Posted: Thursday, 13 September 2012 10:47AM
No one charged yet with price gouging
In the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac, the State Attorney General's Office has investigated over 700 reports of price gouging but so far no one has been charged with the crime. According to the A.G's Director of Communications, Amanda Papillion Larkins, the cases the office has reviewed run the gamut from gasoline to batteries even cigarettes. She notes that businesses in many cases can verify the need to hike their prices.
''Retail fuel sellers, such as gas stations and convenience stores are allowed to pass along verifiable increased costs of doing business, if they have to pay more for fuel themselves due to refinery issues,'' said Larkins.
The Consumer Protection Division is still dealing with similar complaints but they're now bracing for the second round, which traditionally deals with contractor fraud allegations. Residents who feel they've been ripped off after having repairs done to their homes for wind and water damage.
Larkins said the office will continue to take complaints and there are still a number of open cases being probed.
"Fuel retailers and distributors should maintain all paperwork and evidence necessary to prove the increased cost of doing business."
The number to call with complaints of price-gouging and contractor fraud is 1-800-351-4889, the office of Attorney General Buddy Caldwell.