I have owned SPH for some time, and am happy as long as it maintains the distribution (beats bonds or CD's). I just had my first dealings with the company as a consumer, and I am not impressed. I am in the process of buying a townhouse as a second home because of its proximity to my office. It does not have natural gas service, and putting this service in would be cost prohibitive. The townhouse has a woodburning fireplace that I would like to convert to gas, so I called the local Suburban Propane store today (Saturday) to see if a propane fireplace insert would be an option. The woman answering the phone knew absolutely nothing and could not answer any questions. Her only response, from the start, was to leave a phone number for a return call from a service rep who would hopefully call next week (not a viable option for me). Not only was she completely stupid, but rude as well. Hard to see why they were even open. It makes me think some of the posts from the terminated employees may be correct regarding deterioration of service to the point that the viability of the company may be in question.
I'm suprised anyone answered the phone on a Suturday. It was probably only an answering service anyways. Most of the northeast installation is referred to oustide vendors now. The hvac was all but eliminated. Too many incorrect installations that cost too much to repair. They seem to be setting themselves up for a sale or split-up. Long term managers axed without warning. Stores consolidated or closed. Many 20-35 years employees fired or forced out to cut costs and services.
You know what I would do? Package your experience in a short, concise letter...not an e-mail, but snail mail and forward it to the CEO. Be sure to mention that you are a shareholder who has heard rumors of deteriorating service and your experience seems to confirm that.
His secretary will probably read it first, but if she has any business acumen it will make it to his desk.