I'm located in Virginia.
A year ago, I signed a contract with a local propane gas supplier to deliver liquid propane in an above-ground tank. The tank belongs to the propane company (it was already at the house when I bought it). The contract has a minimum purchase of 200 pounds of propane per year, and a monthly tank rental fee that is waived if I meet the minimum purchase. Propane is delivered on an automatic delivery basis.
We did not use and purchase the minimum amount of propane, nor are we likely to (since the only propane appliance we have is a set of gas logs used for supplemental heat). So they charged me the tank rental (and billed me for the past year's worth). Once I realized that they weren't going to waive the rental fee, and that they would continue charging it since I'm not likely to use enough propane to have it waived, I asked them about just picking up the tank; I'll pay them the rental fee and be done with them.
The problem is, there's also a clause in the contract that says the contents of the tank become their property when they pick the tank up. They won't refund me for the value of the propane (which I paid for) when they take the tank.
Is this legal? I don't dispute that I signed the contract, but I do have a problem with the company stealing propane that I paid for. I've never in my life dealt with a company that wants to take back the product you purchased from them if you decide to cease doing business with them!
Do I have any recourse?