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This company offers home heating fuel, gas, propane, kerosene, blend, diesel, equipment and supplies.

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that Townsend Energy meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for Townsend Energy include:

  • Length of time business has been operating.
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
  • Response to 9 complaint(s) filed against business.
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.
  • BBB has sufficient background information on this business.

Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

9 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 9 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 2
Delivery Issues 2
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 5
Total Closed Complaints 9

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews on Townsend Energy
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 0

Additional Information

BBB file opened: November 08, 2001 Business started: 01/01/1922 in NY Business started locally: 01/01/1922 Business incorporated: 10/24/1956 in NY
Type of Entity


Business Management
Ray Eighmey, Manager
Business Category


Additional Locations

  • 64 Main Street

    Leroy, NY 14482 (585) 768-8188 (800) 369-8187

  • 922 Route 31F

    Macedon, NY 14502 (800) 779-2963 (315) 986-3100

  • P.O.Box 148

    Le Roy, NY 14482


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Additional Phone Numbers

  • (800) 369-8187(Phone)
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Complaint Detail(s)

1/8/2015 Problems with Product/Service
11/8/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: This past winter I was charged for an “Off Route” delivery fee, which I never agreed to pay. I did not agree to pay this fee due to not being informed of the fee. I was left a voice message stating there would be a $125.00 fee to deliver oil to my home. When I listened to the message I called to say I was not willing to pay the $125.00 fee associated with the “Off Route” delivery. The person I spoke to, *** called the driver and then called me back to say the oil had already been delivered. When I protested the fee she stated the person I spoke with to order the oil had cited I was aware of the fee. *** would not waiver from it was cited that I agreed to such a fee. I wrote two e-mails to ***********, which no one ever responded. I spoke with ****** today, Wednesday, 22, 2014, regarding my account and tried to explain the situation. Even telling he no one responded to my e-mails; she laughingly said, “No one checks those e-mails or knows how.” Why even have the address in the first place. When I told her the person who I ordered the oil delivery from made no mention the “Off Route Fee”. She stated the person who answered the phone worked for an after hours answering service and does not know our (Townsend Energy) business. If that is true how can *** cite I agreed to the fee when I placed my order? She went on to say *** left a message for me about the fee at ~0900 and I did not return the call to stop the delivery till ~1520. I told ****** I am not allowed to carry my cell phone on me at work. She stated she used to work for the government and I could have checked my messages on my lunch break. Although, this is true, it still does not negate the fact I did not agree to pay and added fee and my cell phone habits are not an excuse for your company to charge me.

Desired Settlement: To not be billed for a fee/service I did not agree to pay.

Business Response: Good morning,

Off route fee's are charged to cover time and fuel spent responding to a delivery request that is demanded that delivery happen that day.  The customer was informed via voice-mail of the charges. However, because the charge information was left via voice-mail the customer did not have an opportunity to respond and reschedule the delivery.  We have since reversed the delivery charge of $125.00. We have also left 2 voice-mails asking the customer to return our call in regards to this however we have not received a return call.  
We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this situation may have caused the customer. We look forward to our continued business relationship supplying their fuel needs throughout the coming heating season and beyond.
Thank you,
*** *******
Townsend Energy

10/20/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: 8/4/14 – ****** ******, an employee of Townsend Energy, came to the house I recently closed on to open my account with Townsend Energy and to look at the propane tank. He tells me that, since the house was sold ‘as-is’, I own the buried 500-gallon propane tank and the remaining propane in said tank, which was 75% full. ****** then had me sign a contract with Townsend Energy, which stated that I would pay $2.099/gallon for propane. Somewhere after 8/25/14 (I am not sure of the exact date because I was not living at the house at the time) – I received an invoice in the mail from Townsend Energy dated 8/25/14 for 375 gallons of propane equaling $922.13, which (I assume) accounts for the measured amount of propane in the tank on 8/4/14. The invoice stated the cost of the propane to be $2.459/gallon. The upper right hand corner of the invoice states: “Late fee assessed on 9/24/2014”. 9/20/14 – I received an invoice in the mail from Townsend Energy dated 9/15/14 for the 375 gallons of propane equaling $922.13, plus a late fee of $13.83. I immediately called Townsend Energy and talked to a male (I did not write his name down) who told me to call on Monday, 9/22/14 for any billing questions. Note: 9/20/14 was a Saturday, and I called at 4:05 pm). 9/22/14 – Townsend Energy delivered 77.2 gallons of propane at $2.459/gallon and left a bill on my door for $189.83. The bill had the previous owner of the house listed and the wrong account number. I called Townsend Energy. I spoke with **** and explained my situation regarding the 375 gallons of propane. **** told me that ****** was on vacation and he would call me when he returned to work on 9/24/14. I also made **** aware that the bill for the propane that was delivered 9/22/14 had the wrong name, account number, and propane unit cost on it. She said she would look into it. 9/25/14 – I called Townsend Energy after not hearing anything since my call on 9/22/14. I spoke with **** again, who told me that she would speak with ****** and one of them would get back to me the following day, 9/26/14. 9/29/14 – I called Townsend Energy after not hearing anything since my call on 9/25/14. I spoke with **** who assured me that I would get a call that afternoon from her and/or ****** since ****** would be in the office that afternoon. 10/7/14 – I called Townsend Energy after not hearing anything since my call on 9/29/14. I spoke with *** because *** said **** was on another call. I explained everything to *** since *** did not seem to have been filled in on my situation. *** immediately came out and told me that I needed to pay the invoice for the propane (at that point she seemed to have been previously filled in) and escalated the situation by rudely accusing me of not paying a bill that I “should” have paid. After catching her tone, I asked to speak with someone else at Townsend Energy, possibly her supervisor, to which she replied “no”. I explained to her that her employee, Harlan, had informed me when I signed up for an account on 8/4/14 that I owned the 375 gallons of propane in the tank. I also told her that I have called numerous times in the past two weeks trying to resolve this issue and have gotten nowhere with Townsend Energy, and I asked her why this conversation did not happen two weeks ago when I first brought the issue up to one of her employees (****). *** went on to say that on 8/15/14, Townsend Energy delivered 375 gallons, and since this is after I closed on my house, I am responsible for the propane. I explained to her again that the 375 gallons were there when I closed on the house; they were not delivered by Townsend Energy on 8/15/14. After explaining this to her several times, she acknowledged that the 375 gallons of propane were indeed there when I closed on the house. *** then told me that, when a house is sold, the propane is not included. I asked her where she got this information from, for example if this was a government law or a company policy, and she repeatedly told me “it is just what I am telling you”. I explained to her that her employee, Harlan, told me that the propane was mine, since my house was sold ‘as-is’. *** admitted that ****** made a mistake. I assured her that he was clear in saying that the propane came with the house, and I told her I would call ****** myself to clear things up. She told me that he has since been instructed to, if I contacted him, tell me that I need to pay for the propane. I kept trying to make it clear to *** that an employee told me, mistake or not, that my propane was mine and that I would not have to pay for it. I told her that her company made a mistake and that I should not be liable for that mistake. I asked her for credit to be applied to my account for this balance, and she declined. After asking multiple times for her to credit my account for her company’s mistake, she agreed to credit my account $25.00. At some point in this conversation, I also brought up the fact that we had another delivery on 9/22/14 under the previous owners account, and that the contract I had with Townsend Energy stated that I would be paying $2.099/gallon. She seemed surprised that I had a contract with Townsend Energy and had no record of it. She asked me to send her a copy of the contract which stated the $2.099/gallon cost of the propane, and she would adjust my account accordingly. I have not done this yet as I believe that, at this point, the unit cost of the propane is irrelevant since, no matter the cost, I should not be held liable for a mistake on Townsend Energy’s behalf. Note: I tried to convey only the facts above. But it should be known that, while speaking with *** on 10/7/14, I was so belittled by the way she was speaking to me that I was nearly in tears. She kept treating me like it was my mistake and I was in the wrong. She raised her voice and interrupted me multiple times. When I would ask her questions, she would become aggressive and put the blame on me or make me feel stupid. I believe that **** never had any plans to remedy the situation and her plan was to always tell me that I would get a call “tomorrow”. The customer service I received throughout my phone calls with **** and *** was terrible.

Desired Settlement: I would like the entire cost of the 375 gallons totaling $922.13, in addition to any late fees, credited to my account. After my account is credited, I will immediately send *** a copy of my contract and I will immediately pay for the delivery on 9/22/14 for 77.2 gallons of propane at $2.099/gallon, totaling $162.05.

Business Response:

The value of the 375 gallons of propane in question was credited back to the former owner, prior to the sale of the property. This volume should then have been billed to the new owner. With that said it sounds like our salesman was not aware of the refund and may have misled the new owner of the property.

Because of the confusion we are willing to remove the 375 gallons ($922.13) and any late fees associated with this billing. These changes will be made today 10/17/2014. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.



***** ******

Region Manager, Southern N.Y.

Superior Plus Energy Services

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me. 


****** ********

8/8/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: We were having problems with Townsend filling our propane tank over the winter. We were on automatic fill and had been for 3 years prior. This involved a delivery every month. Twice, this winter we nearly ran out of propane and it took several calls and an email to the President to resolve the issue (I have records of this as well as unfulfilled delivery tickets). We decided not to renew our contract with Townsend in April. Our bill was paid, we let them know we did not want anymore fills, and we were using up the propane we had in our tank before switching to a new company. At the end of June, two months after our previous fill, Townsend came to fill our tank without our consent and charged us a non-contract fee, 65 cents per gallon more than our contract fee. We called to try to get the propane pumped out, but were told since we weren't renewing with them, we either had to pay the bill or they would come get the tank. We signed on earlier than expected with our new propane company and had Townsend come get their tank. They are now charging us a $75 pump out fee for the propane they put in the tank that we did not want and were going to be forced to pay for. Remember- we were going to run this tank to empty before they filled it without our consent outside the contract terms. In addition, I have tried to call and talk to the manager, and he will not speak to me on the phone. I know that he was standing near the receptionist, because the receptionist asked the manager a questions while I was on the phone.

Desired Settlement: We would like the $75 pump out fee waived since it was not our desire or our fault that our tank was filled in June.

Business Response: Townsend Oil and its representatives value the expatiations of our customers by offering full service programs. Occasionally operational changes may occur and in your case as you had been used to deliveries every 30 days and were moved out further based on delivery efficiencies and supply demands during 2012-2013 heating season. While we experienced the worst winter on record in the last 10 years for supply and demand however all customer usage and volumes by tank capacity were being monitored . Reviewing call log and delivery report Townsend delivered 134.11 gallons on 06/19/2014 at Market rate $2.499 as your customer contracted fixed rate of $1.899 expired 05/01/2014 which nets a $0.56 per gallon differential. On 06/30/214 a credit was applied for 231.0 gallons at $2.459 (volume determined at point of tank(s) pick –up) in which 96.9 gallons should have been credited at $1.899 @ prior contract price sold and delivered rate, netting a $54.26 over credit to your account- which our oversight will be waived. Fixed contracted rates run for specific times frames to ensure customer protection to market rates and from point of entering to end of contract and are run seasonally through-out the heating season and deliveries post contract dates are still on automatic basis which should help to understand change in price per gallon. We can not find any contact notes of stop deliveries until logged call 06/23/2014 to end services and pick –up tanks. We sincerely regret any misunderstandings on our services or products and also will wave the $75.00 pump out fee in good faith per your request. Our intent is not to make our services “difficult to business with” to our valued customers. We appreciate the patronage you and your family have given Townsend Oil in the past.

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me. 

****** ******

Consumer Response: On July 16th, an agreement was reached upon the credit owed to us from Townsend Energy via BBB.  It has been over 3 weeks and we have not received a check for that credit.  On July 30th, I emailed the President of the company ***** ***** directly as to when we could expect our check.  He did not respond to my inquiry.  Today, August 8th, I called the company office and they had not received information to process our credit.  I am not sure how this is possible given that they picked up our propane tank at the beginning of July and we have had to deal with adjusting the credit owed.  They said once they put the "information" through, it will take 2-6 weeks to get a check.  Again, Townsend is failing to follow through on their part to serve a customer.  They have our money and will not return it.  We have had to repeatedly make contact and the company ignores us.  We would like the credit to our account processed immediately.  

Business Response:

Our sincerest apologies we are in agreement that on 07/16/2014 we agreed to refund the $75.00 pump out fee. Notes to the account acknowledge approval to reimburse pick up fees , along with  credit balance of returned gas at $113.28  totaling $188.28. The request had been forwarded to appropriate billing office for finale credit data entry and refund request. After internal investigation we acknowledge was not applied to account and overlooked at the servicing office account data entry level.

 We have prioritized this case to expedite refund as quick as possible and is in process.

Again we apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me. 


****** ******

7/24/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: During the past harsh winter, in the month of February, when winter seemed like it was never going to end, Townsend Energy of LeRoy New York instituted a new charge of 120.00 for propane delivery if requested before 14 days. On top of this charge, in order to get the fuel you needed to keep your family warm, they also charged an off-route fee of 90.00.Prior to this season, delivery requests were made and fulfilled within three days at most with no extra charges.When asked about this extraneous fee, the office claimed that it was due to an energy crisis being felt across the country. However our area was not impacted as harshly as other areas. It therefore became apparent that this was an attempt to take advantage of an opportunity and steal money from people who had no choice but to pay if they wanted to stay warm.After paying the inflated fees to receive the propane we needed to keep our family warm, we discontinued our contract with Townsend Energy and went with a more ethical company nearby.Townsend Energy's empty tank sat at the end of our driveway for four months despite several calls to have it removed. It sank in to the soft, spring ground and left holes in our lawn. When the company finally came to pick up the tank, they charged us a 90.00 tank removal fee! I don't know where they will stop at trying to take money away from hardworking, middle class people. I don't know where to go to stop their poor business practices and how to end my negative relationship with them. Please help my husband and I resolve this, we very much want to avoid any court dealings.

Desired Settlement: We would like the tank removal fee to be removed from our invoice and all further communication from Townsend Energy to cease and desist.

Business Response: We apologize for the inconvenience the customer may have endured through out this past heating season. The Propane supply shortage was well documented by the federal government and well reported by the media. Customers on a "will call" schedule did receive longer wait times than normal due to the supply shortage.  If a customer requested a delivery sooner than quoted delivery date "off route" charges are implemented to off set our cost of inefficient delivery.  

Customer called on 2/17/14 and asked that their account be canceled and the tank removed.  The tank was removed on 4/23/14.  It should be noted that the customer was incorrect in regards to the wait time or the tank removal as they stated it was 4 months.  To be correct, it was approximately 2 months.  The delay in the tank removal was caused by weather conditions that would allow an opportunity to safely remove the tank from the property.
Currently the customer is in arrears $65.21. To resolve this issue we would to offer that we remove remaining balance to bring the account to $0.00 status and cancel the customers account.
Please advise if this is an acceptable solution.
Thank you,
*** *******
Manager - Townsend Energy

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this does not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

I made a complain to the BBB on 7/15/2014 regarding the poor practices of Townsend Energy last winter. Our only request was that we not be responsible for the extraneous charge of a tank pick up fee and to receive no further communication from this company. A representative from Townsend responded to the complaint and offered to settle the dispute and dissolve the tank pick up fee. Unfortunately, we continue to receive bills from Townsend for this charge of 65.00 even after I sent them a copy of the BBB resolution. I do not want to continue this ridiculous dispute and the sooner we have nothing to do with this company the better. Please help us in finally putting this to an end.

Please remove the tank pick up fee from our account and discontinue contact

***** *********

Business Response:

As of September 25th 2014, the customer’s account has been credited back the tank pick up fee, bringing the account balance to zero. The account was then terminated, so there will be no further communication with the customer. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.



***** ******

Region Manager, Southern N.Y.

Superior Plus Energy Services

7/14/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: In October of 2013, we contracted with Townsend for heating propane and paid all invoices within 30 days of receipt of invoice. On 5/21/14 we contracted with another supplier and called Townsend to pick up their tanks and requested refund of unused propane. We were told there was an $80 fee to pick up tanks per our contract. We requested a copy of the contract. On 6/14/14 we received a credit invoice indicating the balance due us was at $.99 per gallon rather than $1.99 per gallon we had paid. On 6/16 after contacting Townsend twice and requesting a copy of the contract, we were informed that they did not have a contract and would refund us at $1.99 per gallon for 190 gallons or $378.10. We gave the address to send the refund check to. On 6/24/14 we called to inquire on the status of the check and were told it would be processed on 6/26 and sent out on 6/27. Upon calling again on 6/27, we were assured it was to be processed on 6/26 and mailed out on 6/27. Upon calling again on 7/2/14, we received a voice mail indicating that the check had not been sent out, a refund would be filed today and we should expect our check early next week.

Desired Settlement: We paid Townsend in good faith and have been lied to by this company. They have been consistently dishonest with us and we have been more than patient waiting for our refund. It has been almost six weeks since we initially contacted them and we still have not received our refund. We would like this matter resolved once and for all and would like the refund of $378.10 immediately.

Consumer Response:



To follow up on the complaint we filed (#********) on July 2, we have finally received our refund check from Townsend Energy.  It arrived in our mail on July 11, 2014, almost two months after this whole process began.  We are thankful that we received our refund but are very unhappy with the service that Townsend provided to us in this matter.  I certainly hope that we were the exception to the rule and that they don’t give all of their customers this kind of service.  If you need anything further from us, please feel free to contact us at this email address.  Thank you very much for your assistance in this matter.  **** *******.

4/9/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: Townsend Energy March 12, 2014 64 Main St. LeRoy, New York 14482 Attention, Mr. ***** *. *****, President: Because of a recent serious problem with your Company, I've been advised to first let anger subside and then to make a detailed record of the problem outlining the associated incompetence of your Company in solving it. I would first like to excerpt some verbiage that's included in your Web letter, specifically referencing Townsend's commitment to "customer service" - 1st para - "...with deep roots in customer service and the strength and resources to get the job done right"; 2nd para - ".., we continue to keep the family tradition, never loosing sight of the customer"; 3rd para - "Our radio dispatched fleet consists of well-maintained delivery vehicles operated by long-time local employees who embrace the value of hard work, integrity and customer service". If these statements are truly in the minds and hearts of your Townsend employees, and with your A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, Ifind it extremely hard to believe that this problem could have ever come up! Following is the history of the problem scenario along with appropriate comments: 1.) February 11, 2014 -1 woke up @7:00AM to find the house temperature at 59 F. The thermostat was operational and in the correct programmed demand mode. Checking a heat register, cold air was coming out as the furnace fan was on auto. I then turned the thermostat off for five(5) minutes and then back on. Going down to the furnace, the electric igniter came on briefly and then went out. I immediately called ***** *******, who periodically services the furnace, and talked to *****, a Service Rep. After reviewing what I had done, he asked if I had checked the gas gage on the 500 gal. tank. I said no, but I would try. I'm 81 years old and have had two(2) heart operations. After some very slow digging, I finally made it to the gage which showed a zero. I called ***** back and cancelled his quite costly (>$200) service visit. Itwas around 9:00AM when I called your Company. I talked to the receptionist about the problem. She checked on our delivery record and stated that the delivery man had tried on two(2) occasions to deliver fuel and offered a number of excuses for the non delivery. In fact, almost everyone I talked to at Townsend provided me with a well rehearsed excuse(s) for why they couldn't "get the job done right". To give you some geographic perspective, our driveway extends from Purcell Rd. (just off Rt. 20A in Hemlock) for approximately 200 yards up to the house/tank. The final 100 yards goes up a hill with a turn at the top that levels out to the house and tank (25 yards). Our two(2) cars, along with many family and friend visitors, have had no problem getting up during this severe winter. Our previous delivery man, ****, "a long time local employee" and, with I may add, a ton of critical driving experience, always made it up, a fact we brought up several times to your personnel. However, I can see where an inexperienced driver backing up slowly could have a problem. Apparently backing up is a regulation, but on any hill drive in winter, some fair amount of speed/momentum is required. On most of your receipts there is a statement "call first to check driveway status" (see attached copy). Why didn't Townsend call us, especially after the 1st failed attempt??? The last delivery was on 10/22/14. There were numerous times in both December and January, during brief thaws, when the driveway was completely clear. A simple call could have completely solved the problem!! Following are some questions that I would like answered: a.) Why didn't the delivery man, at least, check on the tank gage on one of his two(2) failed attempts? The tank is less than 100 yards from the bottom of the hill. A simple check could have provided critical information on a forthcoming problem and set in motion a corrective plan. b.) How could Townsend ever let this situation of running out of propane happen in the first place??? I'm assuming you have tracking records for each customer and should have projected our running out before a certain date. There are 112 days between the fill up on 10/22/13 and our running out on 2/11/14. With the 500 gal. tank filled to the usual 80% level = 400 gals., and using your service man's average estimate of using 6 gal./day, along with my high school math, I calculated that we would have run out after 400 gal./6 gals./day = 67 days or around Jan. 1, 2014. Why the propane lasted longer is traceable, I believe, to the fact that the house has 6" wall insulation, 36" attic insulation and double paned windows. However, I'm just incredulous that someone at your Company, with all your fancy computers, didn't check this out and react positively on our behalf? Mr. *****, we're both in our 80's and don't react well to temperatures below 70°F. If itwasn't for several small electric heaters (put on at our expense for over six(6) hours), we would have been in bad shape. Your Company really let us down, down, down!!!!!!! After lunch, a Townsend man finally appeared. After complaining about getting up the driveway, he installed two(2) small gray propane tanks and stated that they should last till he could bring up a larger 50 gal. tank. 2.) February 14, 2014 - Two(2) Townsend people, including the above small gray tank man, installed a 50 gal. tank, and again complained about the driveway adding a new slant "I don't know how I'm going to get down that hill". It's interesting to note that several cars visited us that same day to check on our wellbeing and had no problem getting up or down. Please also note that I had the driveway salted and sanded ($65) on 2/12/14 and ($65) on 2/20/14 - this was for Tonwsend's benefit, certainly not ours. $130 on a fixed income budget was just an added stress to the overall screw up type stresses that your Company caused us. Don't you agree Mr. ***** that this situation should never have happened, especially with your customer oriented philosophy??? • • • . . 3.) February 22, 2014 -1 looked out the window and saw a Townsend truck literally shoot up the driveway in reverse. I didn't have to even see who the driver was. I knew immediately that it had to be our old driver ****. Sure enough, **** appeared with his good natured spirit in tact. **** filled both the 50 and 500 gal. tanks. With the 40 gal. fill of the 50 gal. tank, we must have been dangerously close to again running out of propane!!! I'm very positive that if **** was our route driver that this problem would never have occurred. Apparently, Townsend finally listened to us that **** never had a problem and finally sent him. 4.) March 4, 2014-1 woke up at 7:00AM to find the house at 57°F. Again I started up the electric heaters (on for 6.5 hours), which I now won't put away till summer!! As I knew we should have had enough propane with both tanks recently filled, I assumed that the furnace was now at fault and immediately called *****. They agreed that the furnace was most likely faulty and sent ***** over immediately. After doing the standard diagnostic testing, ***** stated that we were out of propane. I was flabbergasted to the point of incoherence that this could be happening again!! He checked the two(2) propane tanks and stated that the house was only hooked up to the 50 gal. tank and that it had run out - surprise, surprise!!!! The ***** bill, which was sent to Townsend, came to $208.95. Why weren't the tanks hooked up in tandem or at least the big tank hooked up???? With 40 gal. in the 50 gal. tank, didn't someone at Townsend with all your computer wizardry realize that it would only last 40/6 = 6.7 days (actually it did last 18 days due to warmer temperatures and the aforementioned insulation). What is wrong with Townsend that you let us run out not once but twice??? Your service guy arrived at 1:10PM with the heat coming on at 1:30PM. This gentleman was very pleasant and refreshingly didn't complain about the driveway. Mr. ***** your Company has caused us a great deal of unnecessary stress, both physically/mentally and monetarily. What is your customer service action plan to correct this situation and prevent it from ever happening again??? I look forward to receiving your prompt response. *

Consumer Response: April 3, 2014
Subject: Complaint with Townsend Energy, LeRoy, NY - Your Request for
Further Information via Your E-mail 4/2/14
Ref: Complaint ID = *******
Dear BBB,
Pursuant to your E-mail request of 4/2/14 for more specific data regarding what I
would like Townsend to do to resolve the issues of my complaint, I've formulated
the following items listed in order of importance:
1.) I would like two(2) apologies:
a.) I would like a formal apology from Townsend's President, Mr.
*****, regarding this entire fiasco involving his supposedly highly service
oriented corporation.
b.) I would like an additional apology from Mr. ***** as to the long
delay in responding to this situation. I wrote the same letter you have on March
12, 2014 and have yet to hear from him or anyone in his company. If he had
responded in a timely fashion, I would not have had reason to contact you!
2.) I would like a written plan of action from Townsend as to how they will
proceed in the future to prevent a recurrence of this problem.
3.) I would like a reimbursement of the physical expenses I incurred over
the course of this trying experience, the exact nature of which was outlined in my
letter to both him and you. Note, the $208.95 bill from ***** ******* to inspect
the furnace after propane was delivered but not switched to the main tank was
sent in February to Townsend/Superior.
Many thanks for your kind attention to this matter.
Sincerely Yours,
****** ** ** ******

Business Response: This has been resolved with the customer via phone call.  Townsend Energy has agreed to remove finance charges on the acct and also placed a $500 credit on the customers account for the inconvenience and 3rd party contractors service bill.

Thank you,
*** *******
Townsend Energy

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:
I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me. 
****** ********

3/21/2014 Delivery Issues | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: We ran out of heating oil on Sunday, February 23, 2014. I have placed calls everyday to Townsend Energy, speaking to front office staff and to a Manager, Mr. ***** ***** **. trying to get heating oil. They have told me it would be 7 - 10 days before I could get filled. Yesterday, Tuesday, February 25, I was told they would get me at least 50 gallons to tied me over, this has not happened. Heating oil is my primary source of heat for my house and I am without it and therefore without heat. Townsend Energy has made the excuse, well we have to reschedule a route and try to get someone out there. Honestly?! You service a wide area throughout Genesee County and you can't change one drivers route to get me heating oil so I can heat my house. I am completely disgusted and disappointed with the service I am getting. They don't seem to care that I have no heat. We are going on day 4 with no heat.

Desired Settlement: I would like a full delivery of heating oil today!!!

Business Response:


REF: BBB Complaint ID *******

Will call delivery schedule requires the customer to track of their heating oil inventory level and call several days in advance before running out of product to schedule a delivery. This customer is on such a delivery plan as they have requested. We have tried to persuade the customer to move onto our automatic delivery program thus removing the stress of tracking their product levels. Unfortunately this customer has rejected this request as heating oil is for a secondary heat source. This customer burns wood as a main heat source.

On the run out date in question (2/23/14) the customer asked that the Townsend Energy service manager come over and look at their heating unit as it was not running.  The service manager lives close by this customer. The service mamager did find the heating oil tank empty. The customer stated they would call for a delivery the next day. The customer was not charged for this weekend/after hour’s service.

Customer called the office Monday 2/24/14 requesting delivery. It was explained to the customer that they are on a will call schedule and it may take 7-10 days for a delivery.  The customer did request a delivery quicker than the 7-10 days required.  The customer was offered to receive an emergency delivery however it would be subject to the standard off route delivery fee of $90. The customer rejected this offer and asked to keep the delivery request as scheduled, 7-10 days.

2/27/14 – Only 3 days after delivery request the driver was in the process of delivering the neighbors and had this customer as his next stop. The customer called into the office while the driver was delivering neighbor and requested that we do not deliver as previously requested.

Again we have offered to place this customer on automatic delivery schedule that would allow Townsend Energy to manage their deliveries and deliver as needed to alleviate the burden from the customer. Should the customer run out on automatic delivery we would offer immediate service to get the customer product and their heating unit up and running with little interruption at no charge.  

Again the customer opted not to accept this offer.

Please let me know if you are need of anything more regarding this complaint.

Thank you,

*** *******


Townsend Energy – Leroy NY


3/4/2014 Delivery Issues | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: I am a customer of Townsend on a 30 day auto delivery for my propane that heats my house, hot water and stove. I came home on Monday, February 10th at 6:30 pm and smelled a strong odor of propane as soon as i walked in, the smell was throughout the entire home and basement and the temperature in the house was only 58 degrees. This was very concerning especially having my 3 year old son with me. I came to find out that both my 100 gallon tanks that reside outside my residence were empty. I was shocked that my tanks would be empty considering they are under contract to automaticly deliver propane every month and they have been taking my money every month and not providing service. I had to call the after hours number for emergency, they were unable to look up my account their systems were down but told me they would have a technician call me asap. I waited 30 minutes and i received NO call. I called back again to let the same lady know, so she said she would try again. I waited another 20 minutes or so and received a call. The technician stated they must of skipped/missed my delivery on more than one occation for my tanks to be empty and that he can only deliver 16 gallons to get me through the night.... but it would take him another 2 hours to arrive because there are other customer who have no propane in their tanks as well. So now its 9 pm and the technician shows up. In the mean time i was unable to use the stove for cooking, to run a warm bath for my son and the house was now at 56 degrees with temps outside at 9 degrees. The tech did his thing, tested for leaks, gave me the 16 gallons and reset my pilot light....then i had to wait for the home to then heat back up to normal temperature. I called the office in the morning and asked for the manager, his name is ***** ******, I told him and he was not suprised in the least. He stated that there is a propane shortage and they are on a one to two month delay on delivery and with not enough propane to go around and he was not suprised that i ran out. I WAS TOTALLY SHOCKED!!!! The last delivery to my tanks were on December 11th he stated and it was the 11th of February and they had not come back. even with the extreme temperatures we have had!! He was NOT sympathedic at all!! The company did not notafy their customers of this situation and still continued to take payments!!! They did come after i complained on the 11th to fill my tanks. I have asked for compensation for this huge inconvienance, this not only is very dangerous to allow your tanks to run out, as stated on the papers provided by Townsend. This could cause fire or explosion!!! Also, service was not rendered but payment was still taken, no notice was given and this is a complete disregard for your customers safety and wellbeing.

Desired Settlement: I would like to receive compensation for this in the form of reduction of my bill with a minimum of 2 months credit!!

Business Response:  Townsend Energy and its representives value the expectations of our customers by offering full service programs. Occasionally disruption in service can occur and we fully understand the inconvenience this can bring to our loyal customers , as in this case. Being a full service supplier upon the unfortunate out of gas/run out situation that occured the evening of Feruary 10th engauged our 24/7 service department to respond to home as quickly as possible to service the out of gas situation, supply emergency fuel, perform a pressure safety inspection and ensure  effected appliances are up and running, followed by a Lp gas deliverly February 11th. The 2013-2014 heating season has extended many challenges on supply, distrubution combined with higher than normal consumer volumes with below average temperture season.  We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience of this situation to you and your family and will apply a $50.00 credit to your account.