15 Feb, 2013 @ 13:00
1 min read

Gas men overcharge expats

gas man e

By Kathryn Richardson

EXPATS in the Serrania de Ronda region are being warned against gas men overcharging them.

British expat, Lawrence George, 47, was visited by a gas man to inspect his boiler.

After checking his ID Mr George let the man in and called the company to confirm the visit.

He was told he needed three regulators and three tubing pieces replaced at a cost of €242.

Although suspicious of the price, Mr George paid the man in cash, was given a receipt, and told the man would return with his €3 change.

He never saw him again.

Mr George said: “I felt taken advantage of particularly when he didn’t bring me my change”.

Mr George, along with his wife Lucy, later visited the police but were told nothing illegal had taken place.

Reports of expats being overcharged for services because they do not fully understand Spanish have become common in the region.


  1. I had a visit from one of these guys I didn’t request the visit I renew my own regulators and tubes regularly, I simply told him if he didn’t leave I would set my four dogs on him, haven’t been bothered since and that was 3 years ago.

  2. Why did he let him in? Add to that, why did he agree to have the work done?
    If he was unsure what to do, he just needed to say that he had to speak to his boss (wife) before agreeing to any work. The Spanish seem to understand that concept!
    No one comes onto my property without my express consent, whatever colour suit they may be wearing

  3. If you were in the UK would you invite cold callers into your house to
    `mend´? stuff without an appointment so long as they flash a photo-id card and a clipboard and tell you that they are from the council.
    So what!
    Anyone can make an id-card.
    The phone number was genuine?
    I do not believe that the Junta de Andalucia spend cuddly-caring time identifying residents who may be in need of a gas check and then pay their workers to cold call.

    Don´t let these people in. If you have gas appliances and need maintenance, take responsibility find some local gas fitters by asking around, get quotes. Take your time.

    The pretenders will be circling here again soon. Last time, I said -hold on a sec- and returned to the door with a camera and they ran away.
    They were being pushy trying to get into my house, using the official line and using lines like legal, expired, dangerous, explosion, lose your home etc.

  4. “I renew my own regulators and tubes regularly”

    Then your system is not legal, Peter. It has to be done independently and the correct paperwork issued. The gas company does mine and charges a small fee.

  5. From what I was told the only issue could be with your insurance company if a leak caused a problem and it was found that the hoses were out of date. I don’t believe there is a statutory regulation to allow these rip off artists into your home just to make a quick hundred euros or more.

  6. My gas is on a contract from Cepsa. The installation or changing of any gas appliance (and the equipment connecting to it) has to be done by a qualified person and a boletin issued. Sounds like your rig is a self-install; be sure to get it checked out as people have died in explosions and gas leaks on DIY gas installations.

  7. If ANY gas appliance is in the building without an up to date official inspection certificate, any future claim on the home insurance, irrespective of the nature of the claim, will be rejected. All you need do to send the cold callers on their merry way is have your appliance serviced (by appointment) at the appropriate time, photo copy the certificate and flash it to them and then you won’t get screwed. What’s the problem?.

  8. Basically let no one into your house with clip boards that haven’t sent you a letter before, or phoned you before. Just say adios and close the door. Then they go away.

  9. I also had a visit from 2 guys about a year ago, they replaced a regulator rubber tube and chrome tube to the calentador and left me a metal tube they called ceramica which I said I’d fit myself. They stated that it was important to have the work done as the gas inspectors will be calling the following week. They charged me 400€ for the work, I have a photograph of the two guys as I thought they were suspect, they had no objections to me taking the snap. My local Spanish plumber inspected what they’d done and claimed the charge for materials was ten times the cost price.

  10. Actually Fred is right… I have written/read too many stories about people dying from faulty boilers…. Worth a check up every couple of years which should cost around 45 euros if I remember correctly

  11. maybe is was a bit steep, but what did they want to pay 10 euros,
    In the uk and spain people do have to live.
    In the uk we charge 70.00 for a service it is 2013 not 1971

  12. @anna What would you do, ask them to politely go away, call the Guardia Civil (good luck with that)these people are crooks and should be treated as such, by the way my dogs would have just licked him.

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