Bogus Gas Appliance Inspectors!!

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telboy
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Bogus Gas Appliance Inspectors!!

Postby telboy » Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:35 pm

6 years ago we were ripped off by bogus gas inspectors to the tune of 360€ for 3 rubber hoses and a one meter piece of chrome gas pipe with and isolation tap plus fitting. Many others were ripped off around here for similar work and much more amounts of cash but mainly expats.

Just today a bloke turns up inspecting our gas appliances, which includes, one gas cooker, one gas estufa and one gas water boiler. Initially he told us it would only be 50€ he fitted just three flexible hoses (one was free he said), total bill 89€ which also included the certificate of approval.

Was he genuine :?: Haven’t got a clue who to trust anymore, he wasn’t in a company van, and just like 6 years ago he had printed paperwork with carbonised copies and price listings, ID, small bag of tools, Machine which detected emissions and printed out the results etc etc.

The letterhead for his certification is
Multiservisios
Bocanegra SLU
C/ Picas de Europa 4 bajo A
18005 Granada.

Does the government tender out these inpectors to individual companies?

terry

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Re: Bogus Gas Appliance Inspectors!!

Postby olive » Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:08 am

I have documented my experience on here before.

Six years ago a chap and a youth turned up out of the blue and visited each gas appliance and took the rubber pipe off and replaced it . Then they dropped the old pipe out of their hands. Next was a test which amounted to lighting a fag lighter and waving it around the newly fitted pipe joints. Then they filled out a sheet on Repsol headed notepaper and asked for 60 euros.

At the time the forum advised it was a rip off. However since then i have seen him with the Repsol delivery man ( who i know well) he confirmed he is a Repsol employee. I asked why they dont send letters. It is a problem with campo dwellers. He likes to do an area at a time.

Last year same guy and a different youth turned up out of the blue again and did the same work but i threw in 3 more appliances. One despite being installed by our very local company was condemned on ventilation grounds! Anyway same charge of 60 euros.

This time i collected the discarded rubber pipe pieces and neatly looped them and left them on hos bonnet. I found them next day over the wall.

Telboy. I presume you have a contract with Repsol for your gas bottles (refundable deposit).i would ask them for the id and dates etc of their inspections. Maybe or not, have a word with Guardia Civil too or the town hall. The latter are a sually clued up even though it isnt their job.

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Re: Bogus Gas Appliance Inspectors!!

Postby elusive » Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:43 am

If i remember right they never just turn up. You have to make an appointment. Its a very well known scam.never let them in unless its pre arranged.

Look at the address on street view. Dont know how upto date it is but it looks residential in the process of being built

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Wicksey
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Re: Bogus Gas Appliance Inspectors!!

Postby Wicksey » Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:33 am

I have heard the same as Elusive - they should never just turn up. I think the foreigners' department in Nerja regularly warns people to never let them in. It is up to the householder to arrange the gas check and make an appointment with an approved service engineer. I think some of the 'bogus' engineers may be real ones working on their own to earn extra money.

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Re: Bogus Gas Appliance Inspectors!!

Postby flyeogh » Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:19 am

It is so difficult here in Spain. A worrying example is the scamming electricity company selling rubbish maintenance contracts insisting you have a contract which you do not and then threatening you with massive risk of invented nightmares if you cancel the non existent contract. It would easily be recognised as a scam' if it was not backed by a legitimate spanish utility company. So where as in say Germany the random unexpected arrival of a gas inspector would ring alarm bells here in Spain it is far less obvious.

But what is the penalty of saying: "go away and make an appointment in writing"? So best I think to reject all door knockers.

Having said that best to learn the spanish for "There is a gas leak next door and we need you to leave your property now as there is danger of an explosion". :shock:
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Re: Bogus Gas Appliance Inspectors!!

Postby BENIDORM » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:36 am

This scam has been around so long the 'inspectors' are probably the grandchildren of the original scam merchants who called on me nearly 30 years ago.
And believe me they do not just 'target' expats, they try it on with everyone and intimidate people into letting them into their homes.
I liken this scam to the one in UK when a 'workman' would call and tell you that your roof has some roof slates/tiles loose and he can fix them for £20, then tells you that it is much worse than he thought and you end up forking out hundreds of pounds.
Anyway the best method as previously indicated is to tell them to 'go away' and do not let them into your house.
If you have any doubts contact your supplier and arrange with them to inspect and renew if required and issue the certificate.
We used to sell pipe and clip kits for under 5.00 euros, very easy to fit ...but don't use a lighter or match to test the joints. :shock: , just squirt some washing up liquid around the joint-seal, if it bubbles then it has a leak ...

My Wife has just informed me that she thinks that I've got a slate loose.... :D :D

Regards,
Gordon.

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Re: Bogus Gas Appliance Inspectors!!

Postby markwilding » Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:38 pm

Why does it have to more difficult here in Spain to the UK? In the UK it is typical to pay a maintenance contract for boilers so do the same here. Get in contact with you boiler manufacture and ask them for their certified installers. Any work not covered by the agreement- my boiler is now over 10 years old so the cover doesn't cover parts - is invoiced.
They come once a year and if I have a problem, they come out quickly. Exactly the same as my property in the UK.

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Re: Bogus Gas Appliance Inspectors!!

Postby flyeogh » Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:47 pm

Mark the clue is in the thread title. This isn't about getting regular service of a boiler and isn't about the UK.
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Re: Bogus Gas Appliance Inspectors!!

Postby gus » Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:21 pm

Flyeogh ,
Perhaps the "clue" is in what Mark actually wrote!
He actually said that he has a contract in Spain, exactly the same as for his house in the U.K.
The general consensus is that there are bogus inspectors at large and the best way to avoid them is to refuse them admission.

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Re: Bogus Gas Appliance Inspectors!!

Postby Lyric » Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:35 pm

I refuse entry and deny the presence of gas appliances, if I can be heard over the dogs.

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Re: Bogus Gas Appliance Inspectors!!

Postby flyeogh » Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:03 pm

gus wrote:Flyeogh ,
Perhaps the "clue" is in what Mark actually wrote!
He actually said that he has a contract in Spain, exactly the same as for his house in the U.K.
The general consensus is that there are bogus inspectors at large and the best way to avoid them is to refuse them admission.


Gus so what. Whether you have a boiler maintenance agreement does not stop bogus gas inspections calling. People coming from abroad may not know every detail of the spanish gas regulations and if independent inspectors exist. They further may not know if their boiler maintenance agreement covers the storage and distribution of gas around their property/house. And finally they may not know if independent inspections of gas installations are authorised by the local or national governmental authorities. Thus waving a boiler maintenance contract may well not discourage the scammer. As said above a scammer who may well hold very convincing documentation.

On your second point as I said and you agree the best is to refuse access without time to check and get authorisation confirmed by someone independent of the caller but that has nothing to do with Mark's post.

No one on this thread was talking about the UK. It was mentioned once by Benidorm who was merely putting context to his example and this in many ways was a positive for one of Mark's off topic observations.
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Re: Bogus Gas Appliance Inspectors!!

Postby olive » Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:20 pm

A few thoughts.

1. I believe, perhaps erroneously, that you are supposed to have gas appliances, rubber pipe and regulator checked every five years. No doubt the certificate after these "cursory" inspections is a useful tool in any insurance claim.

2. Those that don't have inspections presumably religiously change all their rubber tubing between appliance and regulator before their expiry dates and test it using say fairy liquid as per Benidorm. I don't recommend my fellows way of testing with a naked flame!

3. Are these bogus guys targetting people without contracts with Repsol? e.g. folk who bought a house which included appliances and more importantly gas bottles. I am of the belief that if you have a contract then Repsol send out a person every five years automatically. Our experience is perhaps coloured by being off the beaten track.

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Re: Bogus Gas Appliance Inspectors!!

Postby Wicksey » Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:45 pm

As I understand it, it is always the home owner that should arrange for the inspection and that no gas company should call uninvited.

We never were given a gas certificate when we bought this house and we bought our own bottles with us when we came. There presumably was one once as there were old connections for a gas water heater (we now have electric) and air vents in the kitchen. That hasn't stopped so called gas inspectors calling on us so we keep the gates locked and just say we don't have any gas appliances. We can change our own pipes on our cooker and have done in the past.

Just a thought .... what happens about gas BBQs? We bought ours in France and never needed gas contracts there to buy a tank.

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Re: Bogus Gas Appliance Inspectors!!

Postby markwilding » Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:11 pm

flyeogh wrote:
gus wrote:Flyeogh ,
Perhaps the "clue" is in what Mark actually wrote!
He actually said that he has a contract in Spain, exactly the same as for his house in the U.K.
The general consensus is that there are bogus inspectors at large and the best way to avoid them is to refuse them admission.


Gus so what. Whether you have a boiler maintenance agreement does not stop bogus gas inspections calling. People coming from abroad may not know every detail of the spanish gas regulations and if independent inspectors exist. They further may not know if their boiler maintenance agreement covers the storage and distribution of gas around their property/house. And finally they may not know if independent inspections of gas installations are authorised by the local or national governmental authorities. Thus waving a boiler maintenance contract may well not discourage the scammer. As said above a scammer who may well hold very convincing documentation.

On your second point as I said and you agree the best is to refuse access without time to check and get authorisation confirmed by someone independent of the caller but that has nothing to do with Mark's post.

No one on this thread was talking about the UK. It was mentioned once by Benidorm who was merely putting context to his example and this in many ways was a positive for one of Mark's off topic observations.


I don't understand your train of thought. If you have already organised a regular service, why would you pay for it to be done twice. Your regular company would phone to make an appointment once a year. I have a sticker on the boiler with their emergency phone number.
Anybody coming to the door saying they are from the company would need to wait there until you confirm it with them and see some sort of ID . Isn't that what we are advised to do in the UK? Why not here?

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Re: Bogus Gas Appliance Inspectors!!

Postby olive » Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:45 pm

Wicksey wrote:As I understand it, it is always the home owner that should arrange for the inspection and that no gas company should call uninvited.

We never were given a gas certificate when we bought this house and we bought our own bottles with us when we came. There presumably was one once as there were old connections for a gas water heater (we now have electric) and air vents in the kitchen. That hasn't stopped so called gas inspectors calling on us so we keep the gates locked and just say we don't have any gas appliances. We can change our own pipes on our cooker and have done in the past.

Just a thought .... what happens about gas BBQs? We bought ours in France and never needed gas contracts there to buy a tank.


All I can say is that we had more than double the number of appliances (7)the second periodic visit. Charge was still the flat rate of 60 euros. I suspect that in Repsols ideal world everyone has a contract with them and no one has gas bottles they inherited when they bought a house or from car boots. My point about changing pipes is - I agree you and I can but how many actually do? How many folk out there have pipes in use with an expired use by date? They do degrade.

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Re: Bogus Gas Appliance Inspectors!!

Postby scotty » Sat Feb 11, 2017 2:42 am

olive wrote:My point about changing pipes is - I agree you and I can but how many actually do? How many folk out there have pipes in use with an expired use by date? They do degrade.


Olive is correct. When my sister sold her place she gave me her expensive and rarely used gas barbecue. After the second time using it I commented to my wife that I could smell gas if the regulator was not turned off. Next day I checked the date on the hose and it was several years out of date and had a split in it :oops: . Replaced it straight away.

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Re: Bogus Gas Appliance Inspectors!!

Postby patricia » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:07 pm

They called at my door one day and I just told them I didnt have any gas appliances. They or anyone else have never been back. After that I heard about the scams so I am glad I did not let them in. I wouldnt let anyone in unless I had asked for a check or had some form of communication with the company and as Mark has said, it is the same in the UK, you have a legitimate contract to have people come in and service appliances.
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Re: Bogus Gas Appliance Inspectors!!

Postby olive » Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:46 am

Well i am a little disappointed as i thought the thread would bottom out the subject once and for all.

Maybe because i have a contract on a number of repsol gas bottles then that is sufficient for them to send their "expert" every five years unnanounced and charge me 60 euros to change the rubber pipes and do some schoolboy safety testing.

There must be others out there who have a contract with refundable deposit on their gas bottles. Do you have a five yearly inspection and how much is it and do you get a repsol certificate and crucially do they inform you before turning up. Oh and do you live off the beaten track?

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Re: Bogus Gas Appliance Inspectors!!

Postby Free at Last » Sat Feb 18, 2017 10:41 am

We have a contract, and have the five-yearly inspections. The way it has worked (up to now) is that they have left a card in our buzon (we don't live off the beaten track but in a town) asking us to contact them to make an appointment, which we've done. My husband always buys and changes the tubing himself before the visit is due, to avoid any possibility of being charged over the odds for what needs replacing (he bought 5m of tubing to do our gas appliances and those of a friend for €5 in the ferreteria this week). We paid €60 for our last inspection and certificate.

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Re: Bogus Gas Appliance Inspectors!!

Postby markwilding » Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:02 am

There is a difference to how we get our gas in Bilbao to you guys. We have natural gas piped into the house from the street. before that a Repsol tanker came and filled and enormous tank for all the houses and before that the bottles.
You would suppose that eventually natural gas will be installed in the less isolated towns and cities in Andalucia.


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