State Investigating Claims Of Price Gouging Including 19 Stations In Wilmington Area

State Investigating Claims Of Price Gouging Including 19 Stations In Wilmington Area

By / State News / الأربعاء, 21 أيلول/سبتمبر 2016 04:00

RALEIGH, N.C. : September 20th, 2016 - Attorney General Roy Cooper issued subpoenas to three more gas stations Tuesday as part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of price gouging. This brings to five the total number of subpoenas issued so far.

Subpoenas requesting information went Tuesday to one gas station in Winston-Salem (Forsyth County), one in Smithfield (Johnston County) and one in Stokesdale (Rockingham County). According to reports from consumers, the gas stations allegedly charged $3.99 or more per gallon for gas.

“A supply crunch shouldn’t be an excuse to rip off people who need gas,” Cooper said. “We’re following up on consumers’ reports and taking action to investigate possible price gouging.” Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division is investigating potential gas price gouging based on approximately 1,145 complaints from consumers. Consumers can report possible gas price gouging to the Attorney General’s Office by filing a consumer complaint at ncdoj.gov or calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within the state.

The subpoenas follow two subpoenas issued Monday to a gas station and gas wholesaler in Guilford County. Additional subpoenas are likely later this week. The subpoenas require recipients to respond to the allegations and provide documentation to the Attorney General’s office including information on costs gas stations were charged by their suppliers.

Reports of price gouging

As of 4:30 p.m., Cooper’s office had received approximately 1,145 reports of possible price gouging from consumers since Friday. That includes at least 38 complaints from the Asheville area, 45 from the Charlotte area, 40 from the Greenville area, 279 from the Triad, 184 from the Triangle, and 19 from the Wilmington area.
“Reports from consumers on the ground are vital to enforcing the law against price gouging, so let us know if you see excessive gas prices,” Cooper said.

About the price gouging law

Price gouging—or charging unreasonably excessive prices in times of crisis—violates North Carolina General Statute 75-38, when a disaster, an emergency or an abnormal market disruption for critical goods and services is declared or proclaimed by the Governor. On Friday, North Carolina’s law against price gouging was triggered by the declaration of an abnormal market disruption due to a gas pipeline leak in Alabama.

Under the law, there is no set price or percentage increase that must be charged in order for it to be considered price gouging. The law applies to all levels of the supply chain from the manufacturer to the distributor to the retailer.
Learn more about the price gouging law, what to report, and how the Attorney General investigates allegations at www.ncdoj.gov

“Most businesses do right by their customers, but unfortunately some bad apples may take advantage of a crisis to gouge people,” Cooper said. “If our investigation uncovers violations, my office won’t hesitate to take legal action.”

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