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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have a bulk LPG tank which I do not need anymore (I no longer

Resolved Question:

I have a bulk LPG tank which I do not need anymore (I no longer have a LPG boiler.) The tank is owned by a gas supplier - I have been paying £150 per year standing charge in addition to the gas.

I have been a customer for five years.

I contacted them to request that the tank be removed and they responded that they would charge me £250 and not refund me for the remaining gas in the tank with a value of £200 (for which I have already paid). They want to charge me £450 to remove their tank.

On a piece of paper headed Terms and Conditions they referred me to section 11:

"11. In the event of the tank/equipment being removed from the site Extra Gas has no responsibility to make good of it. Removal costs and planning permission, if required, to be met by the customer. This applies to both above/underground vessels"

However, the Domestic Bulk Liquefied Petroleum Gas Market Investigation Order, 13th October 2008 states:

"2.5 If a customer does not want a tank transfer, the customer can indicate in a notice of termination of contract that the customer wants the existing tank to be uplifted and a new tank installed and the existing supplier shall be obliged to remove the existing tank from the ustomer’s premises."

and

"13.1 When a tank is uplifted, the existing supplier shall not charge the customer or the new supplier any costs directly connected with the uplifting of the existing supplier’s tank."

In an explanatory note to the order "Explanatory note
[This Note is not part of the Order]" It states that:

"Tank uplift charges
35. Article 13 provides that the existing supplier shall not impose upon the customer or the new supplier any charge directly referable to cost of the tank uplift. The intention of this article is to ensure that the imposition of a charge at the termination of a contract does not act a disincentive on the customer to switch. It does not preclude the supplier from recovering the cost of tank uplift through the charges made for
supply of LPG over the course of the contract."

Now, although these articles are written in the context of changing supplier and I do not need a new supplier, it is clear the intention is that customers should not be charged uplift.

1) Can I rely on these articles to ensure that no uplift is charged?
and
2) Is it reasonable that the value of the gas in the tank - which I have paid for and they can easily take out and resell - should be reimbursed to me?

Thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : Have you approached them with the articles please?
Customer:

Hi - I sent them the following yesterday but have not received a response:

Customer:

"Gary - thanks for your reply.

I trust that you are familiar with the Domestic Bulk Liquefied Petroleum Gas Market Investigation Order, 13th October 2008.

I would like to refer you to:

Part B
2.5 If a customer does not want a tank transfer, the customer can indicate in a notice of
termination of contract that the customer wants the existing tank to be uplifted...

and

13.1 When a tank is uplifted, the existing supplier shall not charge the customer....

Now, although these are in the context of changing supplier it is clear the intention is that customers should not be charged uplift.

On this basis I once again request that you agree to uplift my tank and no charge and reimburse me for the gas remaining in the tank.

Finally, note that you cannot determine that the contract has not terminated if I decide to terminate the contract and give you notice of this.

Thanks

- Nick"

Customer:

Here is their response to my drawing their attention to the articles in the Order:

Customer:








To: ***** *****














Nick – Thanks for your email.



Unfortunately your reference to the ‘Domestic Bulk Liquefied Petroleum Gas Market Investigation Order, 13th October 2008’ would only be relevant if you were entering into a switching process. This would involve you signing a ‘Notice 1’ with the new supplier, they would then send this to us showing your intention to switch. We would then send a valuation of the tank to the new supplier, at this point you would be able to indicate that you would not want a tank transfer, however you would then have another tank installed by the new supplier and then be responsible for their uplift charges, and possibly their installation charges depending on the terms of your new contract.



Yours Sincerely



***** *****






Alex Watts :

You should to write and set out your losses and ask for a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court. Make sure you send this recorded delivery and keep a copy.

If they refuse then you can issue proceedings which can be done online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by competing form N1 at: https://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf



The Court will then issue the claim which will be sent to the Defendant and they will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce it. If the matter is defended it will be set down for a hearing. If the losses are £10,000 or less then it will be a small claim and you do not need representation.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

Alex - I have not suffered any loss.

Customer:

There is a large metal tank with Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) in in in my garde.
The tank is rented from a firm Extra Gas.
I have rented the tank for 5 years (this is relevant because there was a 2 year exclusivity clause)
I no longer need the tank.
I want Extra Gas to remove their tank without charging an uplift charge and to refund me for the gas in the tank.
They want to charge me £250 and keep the £200 of gas.
There is a ‘Domestic Bulk Liquefied Petroleum Gas Market Investigation Order, 13th October 2008’ order you need to read to understand this case.
Simply suggesting I go to court is not what I need. Currently I have not suffered a loss.

Customer:

I want to know if the ‘Domestic Bulk Liquefied Petroleum Gas Market Investigation Order, 13th October 2008’ articles mean they cannot charge me an uplift charge when I am not changing supplier but rather no longer require bulk gas so no longer require neither a tank nor a gas supplier.

Customer:

I would like to know if I should terminate the contract and if so what I should do in terms of instructing them to remove the tank.

Alex Watts :

Yes you can terminate.

Alex Watts :

If they try and claim the costs you can say sue me

Alex Watts :

If you want to recover the gas stored you will probably have to sue them

Alex Watts :

They are not going to budge

Alex Watts :

But once court proceedings are issued, they are likely to get a very different approach

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify?

Customer:

Hi - Alex thanks that clarifies. So you think I can rely on the Domestic Bulk Liquefied Petroleum Gas Market Investigation Order to back my assertion that I should not be charged an uplift?

Alex Watts :

Yes I think you can

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question might I invite you to rate my answer

Alex Watts :

If the system wont let you please do say

Alex Watts :

If I can help further please click reply

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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