Watch for Harvey Price-Gouging, and Report It
With a week of high rain chances and heavy flooding for Harvey-impacted parts of the state, the Texas Attorney General and the Better Business Bureau are sending the reminder to retailers that they can’t hike the price too much on necessary items. If you see that happening, you can report it.
If retailers jack up the price on things like drinking water, gas, medicine, food, batteries, or services like towing this week, they can be accused of price-gouging, and that’s illegal in Texas.
If you can prove that the price of a tank of gas or a case of bottled water is artificially inflated and you have the receipt to document it, the retailer could face a heavy fine.
The Texas Attorney General offers a link where you can make a consumer complaint, and that office can prosecute anytime the Governor makes a disaster declaration. The Better Business Bureau also takes complaints online on price-gouging, or any other unsavory business practices that try to take advantage of consumers during emergencies.
When so many kind folks are coming together to donate money and help Harvey victims with food and shelter, it’s sad that we even have to mention this bit of alleged unscrupulous behavior by some retailers. (The Attorney General has received at least 75 complaints on price-gouging so far.) We know that good will prevail in the end and we’ll be amazed the kindness that takes over Texas when all of this is over. In the meantime, watch out for those jacked up prices and let the authorities know about them.