Schuette issues second round of subpoenas in propane industry probe

Schuette issues second round of subpoenas in propane industry probe

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has sent out a second round of subpoenas as part of his investigation into propane price gouging after receiving numerous complaints from customers across the state who were quoted one price and charge another. One company that serves Marquette County is named in the petition.

The subpoena, filed in Marquette County Circuit Court, claims AmeriGas was involved in price gouging, failed to honor existing set-price contracts, and quoted some customers one price on the phone only to charge them a higher price upon delivery. If true, those accusations all violate the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, which states that a retailer may not charge a price that is “grossly in excess of the price at which similar property or services are sold.”

The Attorney General’s Office has received 44 individual complaints against AmeriGas across the state. Evidence gathered in the investigation suggests that while the average retail price for propane went as high as $3.76 in early February, some Amerigas customers were allegedly charged nearly $7.00 per gallon. The petition cites at least three Marquette County residents who claim to have experienced a similar hike.

The Petition for Subpoenas orders AmeriGas to provide documents and testimony in Schuette’s investigation. In March, Schuette issued subpoenas for Ferrellgas regarding the same issue. Attorney General Schuette continues to review the documentation they provided in response.

Consumers who have additional evidence suggesting that a retailer engaged in a similar manner that violates the Consumer Protection Act are asked to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-765-8388 or file a complaint online at