Hurricane Harvey doesn't mean stations can gas gouge

Hurricane Harvey pounded the Texas coast. The TX Attorney General's Office confirmed finding 40 total instances of

"Unfortunately, price gouging like this can be common following natural disasters", she concluded. "However, these circumstances do not constitute a free pass for gas stations to gouge consumers". If the victim is over 65, the fine can be as high as $250,000.

Attorney General Ken Paxton told CNBC's Closing Bell that "there are significant penalties if you price gouge in a crisis like this".

"We expect more complaints in the wake of the storm regarding home fix and construction fraud/price gouging", said Kayleigh Lovvorn, who works in media relations in the Texas Attorney General's office.

The TV station's investigation into that hotel's price gouging led the business to give refunds to 40 guests after Paxton's office found out what they were doing.

'We also received a complaint about one Houston convenience store charging $20/gallon of gas and have issued a CID directly to that business.

But the Attorney General says the state's crackdown has been effective, telling Varney, "The number of complaints coming in has actually declined significantly".




Those who believe they are the victims of price gouging are being encouraged to make a report with the AG's office, by filling out a form online, emailing consumeremergency@oag.texas.gov or calling 1-800-621-0508 or 512-475-4413.

Best Buy told media website CNet commentator Chris Matyszczyk that this happened at one specific Houston-area store on just that one day.

Complaints are pouring in to Texas officials that some Houston businesses are charging exorbitant prices for essential goods, with one report claiming that a local store was charging as much as $100 for a case of drinking water.

They added that this was not an excuse but an explanation for the error.

"We are deeply offended and saddened by the actions taken by this hotel", said a Best Western statement.

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