Amerigas not leaving, but some customers still wait in the cold

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 6:54 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -Last week we reported there were customers of the propane company Amerigas left without fuel, without warning, in the bitter cold and answers were few, including whether the company was still making deliveries in our area. Our phone has been ringing ever since.

Let’s take that first question right off the top. It’s true the local office is closed, permanently according to its online listing, and our initial calls shed no further light on that question. Customers were left in the dark or rather cold. Calls, ours and theirs, went to a call center where there were language barriers but no answers.

The company called us after our story ran insisting they were still in business in northern Nevada, though they admitted they were experiencing some weather-related delivery problems.

We offered to report any statement they cared to send and Monday afternoon it finally arrived.

Our teams are working seven days a week to ensure our customers have full tanks and warm homes. We are taking steps to speed up deliveries, as roads are cleared, by bringing in drivers from other areas. Despite prior reports, AmeriGas continues to operate and serve Washoe and Nevada counties. As we work quickly to deliver propane to our customers, we must also prioritize the safety of our drivers, customers, and communities.”

We can confirm with sound evidence that they ARE still making local deliveries because the very next morning the customer who alerted us to this story got a delivery, but others are still without.

“I have neighbors who have been out longer than I have,” Jennifer Schneider told us, “And they’ve still not been serviced. The only reason I got serviced was because of your news story and I’m grateful for that, but I feel bad for my neighbors.”

So, the problem continues. The company points to the weather but it would appear another familiar issue is at fault here. The company currently lists three driver positions and calls to other companies confirm there’s a staffing shortage throughout the area. In their statement, the company admits it’s brought drivers in from other areas.

Meanwhile other customers wait, worry and freeze. The problem couldn’t have hit at a worse time.

When Jennifer Schneider got her Amerigas delivery the morning after her story she declined to take a full fill, asking for just 100 gallons.

“I asked that the rest go to neighbors who were still without. They refused.”

Days later, arriving home from morning errands in town Monday afternoon, she found a new tank next to the Amerigas one. It was from her new provider, a local company, and it was full. She was relieved but says she dodged a bullet.

“This morning it was three degrees and if I hadn’t had propane, I’d have been very worried that I could have possibly had my pipes burst. Now I can live in my house and not have my pipes freeze and take hot showers and sleep in my own bed and not on the couch next to the space heater. It’s nice.”