GREENSBORO, NC -- Anytime there is State of Emergency in NC there are questions about price gouging and hotel/vacation rental cancellations. The NC Attorney General's Office details what is and is not gouging and what you as a consumer can expect when it comes to refund policies.
The most common items that fall under this price gouging protection: gas, hotel rooms, ice, generators and equipment needed for cleanup. The Attorney General's office defines gouging as "unreasonably excessive under the circumstances".
That sounds like it leaves gray area, so let me give you a quick example: just because the gas station down the street said $2.09 yesterday and $2.19 today doesn't make it price gouging. A 10-cent hike on a gallon of gas can happen on any given day. In the next few days, if you think a business is price gouging for an item-- you need to file a complaint with the North Carolina Attorney General's office.
HOTEL & VACATION RENTAL CANCELLATIONS
Don't be surprised if your hotel is still going to charge you for a night when there is a storm coming through.
The only time a hotel has to refund you is if the electricity is out at the hotel, or the rooms are uninhabitable.
That's probably not the case with this storm. A refund depends on your hotel's cancellation policy.
When it comes to vacation home rentals, a refund depends on the cancellation policy. But know this for the future, anytime you book a vacation rental you should be offered insurance to purchase in case of a mandatory evacuation. If you choose not to take the insurancem the owner is not required to refund your money.
(© 2016 WFMY)