MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WAAY)- Price gouging happens when a company sees an opportunity to make an extra buck in a state of emergency, but not every little increase is price gouging.
Michele Mason with the Better Business Bureau says, “When the governor declares a state of emergency then companies are offering products at more than 25% higher in price than the average of the last 30 days unless there is a reasonable reason behind that price increases.”
Daniel Jackson uses propane daily this time of year he says, “We heat our house and that’s the only heat we got we have a heating pack unit and if we don't have gas we don’t have heat.”
Jackson has a signed contract with a propane company here in north Alabama. His contract, guarantees him propane at a set price.
He says when he requested his propane for the month he was taken back by the price increase. “Last month we got gas at a 1.39. They brought us 100 gallons out. We called them Thursday and said we want another 100 gallons they said well it will be 2. 99 a gallon. They are making hand over fist.
When he called to ask about the increased price he says the company told him, they didn’t have to honor his contract anymore because of the propane shortage. “Terrible that they would do folks like that they doing us like that and taking advantage of our money,” says Jackson
The Attorney Generals office is urging Alabamians to report price gouging. Call the Office of Consumer Protection at 1-800-392-5658 to report price gouging.
If businesses are in violation of price gouging they could be fined up to $1,000 dollars, and possibly asked to no longer do business in the state of Alabama.