In addition, Walmart’s position as the “largest propane exchange tank retailer in the United States” does not protect it from coercion. Even a power buyer like Walmart is vulnerable when its only two suppliers for a product have secretly agreed not to deviate from a proposed price increase. In 2008, Blue Rhino and AmeriGas each decided to implement a price increase by reducing the amount of propane in their exchange tanks from 17 pounds to 15 pounds, without a corresponding decrease in the wholesale price. Blue Rhino publicly announced its fill reduction plan on June 25, 2008. AmeriGas publicly announced its fill reduction plan on July 10, 2008.

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And Ferrellgas, L.P., also doing business as Blue Rhino (collectively “Blue Rhino”). Se unlawful depends on an unfounded assertion that the parties agreed to keep their prices fixed. There was no allegation in the complaint that the parties agreed in any way on the pricing of the lesser-filled propane tanks. Walmart was free to negotiate prices or any other price element with the parties. Yet, there is no allegation that Walmart tried but was unable to re-negotiate the price of the tanks with each of the parties.

I had that filled a few times and exchanged it out another time with another company because I couldn’t find a place to fill tamks. BR tanks are under the same standards as any other tank. One of those tanks was added to our 1992 Starcraft tent trailer in 2003.

It’s quicker to exchange a tank rather than have a gas-station attendant come out and fill your existing bottle. Whether you choose to refill or exchange your propane tank, propane is the best way to keep your summer cooking. Propane is an affordable, easy to use, and efficient fuel that excels in backyard barbecues. Propane provides immediate heat and precise temperature control, which gives you the flexibility to prepare a variety of dishes that would be challenging with other outdoor heat sources. Exchanged propane tanks are regularly inspected, so you’ll know that the tank you pick up has a lot of life left and has been checked for any issues.

Take a bottle of water with you to the refilling station. When the tank is full, pour the water down the side of the tank. So i wouldnt use them…also i don’t use propane for grilling thats just wrong. A store employee will escort you back to the display and provide you with a fresh, ready-to-grill tank. Mister blue rino does all over Florida I don’t know about other states or if there is a fraud law against that or not.just like they have on gas pumps.

FTC approves settlement in Blue Rhino, AmeriGas propane tank charges

I was surprised to learn that those small propane exchange bottles are rarly sold full. The gas company adjusts how much goes in depending on how much the retailer wants to sell the exchange for and the price of propane on the day they are filled. Try as the majority may to fit this case into the per se category of price and output restrictions among competitors, it simply does not belong in that category. As a result, the cases and other support cited by the majority—including Catalano, Sugar Institute, and commentary addressing agreements on various elements of price—are inapposite.

  • Let me do a cost analysis and a couple of dry runs and I’ll get back to the collective with my design.
  • In case you read or heard that Blue Rhino tanks cannot be refilled by other propane dealers, that apparently is no longer true.
  • And UGI Corporation and AmeriGas Partners, L.P.
  • Try and find someone locally who is licensed to rectify tanks — it usually isn’t easy — and there is a cost of course.

Propane cylinders are used for a wide variety of applications including gas grills, patio heaters, outdoor fireplaces, mosquito traps and more. Posted Hide PostAnyone purchased a bag of Lay’s recently???? The disclaimer that comes to mind is “This product is sold by weight, not volume. Some settling of contents may have occurred during handling and shipping”. Amerigas has an exchange service, without the valve issues. The exchange is a great way to trade in your old crappy rusty tanks. And, the tanks are not fully filled in order to keep a consistent price.

Learn how the FTC protects free enterprise and consumers

If you remember from the “Are we out of propane again” post, a 5 gallon tank (a.k.a. as a 20# cylinder) holds approximately 19.88 pounds of propane, which is about 4.7 gallons. At $3.45 per gallon, it would cost $16.22 to fill an empty tank. However, a lot of places have a 5 gallon minimum, so they will charge $17.25 to fill a partially empty 20# tank. In the first example, bulk is $3.75 cheaper than the Blue Rhino, and if there is a minimum charge it is still $2.72 cheaper to refill your tank. Given that I had three tanks, the exchange cost for me was $11.25 more than if I had taken three tanks to the U-Haul store less than a mile away. The Federal Trade Commission announced Friday it has approved final orders settling charges that the companies illegally colluded to push Wal-Mart and other retailers to accept lower propane levels in their exchange tanks while keeping the prices up.

Our local Piggly Wiggly carries the Uni Flame brand. They are usually a little cheaper than Blue Rhino and Amerigas. However as others have noted they do not fill the tanks full, they short change you.

  • Posted Hide PostI was selecting a Blue Rhino bottle today and saw one that was 1987.
  • They are usually a little cheaper than Blue Rhino and Amerigas.
  • Whether the initial decision to reduce fill levels was the result of independent decision-making has no bearing on the unlawfulness of the parties’ subsequent agreement to maintain a united front with respect to Walmart.
  • As described in the complaint, Respondents have entered into a number of “co-packing” agreements, pursuant to which one of the Respondents processes and refills propane exchange tanks for the other Respondent at certain of their processing plants.

But you need to look for the telltale TS2 indention to be sure. For liability reasons, if you choose to refill your tank, please remember to remove the plastic sleeve before having it refilled. I was fortunate and noticed on the label on the tank sleeve that the tank was to be refilled by Blue Rhino only. Turns out that is a requirement, not a request.

Now, I see a market for a Male-Male BlueRhino filler mechanism. I envision some sort of threadolet welded into the side of the bottle with all-thread stand-off brackets . Let me do a cost analysis and a couple of dry runs and I’ll get back to the collective with my design. So, if you do the Blue Rhino thing, check to be sure you get the bottle with the latest date to avoid paying for recertification and without the triangular depression on the valve to avoid being stuck with a non-refillable bottle.

20 lb tanks are more commonly known as BBQ size tanks. These cylinders are meant to hold 20 lbs of propane @ 80% of the tanks capacity. Blue Rhino is most certainly ‘short-filling’ their tanks to line their already bulging pockets. Also, Blue Rhino puts a plastic ‘sleeve’ around its tanks which advocates rapid rusting resulting in an ugly and sometimes unsafe cylinder. These special TS2 valves are only on a very small portion of Blue Rhino tanks. The majority of Blue Rhino tanks can be refilled by any qualified and trained propane supplier.

II. The Complaint

Blue Rhino, Amerigas, Uni Flame come right to mind. Also from what I have seen, they all take each other’s tank. If you have a Blue Rhino you can turn it in at Amerigas, etc, etc. After that you simply swap the empty tank for a full one and pay the current price of propane whatever it may be.

can i exchange amerigas for blue rhino

This subsequent agreement to act in concert in negotiations with Walmart is the basis for the Commission’s challenge. Under the settlements, which were reached in October, Blue Rhino and AmeriGas are barred from agreeing with competitors to modify fill levels or fix the prices of exchange tanks, and from coordinating negotiations with customers. Under the Sherman Act,per seillegal agreements are not strictly limited to agreements on price.

The Daily Journal of the United States Government

I’ve gotten tanks home before and using the very inexact weight gauge on my Weber it tells me I have a half full tank and it certainly seems to run out faster. I go to Lowes or someplace like that because I have faith that it’s a tank in decent condition and it’s actually full. Many nursey locations have a propane fill station.

The Blue Rhino Tank doesn’t have 20 pounds of propane in it, or 19.88 pounds of propane either; it ONLY HAS 15 POUNDS OF PROPANE. That’s almost 25% less propane than what a bulk propane dealer will put into an empty tank. These 5 gallon tanks are what come with the typical outdoor grill and also on many campers. We need four tanks to run our large patio BBQ, our patio Weber Q, our patio stove, and one of our fire pits. The three tanks in the picture are our backups when a tank runs out of gas.

More information about the consent agreements can be found in the analysis to aid public comment for this matter on the FTC’s website. The FTC’s administrative complaint, issued in March 2014, alleges that, together, Blue Rhino and AmeriGas controlled approximately 80 percent of the market for wholesale propane exchange tanks in the United States. In 2008, Blue Rhino and AmeriGas each decided to implement a price increase by reducing the amount of propane in their exchange tanks from 17 pounds to 15 pounds, without a corresponding reduction in the wholesale price. Faced with bitcoin casino blog resistance from Walmart, the two companies colluded by secretly agreeing to coordinate their negotiations with Walmart in order to push it to accept the fill reduction. The agreement between Blue Rhino and AmeriGas to maintain a united front against Walmart had the effect of raising the price per pound of propane sold to Walmart, and likely to the ultimate consumers. Under the proposed settlements, each company is barred from agreeing with competitors to modify fill levels or otherwise fix the prices of exchange tanks, and from coordinating communications to customers.

How many times can a propane tank be recertified?

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Blue Rhino and AmeriGas understood that they could not sustain the fill reduction across the industry unless it was accepted by Walmart. The decision about propane tank exchange vs refill is less about what is the better option, and more a matter of convenience vs price. So, is it cheaper to exchange a propane tank or refill it? But there are advantages and drawbacks to both.