It sometimes doesn’t take much for us to be convinced that someone is ‘official’. For example, how many of us actually check the identity of a police officer? If they turn up in the right uniform, with the right car, you are bound to think that it’s the policia local on your doorstep.
It can be the same with other official-looking people too. A suit and a clipboard and we can soon become complacent that this is the genuine article at our gate. Whereas it is unusual for a police officer to be impersonated, the same cannot be said for gasmen.
The bogus gasman is not a new phenomenon on the Costa Blanca and the majority of people know of their existence. They regularly come door knocking around the estates to ensure that gas appliances are in a good state of maintenance.
They are not in fact gas board representatives and probably know little to nothing about gas appliances. But you can guarantee that during their ‘check’ they will spot a fault and a repair will need to be made, at a price. Whatever it is, rubber tubing or connection, it won’t be cheap and will be unnecessary.
EasySpain urges everyone to remember:
No one sends out gas inspectors to private homes
That includes town halls, gas companies or other official bodies.
If you are in any doubt for any reason then you can call the gas company they claim to represent and the gasmen will be guaranteed to disappear.
There is a requirement that has probably led to the opportunist gasmen seeing a way of making money. Houses using gas are, officially, required to have their appliances checked every five years. However, you can choose which company might do this and once completed they will provide you with a certificate.
You can be sure that a company you choose is official by checking that they:
- Are legally authorised by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Innovation of the regional government and have a registration number
- Have the official Customer Complaint form (Hoja de Reclamacion)
You should be aware that if you don’t have your gas equipment checked your gas supplier can refuse to provide you with any more gas bottles.
Something you can keep an eye on yourself is the validity date of the rubber tubing used in any of your equipment. The validity date is stamped at the end of the tube and if it has run out you can buy a replacement at an authorised store. You can fit these yourself but may feel more comfortable having someone do it for you.
Gas equipment does need careful handling but there are plenty of real experts who can help and won’t charge a fortune in the process.