I hope you had a good Memorial Day weekend. For me that often means a time to head over to Grill Maestro for some grilling tips. This weekend, I noticed an interesting an interesting article Propane suppliers quietly reduce size of refills. In short, raising prices of last year caused propane makers to put less propane in each tank. This allows them to keep the same price and not lose customers for rising prices.
It is reminiscent of the incredible shrinking yogurt that a few have written about. My wife is still upset about the yogurt switch from 8oz to 6oz. For her that difference is significant enough to not buy it any more. With a piece of fruit, it was a small meal, but now it’s barely just a snack. When the economy gets better, they’ll no doubt put out the banner of 33% more free. Ever notice how products can continually offer such great promotions? If they didn’t shrink the size when you weren’t looking, you’d be bringing home a keg of ketchup.
The shrinking propane is different than shrinking yogurt. While the yogurt switch is tricky, the amount of the product you are getting is clearly labeled on the container. The propane tank is the same size regardless of how much propane is actually inside of it. They could fill it with 5 pounds of propane or 100 pounds and I wouldn’t know the difference until I picked it up. Unlike other industries, if I don’t like how much Amerigas or Blue Rhino is giving me, I can’t easily choose to opt for another company. In my area, no one refills liquid generic propane tanks – it’s always an exchange system. Once you pick an exchange system, you are more or less stuck with it unless you want to pay the upfront costs for a new tank.
I often can forgive being wronged, but don’t mess with me when it comes to grilling and money. What do you say? Is it wrong for propane companies to pull the shrinking yogurt since their product’s container size is fixed? Or is it fair for them to use the same tactics that the other companies use?
Photo Credit: Whitewolf Productions