The gasman cometh to Spain

LAST UPDATED: 4 Sep, 2011 @ 09:13
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The gasman cometh to Spain

EXCLUSIVE By Wendy Williams

A BRITISH pensioner has been stung for nearly two thousand euros by bogus gas men.

Thomas Collier, 71, was stung for 1,684 euros by three men claiming to work for a Malaga gas company.

The men from unknown company ‘Mantamiento GLP Malaga’ told him he had to have a gas inspection and then insisted on the costly works.

“They insisted it was a legal requirement,” explained Collier who has lived in Orgiva for 10 years.

“They insisted the tubes were all out of date and without a certificate I wouldn’t be able to sell the house.

“It turns out they were charging at least double for all the parts.”

When the Olive Press tried to contact Mantamiento GLP Malaga the number listed was out of service.

Scams of this sort are becoming endemic across Andalucia with the gas men praying largely on expatriates.

The Olive Press has discovered scores of victims, including Gillian Thomas, 62, who lives in Moraleda, near Granada, who was visited recently.

“They were very pushy,” she said, adding: “What’s worrying is that they only seem to be targeting expats but how do they know where we are?

“When I questioned them they got defensive.”

Meanwhile Laura King who lives in La Gorgoracha near Motril is another victim.

“We were ripped off to the tune of 479 euros, which was money we’d saved to have our roof repaired,” she explained.

“I did put it in the hands of a solicitor but she has had no luck as I signed the form.”

The modus operandi is for ‘gasmen’ to turn up unannounced and browbeat expats into having a ‘compulsory’ gas inspection costing the victim anything from 40 euros to nearly 2,000 euros.

By law, pipes and regulators must be inspected every five years.

But a spokesman for regulator Cogasa confirmed that the clients have the right to choose which company they use.

“And they should not feel under pressure to let a stranger into their home,” she said.

Furthermore, any reputable company will make a prior appointment to carry out an inspection, and ID should be offered for thorough examination.

“If in doubt, call Cogasa to check if there are inspectors in the area before you let them in,” added the spokeswoman.

6 COMMENTS

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  1. Before you let them in? Lesson. You do not let ANYBODY in unless they have a court order. Ever. Once, long ago, somebody tried to scam me but it did not work. Acting as a townhall official. I reported it, police can several times to show me pictures but never even stepped one inch on my small piece of land unless I invited them explicitly. They knew. When you have a property, nobody gets in. Not even the president or the administrator of your community. Just ask all to put the while street full with police cars, take pictures of all and ask for court documents. It can save you a lot of money.

  2. Before you let them in? Lesson. You do not let ANYBODY in unless they have a court order. Ever. Once, long ago, somebody tried to scam me but it did not work. Acting as a townhall official. I reported it, police came several times to show me pictures but never even stepped one inch on my small piece of land unless I invited them explicitly. They knew. When you have a property, nobody gets in. Not even the president or the administrator of your community. Just ask all to put the whole street full with police cars, take pictures of all and ask for court documents. It can save you a lot of money.

    **typos corrected**

  3. Yesterday, sept. 1, a friend was visited by 2 gas men (why 2?) after she had been called if she had anything on gas. Yes she had 1 gas heater. She than was visited by 2 men who “checked” the heater, changed a hose and some small parts (needed?) sold her a contract for maintenance and then charged her € 389,99 of which € 42,11+iva was for the “contract”. One can buy a new gas heater for € 80 to €100!!. Today I tried to phone this company but the phone number gives a fax tone and the 24 hr. averias number gives not available. Company: INFOGAS2008. according to the bill they had been in the house 25 minutes (my friend says about 10 to 15 min.) DON´T GET CONNED BY THIS COMPANY!!!

  4. I have just returned from a short holiday at my house in the province of Cadiz.I too was conned by two fraudulent gas inspectors who said my Butano was out of date.I paid by credit card and am now trying to recover my money.What I am looking for is the address of COGASA the supposed regulator so that I can apply to them and seek assistance in proving that the charges I paid were grossly excessive.Can anybody help me with the address or other means of contacting this elusive organisation?

  5. We live in Guadalmina Alta,San Pedro, Malaga, my 87 yr old mother was stung by two individals back in Aug while house-sitting for me. They browbeat her into letting them in and then insisted she needed to have the parts changed for “insurance” then she had to pay them to replace 2 x valves and 2 x one meter lengths of gas hose.
    Value 40 euros, they charged her 150 euros (half her monthly pension).This is a disgusting scam targeting older people who trust these parasites.

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