SARASOTA (FOX 13) - A Sarasota man says a company that allows customers to pre-pay for gasoline has dropped off the radar. Now he's out thousands of dollars, with no explanation from the company.
The company in question is MyGallons.com. Essentially, it's gas hedging: Customers pre-pay for gas in bulk, lock in prices at current rates, and redeem gallons whenever they choose.
The idea was, no matter how high gas prices might rise in the future, you'd always pay the same price.
The company's founder, Steven Verona told FOX 13 all about it back in 2015.
"Something needed to be done about it," Verona said, referring to changing gas prices. "It's simple. They save money and they know exactly what they're going to spend on gas."
David Stanton of Sarasota liked the idea.
"It seemed to be on the up and up," Stanton said.
So he signed up. Over a couple of years, he piled up 1,700 gallons in his account.
"It averaged around $2 a gallon so we are talking about $3,400," Stanton said. "That's a lot of money."
He didn't redeem any gallons, planning to save them for when prices really skyrocketed.
"Everything seemed fine until I went to check the website just recently and the website doesn't exist," Stanton said. "I've sent many emails to the company and I have not gotten any response at all."
He's not alone. We found others on Twitter wanting to know where their money went. One person said, "I can't access my account." Another tweeted, "Is Mygallons.com bankrupt, what happens with my money?"
"I'm angry," Stanton said. "I feel like I've been scammed."
We called two numbers listed by the Better Business Bureau as contact information for MyGallons.com. The numbers still work.
A recording tells customers are told to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Media is directed to Stir Communications. We left one voicemail and sent two e-mails.
Next, we tried calling several numbers that came up for Steven Verona, tweeted at him, and sent a message to the new company listed on his Twitter profile. By the end of the night, we'd still not gotten a response from anyone.
According to Florida's Division of Corporations, MyGallons LLC's status is currently "active." But the Better Business Bureau displays an F-rating for the company with 28 complaints, the most recent from January being "delivery issues" and "problem with product/service"
"How can you live with yourself? How can you do this to people? How do you sleep at night?" Stanton asked.
All Stanton wants is an explanation and his $3,400 back.
"It's not that easy anymore," Stanton said. "It's hard to trust people."