What Price Gouging REALLY Looks Like

Gas Supply Shortage: The Cost Of Price Gouging

GREENSBORO, NC -- Before the Colonial pipe leak,  gas was $2.09. Rumblings of a shortage, the law of supply and demand kicked in and you saw with your own eyes the price go up to $2.49.

But this, $4.50!!!! Whoa. The North Carolina Attorney General's office calls that price gouging. As of Monday the NC AG subpoenaed a gas station and a wholesaler in Guilford County. By Tuesday, gas stations in Forsyth, Rockingham, Johnston counties were also on the list. The AG wants them  to explain their prices.

Under North Carolina law, courts can fine price gougers up to $5,000 for each violation. According to our state Constitution, all civil penalty fines go to support the public schools.

2WTK looked into the last time a round of gas price gouging subpoenas went out. In 2008, Gulf Coast refineries shut down and North Carolina drivers were in a similar situation. The AG's office took action against 14 gas stations for price gouging. Those stations paid out  $71,000. Some of that was fines, some of the money actually went to consumer refunds. 
 
Here's the thing, it's not guaranteed you'll get a refund if you paid money for gas at a station found to be price gouging. Again, the fine money all goes to the public school system. Consumer refunds are on top of that.  But it is a possibility.  So,  to up your chances you need to make a formal complaint with the AG's office. You need the name/location of the gas station and you need evidence you paid the price gouging cost, that's either a receipt, a credit card statement, a pic of either one. 
 
How can I report price gouging?
You can report price gouging three ways:

File a complaint online at ncdoj.gov.
Mail us a complaint to: Consumer Protection Division
  Attorney General's Office
  Mail Service Center 9001
  Raleigh, NC 27699-9001

Call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM (toll-free within North Carolina) or 919-716-6000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(© 2016 WFMY)


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