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State price gouging law in effect due to Irene

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THIS INFORMATION FROM A NEWS RELEASE SENT TO THE WWAY NEWSCHANNEL 3 NEWSROOM

RALEIGH, NC (NCDOJ) -- North Carolina’s strong price gouging law is now in effect because a state of emergency has been declared due to Hurricane Irene, Attorney General Roy Cooper notified businesses and consumers today.

“We’re warning price gougers that you can’t use a crisis as an excuse to make an unfair profit off of consumers,” said Cooper.

Price gouging—or charging too much in times of crisis—is against North Carolina law when a disaster, an emergency or an abnormal market disruption for critical goods and services is declared or proclaimed by the Governor. The law also applies to all levels of the supply chain from the manufacturer to the distributor to the retailer.

Cooper has enforced North Carolina’s price gouging law (NC General Statute 75-38) in the past to win thousands of dollars in refunds for consumers and penalties from violators.

“Most businesses pull together in a time of trouble to help their community,” Cooper said. “If you think that someone is trying to use Hurricane Irene to justify ripping you off, let my office know about it.

Consumers can report potential price gouging to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within North Carolina or by filling out a complaint form at www.ncdoj.gov.

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