Harvey price gouging offenders will pay, Texas AG Paxton says

Gas pump

So while Best Buy contends that it was all an honest mistake, they have a legal responsibility not to price gouge during a disaster.

Now, a Houston convenience store has began charging $20 a gallon for gas, according to the Texas Attorney General's office. The Department investigates any time there is evidence that state law has been violated for gouging or price fixing. Those found guilty of such activities could face fines of up to $20,000, or up to $60,000 if they are victimizing people ages 65 or older.

That last example was reported Monday afternoon and a CID was prepared that same evening, ' Kayleigh Lovvorn, a spokesman for Paxton's office, said.

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"You're not supposed to artificially inflate prices of things that are emergency or needed during a disaster", said the Greater Houston and South Texas Better Business Bureau's Dan Parsons. Additionally, the Department receives and reviews consumer complaints and inquiries about individual stations.

The attorney general office's hotline, at (800) 252-8011, and the agency's website have already received more than 350 complaints about price gouging, reports Austin television station KXAN.

The AG's office encourages individuals who believe goods are being charged at an unfairly high price to first raise the issue directly with the business.

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Best Buy responded to the controversy, claiming the price was computed incorrectly because the electronics company doesn't usually sell water in bulk.

A leading electronics chain has been accused of "price gouging" after one of its shops in Texas was caught selling cases of bottled water for over $42 (£32) as Hurricane Harvey raged in nearby Houston. Best Buy also apologizing, telling ABC News it doesn't even sell cases of water. "But WOW! Selling cases of water for $42?"

"We are deeply offended and saddened by the actions taken by this hotel".

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