Questions To Ask Your Long Island Propane Provider
Do you already rely on propane to heat your Long Island home, but you’re searching for a new provider? Or are you looking to make the switch to propane. You’ve Googled “propane providers near me.” Still, you’re not sure how to choose the best one.
In either case, this guide is for you. Read on to learn the essential questions to ask a potential propane provider.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), predicts higher than normal propane consumption this winter. It expects, moreover, the highest residential consumption among homes in the Northeast.
Why Research is Important in Choosing a Propane Provider
A Google search of “propane providers in my area” can be a first step toward choosing a propane provider. However, it can’t be the only step.
Companies that offer propane gas delivery are not created equal. Doing your due diligence when you are selecting a provider is important in ensuring you won’t be left out in the cold. Also, make sure they are the company delivering your gas. Some internet based companies outsource to third parties.
You don’t want to get stuck with a propane provider who gives you a special intro price to lure you in, then raises your price without any change in cost just because they think you’re not watching your bill. Also make sure they are not stuck in the dark ages when it comes to having a mobile full account management app, an online portal, and monitoring technology.
Asking the right questions can help you choose the propane provider that offers the most beneficial services for your needs.
Ask & Look For Their Online Reviews
Online reviews are like a recommendation from your most honest friend.
Pay attention to what current and past customers say about a company online.
Reviews on Google, Facebook, etc can help you get a clearer picture of how that company does business.
- Bad online reviews – while you might give the benefit of the doubt to a company with one rogue bad review, steer clear if the company has several. Bad reviews often mean the customer felt repeatedly left out in the cold, and you might too. Also take a look at how the company responds to a bad review. Too often, businesses that do bad business are quick to hurl insults or pass blame back to their customer.
- No online reviews – an absence of reviews or low quantity isn’t a “clean slate”. It often means that this company provides hum-drum, bare-minimum service. Worse, it could mean the company is hiding their bad press from you and you have to specifically search for their reviews. You deserve a company that goes above and beyond.
- Good online reviews – choose a top-rated propane company with multiple 5-star reviews. You want to make sure your service provider goes the extra mile for you when you need it most.
Ask probing questions about price per gallon
The price of propane delivery is likely to top your list of concerns when choosing a provider. Maybe you’ve even narrowed your “propane gas providers near me” search results down to those advertising the best prices online.
Inquire about Current Promotions, but be careful
You might also ask if the propane company is offering any current promotions—but tread carefully here. Some propane companies will offer low prices but include hidden fees that raise your bills.
Beware of companies that offer “special new customer rates”. These companies are known to raise your price over time with no reason or discernable market change.
You are better off choosing a propane company that offers fair, competitive pricing at market rate. This is because propane delivery is a long-term proposition.
Ask About Referral Programs
Finally, as you develop a relationship with a quality propane provider, you’ll want to share the benefits with friends and family. The best propane providers run referral programs so that sharing the benefits with others means more benefits for you. When you refer a new customer to Propane Depot, for example, you’ll enjoy a $50 Visa gift card or account credit.
Ask About Payment Options to Help Control Your Budget
Once you’ve found the lowest price, you still have to pay it. That means it’s also important to ask about payment options.
You want to choose a propane gas delivery company that makes paying your bill convenient. For example, look for a company that offers:
- Autopay, so that your payments automatically post to your credit card or bank account
- An online payment portal that accepts Electronic payments and allows you to review your bills
- Payments by phone or by mail for buyers who are not as technology-centric
- Budget-billing options for home heating that spread your propane cost across 11 equal, fixed monthly payments based on an estimate of your yearly usage.If you used more than you paid for, the company can bill you for the difference. If you used less, you can choose between a refund and a credit on next year’s bill.
Ask if You Can Schedule Delivery Online
These days, you can order groceries, pay your mortgage, and pay most bills from the comfort of your sofa at any time.
Propane should be no different.
Look for a modern propane company that offers an app that makes it easy to schedule propane delivery and pay your bill online.
Ask About Propane Delivery Options
Your propane company should also offer reasonable delivery times to meet your needs and schedule. For an additional fee, many also offer emergency deliveries to cover you when your own monitoring efforts have slipped through the cracks.
Emergency deliveries are one solution when you slip up and forget to order a supply of propane. However, the best propane companies offer a better solution: tank monitoring. Many companies offer this solution—for a fee, so it’s important to ask about these monitoring charges or if they include it for free.
Ask What Technology Ensures You Don’t Run Out of Gas
Running out of propane gas is an unnecessary hassle in your daily life.
Modern technology means that you don’t need to face such an inconvenience.
Ask your propane company if they offer a Smart Tank Monitor for free with a minimum purchase. It ensures you’ll never be running on empty.
Or if you prefer to use the monitor with our will-call service, you can check your current tank levels at any time in the app and rely on email notifications to let you know when the tank reaches 30% and it’s time for a delivery.
Pay attention to how technology is integrated
By the time you’ve asked the questions above, you should have a good sense of a propane company’s use of the latest technology. However, propane companies vary in this regard.
In discussing billing and monitoring, for example, pay attention to the ways the company integrates technology. If you work with a certain company, will you have full account access when you want it? Ideally, this will be available in the palm of your hand via a mobile app.
If features like online tools and account access haven’t surfaced in your conversation, consider that a red flag. Ask the representative, point-blank, what kind of technology they offer. And don’t settle for anything less than the most cutting-edge and convenient features.
Ask How the Company will Service Your Propane Tank
A reputable propane delivery company should also provide exceptional propane tank service. This should include 24-hour emergency service and ongoing maintenance.
Propane tanks need occasional maintenance to ensure things are functioning properly. Standard maintenance is a customer service feature you should not overlook.
Ask About Their Safety and Compliance Measures
With any fuel, such as propane, an important element of customer confidence is safety and compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.
Be sure to ask prospective propane providers about their safety records and policies.
- Are they fully insured?
- What is their procedure if a leak occurs?
- What should you do if a leak occurs?
- What steps do they take to comply with building and safety codes?
If you’re looking to install a new propane tank, the propane company you choose should take care of all aspects of safety and compliance. This includes obtaining the necessary building permits, adhering to all local, state, and national regulations.
Also, the company should help you choose the best size tank and identify the best place for it.
At each step of the process, your safety and comfort should be the #1 priority.
Make the Smart Choice on Long Island for Your Propane Provider
Choosing a propane provider is an important decision that impacts your family’s comfort, safety, convenience, and budget. Ask the right questions—covering each of these factors—to fuel your search in the right direction.
Propane is a product, but the best propane companies never lose sight of the people their product serves. They are, moreover, committed to maximizing the benefits of propane for their clients.
Propane Depot is Long Islands top rated propane company. Switch to us and save up to 30% on propane.
Click here to request a quote or call us at 631-400-SAVE