Best Buy accused of price gouging on bottled water

Best Buy accused of price gouging on bottled water

Best Buy accused of price gouging on bottled water

It's unclear if the jacked-up rates were the result of price-gouging or if the shutdown of refinery operations in the wake of Harvey was a factor, but the attorney general's office is investigating.

Thousand of Texans have been displaced by Hurricane Harvey's floods, and adding to their worries - convenience stores selling gas for as much $20 per gallon.

More than 30 states have passed anti-gouging laws.

"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.

"We're looking at prices over the last three months", Paxton said.

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.

Paxton told CNBC in an interview that fines for price-gouging in Texas can range from $20,000 per occurrence, or up to $250,000 if a victim is at least 65-years-old.

'We are getting photographs of a high price, but a receipt proves that someone is really charging it, ' Jim Davis, Deputy Attorney General for Civil Litigation toldKVUE.

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 or calling 1-800-621-0508 or 512-475-4413.

Some businesses were even gouging evacuees on water as well, charging anywhere from $42 to $99 for a case of bottles. "But WOW! Selling cases of water for $42?"

A store representative told Business Insider that the price hike was a "big mistake", adding that Best Buy did not typically sell water.

In a statement to The Hill, a Best Buy spokesman called the pricing "a big mistake" made by a few workers.

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