What is price gouging? NC attorney general explains what warrants a report during gas shortage

North Carolina news

GARNER, N.C. (WNCN) – Price gouging is illegal during the state of emergency, and Attorney General Josh Stein said his office is investigating complaints. He said his office has received more than 400 reports about high gas prices and continues to urge people to file complaints when they see prices that seem too high.

“It has been going up,” Chauncey Harris said.

CBS 17 spoke with Harris at the Sheetz on N.C. 50 in Garner. The price on the pump said $3.89 for a gallon of premium gas.

“$3.89 sounds like a lot. Sounds like a gallon of milk. I shouldn’t be paying that much for some gas,” Harris said.

That Sheetz is one of the complaints Stein’s office said it has received. Important to note is that the complaint has not yet been investigated.

So, what exactly is price gouging? State law defines it as an “unreasonably excessive price.”

“That means they can’t just raise their price dramatically. It could be that they’ve gotten a new supply of gas in and they had to pay more get it by trucking it in from South Carolina or something like that,” Stein said.

The business must be able to justify the increased price.

Stein has taken action on this front. Back in August, he filed a lawsuit against a company for price gouging related to personal protective equipment. That company agreed to pay a $150,000 penalty in October.

Also, in August, a water damage restoration company agreed to pay $100,000 for hiking prices following Hurricane Florence.

Price gouging can be reported online.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Click here for full list of trending stories