A Texas gas station has been caught charging $20 per gallon to people trying to flee Hurricane Harvey; one of the most egregious examples of price-gouging to emerge in the wake of the devastating natural disaster.
As Jalopnik reports, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office has been inundated with complaints of price-gouging in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, including inflating the price of gas. While some gas stations have raised their prices to $4 or even $10 per gallon (compared to a national average of $2.19 per gallon), one Houston convenience store was caught charging $20 per gallon.
Spokesperson Kayleigh Lovvorn said that the manager of that station should be expecting a visit from the AG’s office soon.
“That convenience store was reported to us in a complaint—we’re tracking all complaints as they come in and following up with persons/businesses involved in price gouging and scams as quickly as we can, and in person if possible.”
In the meantime, that particular station, which has not been identified, has been ordered to lower its prices. The manager has complied, says Paxton’s office.
What’s worse, that particular instance of alleged price-gouging may not even be the most heinous example to emerge in the wake of the disaster.
As Us Magazine reports, Best Buy has been found with egg on its face after reports came in of the retailer charging $42.96 for a 24-count case of Dasani bottled water at a Houston area store.
— Jean-Francois Juster (@JustJuster) August 30, 2017
A company spokesperson said that the retailer only sells bottled water by the bottle, not by the case. What’s more, said a spokesperson, an employee got a little overzealous.
“We don’t typically sell cases of water. The mistake was made when employees priced a case of water using the single-bottle price for each bottle in the case.”
Best Buy’s $43 water seems almost reasonable compared to another, unnamed retailer who was caught charging as much as $99 for a case of bottled water, according to CNBC.
— Chuck Baker (@ChuckBaker1) August 30, 2017
Meanwhile, Paxton says that price-gouging will not be tolerated in The Lone Star State.
“These are things you can’t do in Texas. There are significant penalties if you price gouge in a crisis like this.”
Price-gouging is a crime in Texas and carries a fine of up to $20,000 per instance. That fine goes up to $250,000 if the victim is 65 years old or older.
Meanwhile, retailers are working to get their supply chains up and running in order to get food, water, and other much-needed supplies into their stores, at normal or even discounted prices.
[Featured Image by bunyarit/Thinkstock]