking into the matter but we are waiting to see what happens. We have also alerted a local media outlet, as no one likes bad press. We are trying everything we can think of to get this changed. Will go as high as we need to. Hope we can get this changed soon. This is wrong.

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  52. Texas Community Propane is AWFUL!!! The deposit are outrageous!! And the Winter monthly bills can run from $200-$300 dollars!!! If I was warned prior to moving to Leander 3 years ago I would NEVER have considered it!!! The customer service is awful, they don't work with you when you can't pay the outrageous bill in full. The deposits are RIDICULOUS and WTF is the $10.50 monthly fee that we pay for every month!!! I hope this company goes up in their own flames!!!

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  53. Texas Community Propane has to be stopped. They are rude and I believe that we have been overcharged for the past 3 years. I asked how I can moniter my own meter and was told to use there bill at $6.50 a "tick" or when the number changes. Well that has got to be robbery, my bill has been $250 or more every month and then another $154 for reconnect fee. I wonder if KVUE or some news station would help bring them into the light? Words of warning...

    DO NOT move To Briarcreek subdivision in Manor TX.

    If you do the propane co. will make you pay for it, literally. I am working on switching everything to electric. I suggest you all do the same.

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  54. We double paid our propane bill by accident with our online bill pay. We put a stop payment through our bank for the DUPLICATE payment. They are trying to charge us a $35 fee for the "stop payment" because they didn't get money that was never intended for them in the first place and WE DO NOT OWE THEM!! How can they legally charge us a $35 fee?

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  55. Some good propane pricing info. at the following web address: www.propane-prices.com

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  56. i haven't had the same problems but i also do not like being forced to use one company. and what is up with that $10 monthly fee. why are we being charged an account fee when we are paying our account? shouldn't the pay of the usage be sufficient? i am renting so i cannot change anything to electric. i was told that using gas makes the electric bill cheaper. how? just add the money that i use on gas to the electric and there you go. i am not paying less, just different companies. and a gas stove is not better. i hate it. i cannot put anything on simmer. everything is either high or medium high. and i can't open the back door when cooking or the fire goes out. with electric that doesn't happen and i have stuff stuck at the back of the stove and cant get it out because i cant move the stove. if i do the gas line will brake. i hate it. i can't wait to buy my own place and make sure it is all electric.

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  57. WOW, this is ridiculous. Of all of the people who had to pay a $250 deposit, I surely wish that were the case with me. They asked me to pay a $400 deposit, which didn’t even have considering we are a family of 5! BUT we had already put a large amount for our deposit on a home we are renting! I didn’t know why it was so expensive and what was the purpose of a high deposit like that. I have called their office and they are rude as well. I live in Briarcreek, renting only and it’s sad. The water out here is expensive too! We have to pay a 45.00 water base facility fee and a 65.00 water waste fee. ON top of that, we have to pay for the water we use. So that is over $100 a month in fees regardless of the amount of water we use. It’s terribly sad and I am going to be along with the other folks to try and take this scam of a company DOWN!

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  58. I own a home in Briarcreek and the deposit was only $175 and I did get it back - because I paid my bills on time. My sister is renting a home near me and yes, she did have to pay a bigger deposit than I did but she is renting - so it makes sense. My service has been great and I don't have a problem with office people - treat them as I want to be treated and I get good service in return. The water bill is what is outrageous in Briarcreek, not the gas!!

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  59. We live in Falconhead, just west of Austin and south of Lakeway. Our monthly service fee is $15.00. The bill we just received was $45 usage and $15 "service fee". 30% in fees is too high.....I heard the fees were higher here because TCP wanted to accelerate pay off the infrastructure costs. This is a ripoff.

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  60. My wife and I are thinking about moving to either Belterra or Falconhead. Both seem to have issues with TCP. For the folks in Belterra, have things gotten any better? What about Falconhead? What are the average monthly bills for propane? Thanks.

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  61. I live in Belterra, Texas community propane is a monopoly. My bill in December was $300, apparently low, we froze in our home never putting the air above 68 and turning it off when we were gone. I constantly get disconect notices however I have never been late in paying my bill. Nice! They say it's because they don't process the checks until the seventh of the month. Every month I have to call to make sure this is the case. They charge monthly account fee of $10. They charged $350 to set up. Their staff is rude and the client is always wrong. They also estimate the usage they don't get actual rates it's obvious since it's rounded to the nearest thousand. Texas community propane sucks.

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  62. More factual account to the prior posting - keeping a thermostat on 68 is what DOE recommends to save on your energy bill - when it is a high of 50 or below as the majority of Dec was - your furnace will run constantly maintaining the 68 temp. Dec was the COLDEST month on history, with Jan already the coldest in 15 years. I know for a fact that payments are processed on a daily basis - there is no holding any check. Bills for Belterra are due on the first Monday of every month- regardless of the date - if the check is not POSTMARKED by the due date - a late notice will go out. $350 is a deposit amount and varies by the size of the home and whether or not you are a renter or homeowner. All meters are read every month - there is never an estimation. Billed by cubic feet- same as meters in city limits, meter rolls a full 100 cubic feet before the dial moves - NOT an estimation. If you have had rude customer service - I suggest you call and request a manager. There are always two sides to every story....

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  63. Dec was the coldest month in history, when it is 40-50 degrees outside and you have your thermostat on 70 - furnace is going to run keeping house at 70 when it is significantly colder outside. I live in Belterra and I pay my bill on time - I don't get late notices, obviously prior posting person is not really paying their bill on time. PEC charges $22.50 monthly fee - I am not complaining about $10.50. Our meters are billed in cubic feet - just like natural gas - I see a meter reader every month - no estimation of the bills.

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  64. I live in Briarcreek and my bill was $250. My brother also has a home in Briarcreek and received the same bill! The funny thing about is is that I rarely run my heater and I travel on business often, so I'm not home much. My previous bills have ran about $40 to $50 bucks. How can it jump up to five times the amount!

    I called them and the lady wasn't rude at all, but I question the accuracy of the bill. She had someone come out and re-read the meter and apparently it was correct. I'm wondering if there could be something wrong with meter or are they just scamming some how?

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  65. I live in the Glenwood Subdivision in Hutto, Tx and we are all outraged with our December bills. If you look closely, your bill will be accurate, but the rates have jumped from $6.2 to $7.8912 per 100 Cu Ft. This on top of their $10.50 monthly fee makes them by far the highest priced company out there. I along with numerous others have filed our complaints with the RRC at ( http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/compliance/complaints/gascomplaints.php ). I would request you do the same if you have similar concerns.

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  66. Texas Community Propane; what a bunch of crooks; this whole operation needs to be shut down by Gregg Abbott and regulated in detail by the Railroad Commission, and set standards for utility companies ability to deposit/fee and penalize. I can't believe when moving into my new house at West Cypres Hills, an upscale community...that Texas Community Propane, an organized crime hub as far as I'm concerned, has a monopoly and chokehold on the propane game in our subdivision. I was shocked, when they asked for a $600 deposit; I started laughing at him; and told him no way am I giving your company $600 of my hard earned money; I would rather convert to electric; because, in the long run I would save thousands of dollars. I moved from an older same size house on Texas Gas and my bill was always $20 to $60, and my deposit was less than $60 bucks. These Texas Community Propane crooks are gypsy's or mobsters.

    I recommend, everyone file a complaint with the Railroad Commission complaint division, and complain to Gregg Abbott at the Attorney General's Office...take it futher, and contact your State Representative and Senator. I'm placing an ad on Craigslist for a hungry attorney to help sue these criminals.

    Good luck everyone; spread the word..."Texas Community Propane are crooks"...don't buy a house where these predators lurk, you will regret it.

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  67. I live in Benbrook sub, in Leander. Twice I have received a disconnect notice because they haven't received my payment. I have never had a problem getting my payments for any bill on time, does anyone else have this problem?

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  68. There are 48 communities in Travis County, and 73 across the state, that have central propane gas distribution systems. These central propane distribution systems supply propane for home heating and other uses where natural gas would typically be used, but natural gas been made available in the area. While natural gas is regulated by the Texas Railroad Commission for price, delivery and safety, propane is not regulated for price or delivery. The affected communities are now organizing as Central Texans for Propane Regulation, to lobby for propane regulation, because the owners of these central propane systems have frequently used predatory pricing and provided poor service because they have monopoly powers - there is no competition and there is no recourse for many home owners. Some communities even have deed restrictions preventing the homeowners from buying their own individual propane tanks. More than one community supplied by the owners of one of these central propane distribution systems suffered both from a 37% weighted average price increase and at the same time suffered service outages last winter that lasted for days. In 2009 Dawnna Dukes introduced HB 1194 to regulate propane but the bill appears to have died in committee, perhaps because it was written too broadly, covering all propane uses, including such things as propane tanks for backyard grills. The bill should be re-introduced with a reduced scope to community propane systems, to regulate price, service and safety by the Texas Railroad Commission. Communities concerned about their propane provider and want to lobby for propane regulation can join the Central Texans for Propane Regulation by joining the Yahoo group Centexpropaneregulation

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  69. The members of the Central Texans for Propane Regulation welcome new members to the Yahoo group Centexpropaneregulation. We are affected homeowners who are lobbying for propane legislation, which is included in both HB1273 and SB555 in the current (2011) Texas legislative session. Go on-line and review them http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/. They regulate propane the same way that natural gas is regulated. Call your state representative and tell them you support these bills, Now!

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  70. There are two bills in the texas state house that need your support - both regulate propane and both are supported by the Texans for Propane Regulation group. You can go on-line and see the text of the bills. The bills are HB1273 (Workman) and SB555 (Watson). Call your representative today to show your support. Join others in the Texans for Propane Regulation group for more info at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/centexpropaneregulation/

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  71. I live in Hutto, TX at the Glenwood Subdivision. I converted my house into partial electric appliances because I could no longer afford to pay texas community propane outrages gas bills. I mentioned this to them over a year ago that I switched out my stove and my water heater out to from being gas and nothing was done about it then. Today I received a call from texas community propane asking that I pay $1250 because of the conversion to partial electric because I failed to provide them notice. So I did some research on what our deed restrictions are for glenwood subdivision and found that if you give them a 30 day notice and pay then $900 you can switch from gas to electric and stop paying the outrages gas bills. If you don’t give them notice it is $1250 ($900 for the switch and $350 for a fee on top of that). As of now, my electric bill during the summer is no more than $250 / gas bill has been $0 and during the winter I pay about $300 for electric / about $100 for gas. That is still way under what I was paying for gas and electric and it was a big difference from when I first moved into my 1700 sq foot house. My recommendation to get texas community propane to stop being the monopoly in glenwood subdivision it go electric. So if you can fork over the $900 and slow change out your appliances at the end of the year you will probably still save $$$.

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  72. We rented a home in Briarcreek unaware of the extortion. Turns out it is deed restricted and even the home owner can not change out the propane system for an electric one or even a stand alone tank to be filled by an alternate company. We stopped using the gas stove, turned the heat down to 65 degrees, wash our clothes in cold and yet our bill is still over $200 a month. For what? This has given my wife and I new desire to just move out of Texas. Even in Maryland with high state taxes at least the total out of pocket each month was lower when you look at all the extra nonsense we are paying for here and how much it costs. Texas Community Extortion one day you will push your customers to the point of legal action.

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