No heat, hot water for 9 days in BI

It was like ‘Groundhogs Day’ waiting for propane delivery

It seems like it happens every Christmas. Somebody plays the Scrooge.

This year it’s AmeriGas, at least for Linda Kaivola of Bainbridge Island. She’s been a customer for six years and always received her propane deliveries early. “AmeriGas always performed to the auto delivery well in advance of my tanks running out,” she said. “I never in my life expected anything like this to happen.”

Because she didn’t get her delivery for 1 1/2 months, she was without hot water and heat for nine days. Not having enough drivers was one of their main reasons for her not getting her delivery. She was also told weather also played a part. She knows she’s not alone. She did some research online and found the company is having problems all over the country for many months.

“I can’t be the only one because AmeriGas is doing this to so many of its customers,” she said. “I grew up over here and hate to see people treated this way.” She said she’s called daily and been told many times that an emergency delivery would there in 24 hours. “That was five days ago,” she said. “I’m not holding my breath because at this point I don’t believe what they say to me.”

She said she would call up to three times a day and be told it was coming but then it didn’t. “It was like the movie, ‘Groundhog’s Day,’” she said.

Kaivola is so upset she’s called another propane company and filling out an application.

She finally received her propane scheduled for delivery at the end of October on Dec. 13. “I took a hot shower” first thing, she said. “I forgot what it felt like.”

During those nine days, she said she used a space heater in her bedroom, where she set up an office and worked. For showers, she went to the Bainbridge Island Aquatic Center.

Kaivola said it’s not recommended to have the propane tank go below 30% for safety reasons. So when the propane finally was delivered they had to do a safety check because it was all gone by then.

She said every day the business would tell her she needed to be home because the delivery was coming. “I was a prisoner in my own home,” Kaivola, 64, said, adding that was hard on her psychologically. Kaivola said she inherited the propane system when she bought the house. Growing up on BI, she said people often go without power but “nothing like this.”