A contractor’s JCB damaged a gas pipe and threatened to leave Tracy Howard’s packed hotel without hot food or hot water – until the AvantiGas emergency helpline alerted two engineers to quickly save the day.
When a contractor’s JCB accidentally cut off the LPG supply to lovely Edwardian hotel, wedding venue and conference centre Inglewood Manor, owner Tracy Howard and his staff knew exactly what to do to shut down the installation and make it safe.
But how to provide hot water and hot food to over 100 guests – with a party of 70 booked in for dinner – was another matter. At risk was not only a healthy day’s revenue but also the hotel’s reputation as an oasis of calm efficiency and fine food, set in 38 acres of grounds five miles from Chester
Tracy initially called the local contractors who maintain the hotel boilers. They felt it was “too big a job”, so he called the AvantiGas emergency line that stays open 24/7, 365 days a year.
Call-handler Josie flagged up the urgent repair to AvantiGas engineers Kaleb and John, who were each within about 20 minutes’ drive of the hotel. After arranging to meet there to complete the repair as quickly as possible, they found the severed pipe and within half an hour had cleaned up the damage, inserted a new section of pipework and made two fusion welds to seal it ready for testing.Tracy came out to see how things were going: “To be honest, I was genuinely prepared to have a bit of a battle to say ‘Look guys, you’ve got to get the gas back on as I have a full hotel,’ but I looked down where the engineers were working and the engineer said ‘It’s done!’
“And I just sensed that, within all the safety constraints and protocols and governance, they just wanted to get the hotel back on. I felt like they were my team not your team. It was as if they were saying ‘I haven’t just come to fix a pipe. I’ve come to put the hotel back on, because it’s full of people.’
“We’re a busy hotel, conference and wedding venue – we do 100+ weddings a year. It’s absolutely critical to us that customers come here and enjoy the experience… We’d just served lunch but it would have been a major inconvenience if we’d had to tell our guests that they were not having dinner that evening.
‘Genuinely, that was fantastic service from AvantiGas. We never lost any trading at all. There were no issues with clients…
“This was the first time I’d used the emergency service and it was tremendously good. Everyone was professional and at every stage people told me where we were up to. It was a very streamlined service, just seamless.
“I would say we were back on within the hour. I took the engineer aside and said ‘I’ve got to say a huge thank you. I’m really grateful.’ He said ‘Not a problem… I remember doing this install six or seven years ago.’ And that made me think ‘Great! This company manages to retain their guys as well! ‘ That’s an important point, because it’s a very transient world these days.”
Tracy’s commitment to AvantiGas seems equally long-term. He recently signed a new two-year contract after we successfully competed on price compared to other suppliers. “I have to say that, while everything remains price-sensitive, when we come to contract review time, if you can score points like this in terms of service and in the way you performed, that will certainly affect my decision.”