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Attorney General Nessel Announces Settlement with Ferrellgas Over Alleged Violations of Consumer Protection Laws
April 13, 2021
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced today that the Department of Attorney General has entered into a settlement agreement with Ferrellgas, LP – a Missouri-based propane supplier – that resolves the Attorney General’s potential claims against Ferrellgas under the Michigan Consumer Protection Act (MCPA).
Earlier this year, the Department opened an informal investigation into Ferrellgas after receiving numerous complaints from Ferrellgas customers in Michigan regarding delivery of propane used for home heating. The complaints, filed with the Attorney General’s office and the Better Business Bureau, detailed various issues, such as difficulties in contacting Ferrellgas representatives by telephone, protracted delivery periods following the placement of orders, and an inability to secure expedited fills to resolve situations where homes were without heat in January or February—including when Michigan was under a declared state of emergency due to extreme cold temperatures and heavy snowfall.
“Being without heat for even a day during a Michigan winter is emotionally devastating and can be dangerous,” Nessel said. “Ferrellgas and other propane providers are now on notice that this office will not tolerate any company that breaks its commitments to consumers and leaves them sitting in the cold.”
The Attorney General’s office issued a Notice of Intended Action on February 12 outlining the alleged violations of the MCPA. To resolve these alleged violations, Ferrellgas agreed to enter into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance and Discontinuance, the terms of which include:
- A $49,500 payment to the Attorney General’s Office, $45,000 of which will be used to compensate affected Michigan customers through a claims process. Michigan Ferrellgas consumers who were left without heat this winter and believe it was due to a mistake or failure by Ferrellgas may qualify for a distribution under this settlement. Any consumer wishing to be considered must file a consumer complaint online by May 7, 2021, and include with the complaint any documents supporting the claim. The amount of money paid to each customer may depend on the number of claims made.
- Assurance that Ferrellgas will implement a number of marketing and customer service reforms.
- Assurance that Ferrellgas will reimburse Michigan customers for unused propane who return propane upon termination of service, and that it will continue doing so for Michiganders who terminate service in the future.
- Assurance that Ferrellgas will waive all fees and costs for emergency or expedited delivery service, leak checks, and for changing propane services for all Michigan consumers who file or filed a substantiated claim with the Better Business Bureau or Attorney General’s Office, and will refund any such fees already paid.
- Assurance that Ferrellgas will refund any payments made for propane that was ultimately not delivered because the consumer(s) switched to a provider that was able to make delivery sooner, or because of communication difficulties with Ferrellgas.
To file a consumer complaint, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection website.