DALLAS (CBS11) – The Texas Attorney General’s Office is making good on a promise to go after businesses accused of price gouging after Hurricane Harvey.
More than 100 gas stations around the state have been served notice and most of them are in North Texas.
“He’s gone for the day,” was the response at one East Dallas gas station named when CBS11 asked to speak with the owner about the accusations. “He’ll be in tomorrow,” was the response at another.
The AG’s office says businesses were warned in August that price gouging would not be tolerated.
In a news release, the office points out that the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act “prohibits anyone from taking advantage of a disaster… selling or leasing fuel or other necessities for excessive or exorbitant prices.”
“It was going on all over the neighborhoods; but, here? Yeah. It was definitely outrageous,” says Max Anderson, while stopping for fuel at gas station named near Interstate 30 and Dolphin Road. “It’s already impoverished in this neighborhood, anyway. Why would you try to take advantage of the people?”
With highways washed out and refineries underwater, fuel prices spiked after Harvey came ashore– triggering panic and temporary shortages.
The accusations of price gouging all involve incidents where customers were charged $3.99 a gallon or more for regular unleaded fuel.
According to the Attorney General’s office, stations will have an opportunity to respond to the accusations. Those that are found to have taken advantage of the disaster can get slapped with fines of up to $20,000 per violation.
Customers who believe they were taken advantage of, can file a complaint here and request a refund.
Here is the complete list of businesses sent notices by the AG’s Office.