Price-gouging widespread in Hurricane Harvey's wake

Price-gouging widespread in Hurricane Harvey's wake

Price-gouging widespread in Hurricane Harvey's wake

Some economists have claimed that price gouging is a formidable reaction to disasters.

Attorney General Bill Schuette issued a warning to gas stations Wednesday that his office will be looking for any evidence of price gouging.

"I do think people should know that in Texas most people are not price gouging, most businesses are not price gouging, and for that matter, we've had a lot more volunteers saving people's lives than we've had people ripping people off", Paxton said. "Unfortunately, in the wake of the damage from storms and flooding, we also see bad actors taking advantage of victims and their circumstances".

More than 30 states have passed anti-gouging laws. If victims are age 65 and older, the penalty is more than 10 times higher - up to $250,000.

As for whether there will be a shortage of goods, Paxton said the big retailers are in the process of re-establishing supply chains as quickly as they can.

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Paxton encouraged consumers to file a complaint in such instances. In Houston, gas is going for an average of $2.17 per gallon, compared with $2.12 the week before.

The AG's office has gotten 600 complaints related to the record-breaking hurricane as of Tuesday morning, a figure that's still rising, spokeswoman Kayleigh Lovvorn said.

There have been over 550 complaints so far about price gouging on everything from food to gasoline. Twitter users have shared a picture of bottled water being sold Friday at a Houston area Best Buy for more than $42 a case. "But WOW! Selling cases of water for $42?" "The mistake was made when employees priced a case of water using the single-bottle price for each bottle in the case", the spokesperson from Best Buy concluded. "We're sorry and it won't happen again", the statement continued. As a result, we are immediately severing any affiliation with the hotel.

"Best Buy now says it was the mistake of a few employees", noted another.

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