I'm a current employee. I wish to remain anonymous, so I'm not going to say what my job or location is. Please use this thread to ask any questions and I'll do my best to answer honestly and without any BS. To a lesser extent, I might also be able to help out with UGI questions, so feel free to throw those out here as well. This should be a lot of fun!
Is your company preparing for the class action suits soon to come, as soon as the little guy finds out what the big guys apparently already know that the books are being cooked??? You cant report positive earnings, provide great guidance going forward, and have your stock tank.... just sayin
Sentiment: Strong Sell
Amerigas is a ripoff and has unfair policies. I was a customer with a propane fireplace, propane heating system and propane hot water heater in Delaware. Propane was so expensive that I spent about 3K and went through the hassle to get natural gas installed to my house instead for my heating system. Despite the high cost, the project has already paid for itself in less than 2 years.
So what does Amerigas do? They charge me more for propane for my water heater since my "equipment has changed". Does the gasoline station charge more / gallon if you're driving an economy car? What a rip-off! Even after haggling with them I was still paying a higher rate. Naturally I soon converted to an electric water heater and just turned off the propane fireplace. No propane deliveries in over 6 months and in the Spring I'll have the tank removed altogether.
U.S Department of Energy website has a fill in the blanks worksheet which tells you how much it costs for 100,000 BTUs of heat from different fuel sources. You enter your local cost per unit of fuel and can also enter an efficiency percentage where appropriate. Here in RI, electricity is more than 3 times the cost of natural gas per 100,000 BTUs (which is a therm). Oil is more than double. I did not check propane because natural gas was in the house when I bought it.
Heat, hot water and the fireplace was natural gas. Wife wanted a stainless kitchen range which was electric.
I bought a gas range. When the current electric clothes dryer breaks, it will be replaced with natural gas. I also added a whole house generator which runs on natural gas and operates automatically and a gas space heater for my workshop in the basement.
Yeah, you have to pay the plumber to hook up the gas appliance which replaces another fuel, but that's a one-time cost. The savings go on for as long as natural gas is cheaper than other fuels.
Some other reasons why I dislike Amerigas:
1. Automated Delivery Service
I tried it and it was a disaster. They would top off the tanks too frequently. Every delivery has extra fixed charges for "hazmat" and other fees that were adding up.
2. Variable Pricing
Different prices for different customers and different customer equipment. How about the same price for any delivery over 50 gallons or 100 gallons? That would be fair. Not your business what "equipment" I have. You can haggle with them on prices. Like dealing with a gypsy flea market vendor.
3. Their order system never worked.
Half the time they wouldn't make a delivery for 10 days after I placed an order and then I'd call and they would rush it the next day. A never-ending hassle.
I had 2 tanks and wanted to remove 1 tank after I converted my heating to nat gas and still had hot water. Gave instructions to fill one tank only. They didn't deliver for 2 weeks and when I called they delivered twice the next day and filled both tanks. Felt sorry for the guy who had to haul off a full 100 gal tank and credit me back.
Give the negativity Eruthless. It's supply and demand! Just think if you bought this several years ago, you would have made bill paying $$$ on just the dividends. Live with it, or get lost!
I know this is hard to believe, but margin doesn't really go up because wholesale costs rise too. But don't get me wrong, this has been a really cold winter so far and profits are going up due to the large spike in volume, it's just that each individual gallon isn't any more profitable than say a gallon sold 6 months ago.
As far as the stock comment, I really don't know. The whole market has had a rough few weeks.
It is less expensive to keep a customer than to gain a new one. I was an APU customer for for over 14 yrs but switched to Kamps (private outfit) due to pricing. When I called to have the APU tank removed, the rep tried her best to keep me by lowering the price to Kamps' price but at that point it was too late. APU should look into a loyal customer plan where pricing for long time customers drops vs newer customers. For example, for every five years of being a customer in good standing, the price is automatically 5% lower. In my case, the price would have been 15% lower and APU would have kept me. Clearly APU would have to limit the discount to some max, say 25%. Something to think about. I've been a very happy unit holder for 15 years.
Sorry to hear that we didn't meet your expectations. I think a loyalty program is a good idea. However, a side effect of offering discounts to some customers and not others is that the ones who don't get the discount complain that they are being discriminated against. I've seen it happen more than once.
For retail customers yes. We have been diverting shipments from warmer areas to colder ones, such as the Midwest and Southeast. It's tight, but I think we will make it. However, I believe we are stopping a lot of wholesale activity as there is simply not enough gas and what is there is needed for the retail customers. I have also heard that some locations are not able to take on new customers, but that varies by location.