Letter(s) to my Representatives (Part 1)

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Letter(s) to my Representatives (Part 1)

...as in New York State Senator Ken LaValle and Assemblyman Fred Thiele, about a frustrating situation pertaining to our bottled gas supplier.

(Note: it used to be "suppliers" which is likely at the root of the the issue.)

Senator Kenneth P. LaValle
28 North Country Road/Suite 203
Mount Sinai, NY 11766

Dear Senator LaValle;

I write to call your attention to a serious matter which seems to have escaped all of our attentions until recently, and that is what I consider Predatory Pricing by Paraco Gas Company, a national business that has slowly acquired all or most all of the local individually-owned bottle gas (LPG and propane) companies in the area and then instituted a series of price hikes and billing practices that have dramatically increased the cost of our cooking gas.

In 2014 Paraco initiated an annual "small tank leasing fee" that came to $69.52, and when I began shopping around for another supplier, I found that Paraco had been buying up most of the previously independent providers. We were forced to pay this "small tank leasing fee" on an annual basis, due to what has become a monopolistic situation.

Already this calendar year, still in its first quarter, including that "small tank leasing fee" and for our gas delivery (which includes a "Fuel Surcharge," New York State Sales Tax and something called an "Environmental Recovery Fee," the cost of cooking gas just for our household of two Senior Citizens, has risen to $455.74! For the entire year of 2010, it was $137.57 from the same, then independent, provider.

While my personal views come down on the Libertarian side of most matters, there's something seriously wrong here and I respectfully request that my State Senator look into the issue and see what might be undertaken.

Thanking you in advance, I remain, as always;

Dean Speir

(The same letter was simultaneously sent to Thiele's office.)

It took but three days for Senator LaValle's Legislative Aide Laurie Griffiths to respond via E-mail:

Mr. Speir:

Thank you for your letter regarding Paraco Gas Company. I reached out to the Attorney General's office and they suggested that this could be a matter for our Consumer Protection Bureau, depending on where this company is located:

ag.ny.gov/CIS/consumer-complaints

I hope you find this information helpful.

Regards,

Laurie Griffiths, Legislative Aide
Office of Senator Kenneth P. LaValle
631-473-1461

Following the provided link, I reached the Attorney Gener­al's Consumer Frauds Bureau Online Complaint Form, despite the fact that nowhere in my letter did I mention the word "fraud!"

A call to Ms. Griffiths elicited the response "We don't investigate."

That was it as far as Senator LaValle's office was con­cerned, an inquiry to the A.G.'s office, and the A.G.'s pointless referral to the Consumer Protection Bureau... in other words, a "Get away kid, ya bother me!" call.

(It may not unreasonably be assumed that then A.G. Eric Schneiderman was more deeply focused on his personal issues.)

Ah, but what of Fred Thiele? (To be continued....)

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