STOURPORT pensioners feared they would run out of gas for Christmas after their provider "ignored" their calls.

Malcolm Horwood and his wife Audrey, who is recovering from a recent stroke, were left worrying about whether they would have enough gas to heat their home and cook meals over the festive period due to Calor Gas not responding to their calls and emails to request a delivery.

Mr Horwood, who lives in a cottage on Severnside off Power Station Road, says he first contacted Calor on November 30 to request a top-up of gas as he was concerned that their levels had dropped below the contracted minimum of 25 per cent.

Mr Horwood, aged 75, says he pays a monthly direct debit for a monitored service to ensure automatic reordering and supply of Calor Gas to their home.

He had been advised by Calor Gas not to allow his gas levels to drop too low as he risks the system then "sucking all the rubbish that can build at the bottom of the tank into their system".

Mr Horwood says called numerous times, each time being on hold for almost an hour before finally selecting the option to request their 48-hour call-back from Calor Gas, but no call-back came. He tried to call again four days later but was met with no reply.

As their gas supply continued to drop, due to his 76-year-old wife now requiring the heating on all the time, Mr Horwood decided to try and email the company requesting an urgent gas delivery, to which he received an automated reply saying they would be in touch soon.

They received no contact from anyone at Calor Gas so over the next five days he continued to call but still got no reply.

It took a series of online contact and complaint forms, as well as messages on all their social media channels and a scathing review on Trustpilot before the company would finally contact Mr Horwood to apologise.

A delivery was eventually made in the morning of December 19.

Mr Horwood said: "We were just miffed. We were not getting the service we expected.

“Why couldn’t they just honour their 48-hour call-back service in the first instance then we could all avoid unnecessary stress and worry.”

A spokesperson for Calor Gas said: “We apologise to Mr Horwood for the difficulty he has had trying to get through to us regarding his gas order and delivery.

"Mr Horwood’s current ordering preference is to order from us directly as opposed to being on our auto-ordering service. Mr Horwood placed an order on 11th December and our current service level agreement is to deliver within 21 days for these customers.

"We encourage customers to move to auto-ordering where we automatically arrange delivery so they don’t have to call us to order.

"We are experiencing high call volumes into our customer services team which means that it’s taking us longer to answer our phones – we understand how frustrating this is for our customers.

"We prioritise vulnerable customers for deliveries; to check if you qualify as a vulnerable customer, please review the criteria on our website and use the contact form to let us know.”