CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Hurricane Florence left more than flooding in its wake. The Attorney General’s office now has more than a hundred price gouging complaints to investigate, too.
Last Friday, the AG’s office had received 60 complaints.
That number has nearly doubled to 118 as of today.
Because these cases are still under investigation, the AG’s office says they can’t tell us what counties the complaints came from or the context of them.
Spokesman Robert Kittle was able to provide a breakdown of what types of complaints they’ve received:
Lodging (hotels, condos, campgrounds): 35
Other (including one about milk filed today): 21
The AG says the price gouging law is still in effect as long as we continue to be in a state of emergency.
Kittle said while the Attorney General’s office fields all of these complaints, they then rely on local law enforcement to investigate.
Unfortunately that means taxpayer not only faces the increased and unfair costs of price gouging itself but also the cost of funding the investigations.
The following information is found on the SCAG website:
The price gouging law (SC §39-5-145) is a general prohibition of unconscionable prices during times of disaster. It is in effect until the state of emergency expires or is terminated. Price gougers can be charged for excessive pricing, a misdemeanor offense punishable with a $1,000 fine and/or 30 days in jail.
Normal fluctuations in price are to be expected and are not price gouging. “But if you feel like you are the victim of price gouging there are certain steps that you can take to help our office investigate,” the press release said.
Please do the following:
Note the time, place, address, and name of the gas station or business
Note the price you paid
Note any prices nearby and get the same information on those stations or businesses
Take pictures that identify the business, along with the price
Provide your name and contact information
The SCAG’s office will need those details to thoroughly investigate.
HOW TO REPORT:
Examples or documentation can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also call 803-737-3953 and leave a message.
Or you can file a complaint in the online form: http://www.scag.gov/archives/33193