Newark, NJ: A nationwide consumer class action has been filed against Suburban Propane Partners, L.P. and its operating subsidiary, Suburban Propane, L.P.
The lawsuit alleges that Suburban Propane unfairly charges its customers excessive prices for propane, without disclosing its per gallon price in advance of delivery. In addition, the lawsuit alleges that Suburban Propane unlawfully charges its customers a variety of fees that are not properly disclosed, including tank pump out and pick up fees that are designed to prevent customers from rejecting deliveries and choosing a competitor.
Lead Plaintiff Robert Slack became so upset about Suburban Propane's business practices that he launched his own website in January of 2010, to express his concerns. According to the lawsuit, many of Suburban Propane's customers from across the country have submitted written comments to his website reporting similar experiences, and have reported being charged prices of as much as $7.00 per gallon.
Suburban Propane is the fourth-largest retail marketer of propane in the United States, measured by retail gallons sold. According to its most-recent Annual Report, residential customers accounted for less than half (44%) of Suburban Propane's retail propane sales by volume, but accounted for 61% of Suburban Propane's margins on retail propane sales during the most recent fiscal year, reflecting higher margins in its residential propane business.