Some AmeriGas customers in the Valley fight to stay warm this winter

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 6:20 PM EST
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — Some AmeriGas customers across the Valley have been fighting to stay warm this winter after running out of gas.

“I bought an electric blanket to keep my dogs warm. I lost a parrot, and I told them I couldn’t take it anymore. Why were they doing this to me?” Holly DiLorenzo said.

DiLorenzo lives in Augusta County. She ran out of propane on Christmas Eve and called AmeriGas as soon as possible.

“I contacted them, and I advised them due to my negligence that I ran out of propane. I was extremely apologetic, and that I understood it was a bad time for the holidays,” DiLorenzo said.

In the meantime, DiLorenzo tried to stay warm by buying mini heaters.

“Even with the little heat that I had, I was getting down to 30 degrees, so I kept calling them,” DiLorenzo said. “A few of the supervisors were very nice and promised me gas the next day. I kept waiting.”

But she said she didn’t get any closer to getting her gas tank refilled.

“I was promised everyday, everyday, that they were coming out to deliver me propane. I was put on an emergency basis,” DiLorenzo said.

DiLorenzo is not the only one who had this kind of experience with AmeriGas. Steve Hamby, out of Stanley, said his tank is on auto-refill, but he woke up one day to a cold house.

Hamby said representatives told him his house was scheduled to be refilled in a few days, and that they must have used more gas than anticipated. He said he was assured someone from the company would be by the next day to fill his tank.

“Everyday we ended up the two hour, hour and half, two hours, time on the phone several times a day to only find out at 5 o’clock that he’s not coming,” Hamby said.

Hamby said it got down to 40 degrees in his house.

“It’s hard to sit and eat supper at 40 degrees. We ended up going out to eat every evening so that we could eat in the warm, and then go home and go straight to bed because we had electric blankets on the bed,” Hamby said.

Hamby said his family was without heat for about a week.

Hamby said his wife saw an AmeriGas truck driving into Stanley, so she followed him to a local grocery store to ask if the delivery driver would be coming by their home.

“She convinced him to call in about our account, and he came by to fill our house, and he said we were not on the list to be filled that day,” Hamby said.

For DiLorenzo, it was about a month before she got her gas back, but she ended up having to switch companies.

“I put coats on all my dogs. Like I said, I put heaters as close to the bird cages as I could. My cats, I had the electric blankets, I slept with coats on, like two to three layers of clothing. It was terrible,” DiLorenzo said.

AmeriGas said both DiLorenzo and Hamby were contacted by local leadership teams to address their individual situations.

AmeriGas said in a statement:

“AmeriGas takes great pride in customer satisfaction and the quality of our service. Providing propane to our customers so they can heat their homes, cook for their families, and run their business is our highest priority. To deliver on this priority, we have been centralizing the structure of our customer service team. Unfortunately, we had some growing pains during this process while also managing the effects of the pandemic.

We are currently experiencing high call volume and our propane deliveries have been delayed in certain areas. We apologize to these customers who have experienced a delay in service. We know this can be frustrating and we are working hard to make necessary adjustments. In the last few weeks, we more than doubled our customer service staff. We have also expanded customer-service hours to now include Saturdays from 8-5pm EST. In areas needing additional delivery support, we’ve expanded services an extra day (6 days a week) and two extra hours each day (from 8 to 10 hours). We are continuing to hire and train delivery and service representatives and have shifted our field resources to assist in specific areas that require assistance.

For the fastest possible service, we encourage customers to visit [] [] where you can order fuel, pay your bill, and update usage information. For our Will-Call delivery customers, we encourage them to call for a delivery when their tank is at 30% to ensure a timely delivery and avoid an out of gas situation. We are committed to continually improving the ability to address all of our customers’ needs.”

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