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Minnesota settles suit with Ferrellgas, some customers to receive refunds

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson has settled a lawsuit with Ferrellgas L.P., a national propane energy company. The settlement requires Ferrellgas to change its business practices and recovers money for Minnesota consumers who paid undisclosed charges or fees.

The state's suit alleged that Ferrellgas didn't always disclose specific per-gallon prices to consumers. Actual rates were sometimes significantly higher than those of competitors.

Ferrellgas also charged undisclosed and poorly disclosed fees, according to the lawsuit. That included "low usage" and "no usage" fees of up to $199 for consumers who the company felt did not use enough propane.

The settlement requires Ferrellgas to disclose the price it will charge at the time of a consumer's order. The settlement also requires clear and conspicuous fee disclosures and all no-use and low-use fees must be directly refunded.

The settlement requires Ferrellgas to pay $450,000 to the state. The attorney general's office will create a settlement fund to be used to compensate customers.

If consumers would like to participate in the settlement fund or have questions, they should contact the attorney general's office at 651-296-3353 or 800-657-3787.

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

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