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RGMacEsq
RGMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 16370
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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I would like to know if there is a legal reason company to

Customer Question

I would like to know if there is a legal reason for a company to sell the same product for two different prices. I recently learned that the company that I purchase propane from charges a different price for the same amount of propane. I was told that I must purchase a minimum of 100 gallons of propane which cost me roughly $302.00 plus tax. My girlfriend who lives 3 house from me and has to get her propane from same company was told that she also must purchase a minimum of 100 gallons at the cost of roughly 251.00 plus tax.
When I ask the sales person why was there a different price for the same about of gas I was told because I have a oblong propane tank and she has a upright tank.
My question is why is there a different price for the same amount. Each type of tank can hold the minimum(100 gallons). When I asked the sales person about getting a smaller upright tank so I would pay the 251.00 price her words were "Why would you want to do that"
So is this legal and if not what course of action can I take to get refunds for gas I have purchased in the past?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  RGMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. If by "legal reason", you mean to ask if it's legal, yes, it is. They might even have a legal reason (that being that they have a contractual obligation to do so). But more likely it's an economic reason. If you've ever bought a plane ticket you know that they don't charge the same price twice, even if it's the same type of seat on the same flight, etc... Companies are free to "price discriminate" in a manner that maximizes their revenue, so long as they're not discriminating on the basis of race, religion, gender or disability.

The term for this is actually "price discrimination", with "discrimination" merely meaning treating two similarly situated individuals differently. Discrimination is not illegal. Only illegal discrimination (on the basis of race, age, religion, gender, disability) is illegal.

Price discrimination is a commonplace practice that is presumptively lawful, save under special circumstances discussed below. It occurs when a seller of products regularly offers lower prices to its preferred customers and higher prices to the others when selling them the same or similar products at around the same time. SeeContinental Baking Co. v. Old Homestead Bread Co., 476 F.2d 97, 103 (10th Cir., 1973) (“The term ‘price discrimination’ means no more than price differentiation, or the charging of different prices to different customers for goods of like grade and quality.”) (citing FTC v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc., 363 U.S. 536,***** 1267 (1960)).

Furthermore, the law is restrictive in nature, not permissive. That means that you're not going to find a law that says that someone can do something. You'll only find a law that says someone can't or must do something. Laws restrict rights. As there is no law that says that they can't discriminate on price, it IS legal for them to do this. Now if you're under contract with them, that means that you're going to have to continue until the contract is over. Once it is, you can renegotiate or go with another seller.

I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it is the law. I hope that clears things up anyway. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (good or better). Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

Expert:  RGMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

Expert:  RGMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

Are you there? Please note that I am still here, awaiting your response or rating... (please note that rating closes this question out, so if there's nothing else, please rate it so that I can assist other customers that are waiting for answers to their questions)

Expert:  RGMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

Hello?

Expert:  RGMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

Should I continue to await your response, or may I assist the other customers that are waiting?

Expert:  RGMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

My apologies, but I must assist the other customers that are waiting. If there's nothing else, please rate this answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time (~35 minutes) and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it 3 or more stars (good or better) AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

▼ RATING REQUIRED! ▼ Please don't forget to Rate my service positively. It's only after you rate that I am credited.

Expert:  RGMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

I see that you have not responded in some time. Please note that this question is still open until you rate it. I believe that I have answered your question, but if you have any other questions, please let me know.If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, ***** ***** good luck to you!

Expert:  RGMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

Expert:  RGMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

I see you still have not responded or rated. Please note that this question remains open until you rate it 3-5 stars on your screen. Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?