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Thread: Airgas Issues

  1. #1
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    Default Airgas Issues

    Has anyone in the readership dealt with Airgas recently? Our local Airgas dealer just charged me $78 and change to fill an 80 tank with NOS. I later contacted other vendors and they are in the low $40's for the same fill. I complained at the time and was told that prices went way up recently. I filed a complaint with the company and was contacted by a regional manager who told me that pricing was now determined by their computer, and one of the metrics it uses is if you have an account, and how much you have spent with them lately.

    Sooo, this means that no two people can walk into their store and pay the same price for a commodity that is easily available elsewhere?

    Apparently the company was purchased about 18 months ago, and things are now..."new and improved"?

    Over the years, I've spent thousands at our local Airgas, and always was treated decently, and I did so on a cash account...my mistake was stumbling into the "new and improved Airgas and expecting to be treated equitably. Who knows what their pricing metric involves...your credit score? Make and model of the car you drive? Level of education? I'm done with them.

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    Yup, "Join the club"

    I have moved my "Customer owned" bottles from Airgas.

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    I have worked as a glassblower for the last 11 years and use oxygen and propane as the fuel.

    Airgas and Praxair have always been the very last resort if something is needed, and only then if it's "right now". Their prices are always insane, and if you don't walk in wearing a company uniform they act like you shouldn't be there. You also need an account to even buy anything at my local airgas/praxair.

    I just go to the local welding shop, they have always been great to me.

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    When you live in a rural area, you run the risk of having to deal with a single supplier. And gas is expensive to transport- well, the tanks are. Airgas is always quick to take advantage of that. We are lucky up in the Puget Sound area to have 3 or 4 competing suppliers in most areas, it helps. Welding supply stores, though, have always given price breaks to companies with accounts. I have had accounts with the local welding supply, in California, and later in Washington State, since the mid 80s, and always gotten better prices, and better service, than walkin customers do. Many market sectors work this way, especially industrial suppliers. My steel suppliers, fastener suppliers, and tooling suppliers often have a range of prices, depending on who you are. It used to be even more this way, back in the day, where, if you had a resale number, you got fifty percent off. I bought all my proto hand tools from an old industrial supplier in Seattle, in the 70s, for half retail prices.

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    The only time I go into Airgas is on October 30th. I like to talk to a salesman about gas prices for my cutting lasers on that day. On my way out the door I ask if they have any dry ice left and they always run to the back and bring me out a nice big box and a "Thanks for considering Airgas for your needs".

    Airgas makes our Halloween decorations awesome!

    My money goes to the locally owned welding supply store though.

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    Airgas was acquired by Air Liquide in 2016

    Air Liquide completes acquisition of Airgas | Air Liquide.

    Why Airgas Was Finally Sold, for $1 Billion Instead of $5 Billion - The New York Times

    I recently exchanged several argon tanks at my local Airgas..... The pricing of the "new" Airgas is awful and the store manager has little discretion in changing the prices.

    I fall back to my rule of thumb with Airgas.... Take tanks that are out of date for exchange as they do not charge for a hydro test. Otherwise shop somewhere else.

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    You missed a 0 in your link description.... Airgas was sold for 10 billion according to the article..

    Airgas is also a last option for me...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabworks View Post
    Airgas was acquired by Air Liquide in 2016

    Air Liquide completes acquisition of Airgas | Air Liquide.

    Why Airgas Was Finally Sold, for $1 Billion Instead of $5 Billion - The New York Times

    I recently exchanged several argon tanks at my local Airgas..... The pricing of the "new" Airgas is awful and the store manager has little discretion in changing the prices.
    And now we know why, paying for lawyers & horses....

    Thanks for the link.

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    Is there a welding supply firm that isn't crap? The last local firm was bought by Tech Air and went to crap, I need a new source.

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    In the rural area of Kansas Airgas is just mercenary, I use Matheson, who bought a local mom and pop. The big players buying up all the small welding supplies they can.

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by swatkins View Post
    You missed a 0 in your link description.... Airgas was sold for 10 billion according to the article..

    Airgas is also a last option for me...
    When I post the URL, the PM software creates the link. I have noticed before in other posts that the link is sometimes missing a digit.

    A while back I posted a link to a Takisawa 15"x40" lathe and the link said 15"x4"

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    It is called "spot pricing". The oil companies have been doing it for a long time. Regards, Clark

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    When the manufacturing starts to move out of your area, there goes the welding supply/welding gas choices. Also the large guys buying up the smaller guys makes it worse. One place down-town was a great place. The had a full installation for cleaning and filling tanks, repairing, selling everything, teaching, and field service. They were bought by a big company and do not cater to walk-ins any more.

    Now there is Airgas and another privately owned place, which does not fill tanks. They send them out for fills.

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    For those in the Columbus, Ohio metro area independent Central Ohio Welding is an excellent option.

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    I just changed from a small welding supply store to Airgas. Cheaper fills on gas and better prices on supplies and welders. The price was guaranteed to only go up a certain percent if any for 5 years. I guess I will find out. I am happy so far.

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    I have had great service from small regional chains- first in SoCal, then in Puget Sound. But small chains are vulnerable to buyouts from people like airgas/airliquide. When you have a single owner, and he gets older, the dangling of millions of dollars is hard to resist.

    I still get very good service from Central Welding, which has 22 locations, including Portland. Maybe, if you are lucky, they will be going south more towards you. Up here, the local managers have a fair amount of autonomy, and yet the ability to instantly check all 22 locations for stock, and to get prices based on all that buying power. I usually can get my guys to match or come very close to internet prices on machines, and to be very flexible about gas and consumables. It helps that I have had an account for over 20 years, and that I buy a fair amount- certainly there have been periods when my monthly bill was over a grand for months on end.

    The big guys, like Airgas, dont care. Smaller companies can, if they choose to, some do, some dont.

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    Quote Originally Posted by caddyman707 View Post
    I just changed from a small welding supply store to Airgas. Cheaper fills on gas and better prices on supplies and welders. The price was guaranteed to only go up a certain percent if any for 5 years. I guess I will find out. I am happy so far.
    And your just helping the little place to go out of business.....

    And when they doo, your prices from Airgas, will skyrocket.
    Sure you have a promise of 5 years, it will take about that long
    for the destruction, then look out.

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    I travel quite a ways out of my way to avoid the local Airgas, and have for years. I spend most of my "gas money" at what used to be a good-sized local supplier, Quimby, who were bought out by Matheson a few years ago. So far, Matheson has not jerked me around or played the "MSC pricing game".

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    My local chain got bought out by Airgas East and I couldn't be happier. First big change was that they would exchange my customer owned bottles on the spot. 2nd change is they "let go" all the salespeople with attitude. 3rd change is lower prices.

    I actually like going in there now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    And your just helping the little place to go out of business.....

    And when they doo, your prices from Airgas, will skyrocket.
    Sure you have a promise of 5 years, it will take about that long
    for the destruction, then look out.
    Sorry digger Doug, my local welding supply store got pizzed because I shopped around for a new welder. I bought it from someone other than them and was told to find another gas supplier. If they would have come close to matching prices I would have bought it from them. I guess I'm not that important of a customer to cut ties over a welder. I am a very small shop but you still don't treat customers like that. I did change to a chain store and the gas and supplies are cheaper.

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