The scam of the bogus gas inspector is well known. A couple of pushy chaps with clipboards turn up, insist your gas revision is necessary, force their way into your home, snip a couple of tubes and charge you an eye watering amount.
Technically these sods aren’t doing anything illegal – if they don’t touch the main appliance they probably don’t even need a basic gas installers license. What they’re doing is charging over the odds for basic maintenance. Although their aggressive sales technique usually steps over the line.
And so a Guardia Civil operation has arrested 23 of these rats and closed down 17 companies across Andalucia. The “inspectors” had a complicated network of companies setup to exchange information, book appointment and share gas licenses.
But an overwhelming number of customer complaints against these companies forced the police to take action, and they discovered the companies were charging up to a 1000% more than the set rate for simple inspections. Several of the men have also been charged with theft – in one occasion, they asked the elderly lady to step into her bathroom to check the hot water was working properly and took the opportunity to empty her jewellery box.
The men have been charged with a number of offences ranging from fraud, working without a license, theft and intimidation.
Remember that just because someone knocks on your door asking to be let in you don’t have and shouldn’t. If you want a gas inspection book one over the phone with an authorised company – no reputable company will knock on your door without an appointment asking to be let in.