AUSTIN, TX (KXAN) - Violation notices from the Texas Attorney General’s Office have been sent to 127 Texas businesses accused of price gouging during Hurricane Harvey
All of the consumer complaints involve gas stations that allegedly charged $3.99 or higher for a gallon of unleaded gasoline or diesel, according to Attorney General Ken Paxton.
KXAN asked the Attorney General’s Office for the names and addresses of the 127 businesses. Paxton’s office would not release that information Monday. We filed a public information request for the name and location of the businesses accused of price gouging. The AG’s office has 10 business days to respond to that request.
“At the outset of Harvey, I made it clear that my office would not tolerate price gouging of vulnerable Texans by any individuals or businesses looking to profit from the hurricane,” Paxton continued.
“We’ve given 127 alleged offenders an opportunity to resolve these issues with our office or face possible legal action for violating state law. Our investigation of other businesses into price gouging remains ongoing.”
The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act prohibits anyone from taking advantage of a disaster declared by the governor and selling or leasing fuel and other necessities for “excessive or exorbitant prices,” the attorney general’s office said.
Around 5,500 price gouging complaints were made during Hurricane Harvey against businesses. With many of the complaints coming with photos and receipts, the AG says numerous businesses in the Dallas-Fort Worth area were accused of violations.
When KXAN went to a gas station that raised its prices during the Harvey aftermath to $3.49 a gallon, the store manager said they increased the price to “detour [customers] and stop them from coming.”
Texans who believe they have been scammed or price gouged should call the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Hotline toll-free at (800) 621-0508, email email@example.com, or file a complaint online.
(Information from KXAN.com)
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