3 Essential Protocols for Interruption-of-Service Calls

Originally published in LP Gas Magazine in November 2022.

Interruption-of-service calls, often referred to as out-of-gas calls or IOS calls, may be caused by an empty tank, gas leak, equipment failure, inaccurate delivery schedule, or increased gas demand caused by weather. As cold weather envelops regions across the country, propane companies can expect more frequent interruption-of-service situations.

Regardless of the reason for the call, every propane company must have a proper protocol to ensure that interruption-of-service situations are handled correctly. Is your team prepared for interruption-of-service calls this winter? Read on to learn three things you need to maintain compliance, keep everyone safe, and reduce risk.

Proper Protocol

  1. Policies and procedures: Every propane company needs a written policy regarding interruption-of-service calls. Do you have written procedures for staff? Written policies and procedures should include a customer service representative (CSR) script and procedures for a suspected leak response team. Review and update these procedures annually prior to the season’s start.
  2. Accurate documentation: You’ve heard it before: If it isn’t documented, it didn’t happen. Properly documenting interruption-of-service calls and how your team responded is crucial to protect your company and the employee performing the work in case of litigation.
  3. Updated employee training: When a customer reports an interruption of service, your customer service team is the first point of contact. It is crucial that CSRs are trained to handle interruption of service. Additionally, initial training and annual refreshers are crucial for the company’s drivers and technicians who respond to and remedy these scenarios.

How does your company protocol for interruption-of-service situations stack up? Making sure you have all three elements listed here in your safety program will help your team operate efficiently while protecting your customers, employees and company.

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