The short answer— most likely. Propane companies in Southern California and throughout the state will use deceptive (but not illegal) tactics to inflate costs. Here are a few common ways a propane supplier might overcharge you:
Underfilled Propane Exchange Cylinders
This is by far the most common scam we see with commercial and residential propane providers— underfilling cylinders and charging you the full price. But we’ll explain why this tactic works and is perfectly legal:
Your traditional BBQ cylinder is more accurately described as a 20 lb. DOT cylinder and is designed to hold 20 lbs. of liquid propane gas. However, most of the exchange cylinders you find in cages out front of retailers are filled to only 75% of capacity. While these cylinders are clearly marked 15 lbs., propane weighs 4.1 lbs. per gallon, thus 15 lb. = 3.57 gallons or ¾ capacity.
Because the general public doesn’t know how much propane weighs and how that translates into gallons, any propane supplier can fill your tanks to just 3.5 gallons instead of their full capacity (4.5 gallons). They’re technically giving you 15 lbs., the problem is, your cylinder is actually designed to hold 20.
Hidden Fees and Charges
As with any business that’s trying to put more money in its pockets, hidden fees come in all forms. Propane companies in Southern California will often charge a “convenience” fee for propane exchange, which means that you’re already paying more right out the gate.
If you’ve opted into a contract, many commercial or residential propane providers will include hidden fees or quietly increase the charges you already know about— there’s a certain level of honesty many suppliers lack, which, unfortunately, often goes unnoticed by most consumers.
A Propane Supplier You Can Trust
Western Propane Services proudly operates with integrity in every facet of our business. There are no hidden fees or long-term contracts required when you opt for our propane exchange services, and we’re one of the few commercial and residential propane providers that will fill your tank to its full capacity.
Our propane delivery prices are equal to or below that of major retailers, which means you get 28% more fuel delivered straight to your door for the same or less than you would pay to refill them yourself.
View our services to get started with affordable and trustworthy commercial or residential propane delivery!