October 16, 2010
625 West Ave
Alamosa, CO 81101
On September 15, 2010 an agreement was signed and I paid in person $394.80 cash at your customer service counter to have a 250 gallon propane tank installed on my property near Blanca, CO. I was told that the money covered not just the installation of the tank, but included 200 gallons of propane. My invoice for this transaction is number B146702.
Moreover, I stated at the time that I needed and expected your firm to live up to its advertisement in the Yellowbook phone directory (and elsewhere) wherein your company promises "Prompt Installation" and other assurances.
Sadly, thus began a series of delays and excuses that made my experience with your firm anything but "prompt" nor was there at length any compliance whatsoever with the terms of contract.
It took over two weeks to even receive the tank, and then began a whole new round of excuses whereby yet another two weeks went by before your field representative finally arrived at my property, supposedly to install the gas line in the trench dug according to applicable code for this purpose.
The trench was a minimum depth of 18 inches at all points, extended in excess of fifteen feet away from where the tank was set, and as had been clearly explained during the earlier visit to place the tank, the purpose of the trenched line was for the purpose of providing connection to my motor home which was parked on the property.
Since the area in which the tank was emplaced and trench dug was in a relatively narrow space between two parked semi-trailers, I explained to your representative that until the line was set and the earth re-packed over the trench, there simply wasn't room to drive the motor home next to the trenched area until the job was completed.
He began to object along the lines, first, that he needed to "pressure check" the connection to the motor home, supposedly BEFORE installing the line in the ground. This was a patently ridiculous dodge, since he could have properly and legally installed the plumbing, capped his own work and terminus, and pressure tested his installation per code, whether the motor home was actually next to the trench or not.
I offered to later drive the motor home into its designed proximity to the final connection point (after the trench had been backfilled and compressed) so that an additional pressure test could be performed after connection to the motor home gas appliance (in this case a 125,000 btu hydronic heating boiler) but he refused.
When asked why, he offered the opinion that since he wasn't personally familiar with a motor home having a heating system based upon hydronic boiler heating, he "couldn't" even emplace the necessary piping in the trench which is part of the normal contractural agreement which I paid for more than a month earlier.
I informed your representative that the plumbing code had no provisions forbidding hydronic heating systems in motor homes, any more than forbidding them in regular homes and businesses. I walked your representative over to the motor home in question, and showed him a custom-built platform on the back of the motor home on which was securely mounted the boiler and other components. It was explained to him that no propane from the Amerigas tank would actually be entering the structure, nor even beneath it, but rather would connect directly from the entrenched standpipe via standard code-specified flex line to the boiler. The only thing entering the motor home from there would be the hot water circulation lines for interior heating.
He was again promised that I had no problem with allowing him to observe the final connections and do whatever sort of pressure testing he wished, inasmuch as the boiler itself was in plain view and the motor home would subsequently be parked adjacent to the finished standpipe riser from the trench, so there would be no possibility of either an undetected leak or other dangerous condition. I explained that in fact this sort of arrangement was actually inherently far safer than merely having him connect directly to a "regular" style motor home gas system, inasmuch as no one has x-ray vision and even if a more common motor home gas distribution system passed an initial pressure test, the numerous hidden tees and divisions and routing of propane lines within a motor home offered far more opportunity for subsequent problems via galvanic corrosion, unobserved weak points or wear/vibration points, etc. This simple "outdoor" appliance installation was inherently safer and open to inspection, with literally ZERO propane lines going into the structure or undercarriage, etc.
Your representative nevertheless refused to complete the installation of plumbing into the trench, and as of that point was in breach of contract.
I informed him that since he had no legal or code-mandated reason for refusing to install the gas line, I wished to have my $400 (approx) cash back immediately, and to likewise immediately remove your firm's tank from my property. He said he did not have my money, and could not/would not comply.
He was then informed that, being in breach of contract, and refusing/not being able to refund my money, as of this date (16Oct2010) Amerigas would be charged a reasonable fee of $20 per day for the intrusion/storage of the company tank on my property. Moreover, it being clearly posted as private property with prominent "No Trespassing" signs posted (some near the tank itself) I would not allow any trespass onto my property for removal of said tank UNTIL the full amount in cash was refunded.
This letter follows my recorded phone message to your company this day, re-stating the terms in writing. Moreover, since your standard contract allows YOU to charge late fees etc for "delinquency" I am informing you that if I do not receive the full amount by October 31, 2010, a delinquency fee based upon 20% of the total will be required, with an additional 20% for each 15 day period thereafter.
Naturally, if your company can show me anyplace in the plumbing code that either forbids me from having hydronic heating in my motor home, or that otherwise proves me in non-compliance with any pertinent safety regulation, then I will withdraw my objections and merely collect the orginal cash amount without penalties or tank storage charges. However, any such supposed plumbing code violation will have to be either mailed or hand delivered within a period of no less than ten days from this legal notice to your firm.
If you prefer to re-evaluate your mistaken stance vis-a-vis the applicable plumbing code, and can assure me that the work can proceed and be finished (including delivery of the propane charge into the tank) within FIVE days maximum, I would be happy to continue a friendly and professional association with your firm, otherwise it shall quite possibly devolve into a costly court case, since I have no intention of allowing this controversy to prevail over both common sense and common law.
Richard L. Loomis
PO Box 130
Blanca, CO 81123
719 298 8633
Product or Service Mentioned: Amerigas Gas Tank.