Woman astonished by price of propane bill

Woman warns of alleged propane gas price gouging

OROVILLE, Calif. - For many rural residents, propane gas is the only way for them to heat their homes, their water and cook their food. One Oroville woman wants others to know she has seen her bill double twice without any warning.

Kris Olson Gerrick lives with her husband in a small community on the remote east side of Lake Oroville. When they had 200 gallons of propane delivered by AmeriGas just after Christmas, she was aghast at what her bill read.

"I just absolutely gasped," Olson Gerrick said. "And then my second thought was, 'Oops, they're up to it again.' Things weren't adding up to what I was hearing other people were paying and what I actually was paying for gas."

Nationwide, the average price of a gallon of propane is at it's highest level it's been in at least a year, but that price still remains below three dollars.

So how much was Olson Gerrick charged?

"It was 5.79 dollars per gallon," she said as she pours over the bill from AmeriGas. "The bill is, let me see if I can actually see it, it's $1,172.93. Shocking. Shocking."

She said it's not the first time this has happened.

And although she's been told by other AmeriGas customers they will adjust the bill if she calls the company, she doesn't think that's right.

"My issue is that I don't feel that they should be lowering the price because I caught them cheating me. I think that the price shouldn't have been there in the first place."

And she's concerned other users aren't so vigilant.

"The true measure of someone's character is what they'll do when no one is watching," Olson Gerrick says. "You know I just thought, 'You know, it's not really fair what you're doing. You're cheating me. I caught you cheating, and now maybe you'll lower my price.' But that's not the way it should be for anybody. No one should have to be surprised by a $1,200 gas bill that should be around $600."

Calls for comment to AmeriGas' Pennsylvania office went unanswered Wednesday.

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