That's my new advertising slogan for Amerigas, offered free gratis for corporate use. It can be an alternative to "reliable, safe, responsive," which is, frankly, a little dated.
"We'll keep you guessing" might work too.
Although we heat part of the time with wood, like most rural folks, we depend on propane as fuel for cooking, heating water, and heating the house at night or when we are away.
From 1992 through 2007, our propane needs were supplied by All Star Propane of Cañon City. Their drivers were almost as unstoppable as Herodotus’ Persian couriers, except that they did not deliver during “gloom of night.” They came on a regular basis and topped off the tanks at both houses—ours and the rental cabin.
Then All Star was bought by a national company, Amerigas, and customer service immediately got much, much worse. They consolidated operations into Colorado Springs and claimed that through some kind of computer wizardry, they knew when you needed gas and when you did not, so as the tank dropped past 15 or 10-percent full, you could call them up and complain, receiving vague, meaningless promises in return, and just wait until they filled you up on their timetable.
What is worse, they put both of our tanks on one account. Although the tank at the cabin is leased from them (the normal arrangement with propane suppliers), the tank at our house is owned by us.
Every winter, you could count on the driver to stop by, fill the tank at the cabin, which is closer to the county road, and drive away, assured that he had taken care of that account—but forgetting all about our tank.
More phone calls, more promises, more waiting, more anxiety.
Lucky for us, we can heat with wood during the day, keeping furnace usage to a minimum. I called Amerigas in Colorado Springs and suggested splitting the one account into two—but what do I know? I’m just the customer. Manager Rick Rivers and his merry crew do things their way. (No doubt they have a 40-slide PowerPoint training presentation about all this.)
It happened again this winter—the driver filled up the cabin tank on Dec. 15 and ignored ours. When we came back from our New Mexico trip, it still had not been filled. Then I started with the phone calls again. Suzanne in the Colorado Springs office promised a fill-up by Friday, Jan. 14.
Of course, no one came. When I tried to call back the next week, they did not even answer the phones or an email to the residential service manager, Mila Sacket, so I had to try the national customer-service number. More promises of immediate action.
Finally on Jan. 20th the Amerigas driver arrived. By then, however, I had given up on them, and with the tank sinking towards 5 percent full (when do we lose vapor pressure and the pilot lights start going out?), I had called a Cañon City supplier, Enxx Propane, where the owner answers the telephone, and they do not even have a Web site
Nevertheless, since the Amerigas driver was on the scene, and the screw-up was not his fault, I asked him if he could top off the cabin tank—it ought to have taken about 100 gallons. “All the drivers carry blank tickets,” Suzanne had said.
No, he could not. He did not have any blank tickets. He could only go to addresses that the computer told him to go to. No individual initiative here at Amerigas!
With propane as with food, it seems better to seek out a local supplier, but in some places that switch is getting to be harder and harder.