It has been reported this week that thousands of Calor Gas customers have experienced delays in receiving their gas supplies; in extreme cases this has led to customers running out of gas for heating, cooking and hot water (although the number of these is not known). Calor first announced the problem four weeks ago, blaming a combination of a national shortage of liquefied petroleum gas and the severe weather in early March. This resulted in a “perfect storm” where increased demand coincided with reduced supply, compounded by the problems of actually delivering to isolated rural communities.
Obviously one can debate how forseeable such an incident was, and whether Calor could have prepared better for such an eventuality by addressing their supply chain resilience. However, the angry response from customers on social media has focused on a lack of communication, in particular a lack of clarity on when they will receive gas supplies. Once again, the problem seems to lie as much with crisis communications as with the crisis response itself.