Propane company departs, leaves customer in the cold

Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 7:31 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - When Jennifer Schneider moved to a home in the horse friendly neighborhood of Rancho Haven three years ago, she looked forward to the rural lifestyle. She didn’t expect a sudden plunge into the pioneer woman experience.

“No heat,” she says. “I’m living in one little room of the house. I can’t do laundry. I can’t wash my dishes except for by hand with a kettle. I’m camping in my own home.”

It arrived suddenly in the middle of the night six days ago. She woke up to freezing temperatures in her home.

Her propane tank was empty, leaving her furnace and water heater cold. It was a suprise because her account was paid up and she was on auto-fill. She checked her account online.

“And the last delivery I got was in October and I discovered I was scheduled for another on December 5th. It was supposed to be one day, 24-hour expedited delivery and it didn’t show up.”

Calls to the company--Amerigas--went to a call center where there were no answers.

“They keep promising me every day to deliver propane within 24 hours and it does not show up. And when I call back, they ask if I want to escalate it and I do and nothing seems to happen. I never get a call back from a supervisor. No one ever explains anything. I don’t even know if they are still delivering in Reno.”

We had the same result. Those answering our call to the local number said they were in Cleveland, Ohio. When asked if they were still in business in Reno, Nevada, we were put on hold, eventually being told they were unable to answer any questions. Their local website says they are permanently closed here. A visit to their yard north of town or their office in Sparks would seem to confirm that.

In any case, it’s happened with no warning or notice to customers like Jennifer Schneider at the worst possible time.

“They did not tell me they weren’t going to deliver. They did not tell me they weren’t going to tell any of their customers and let us all run dry. And there’s been no communication. No help from them. No local person to talk to. I feel like I have no recourse and I’m spending a lot of money that I can’t afford to spend just to keep my house.”

Amerigas’ departure, if that’s what happened, may be having a ripple effect throughout the market. Jennifer Schneider has signed up with another company, a local one, but they can’t get to her until next week. It seems they’ve been overwhelmed by calls seeking service.

In the meantime, she, like others, will have to cope with an unexpected reality. “That was not part of the brochure of life in the country with your horses. I was not looking to camp in my own home and have the pioneer experience. No.”