Here’s a quick checklist for reporting suspected price gouging



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When prices for high-demand items spike during times of emergency, such as hurricanes and snowstorms, it’s often the result of higher prices. Price gouging occurs when the price of an item is raised way above the normal price of the item simply due to a perceived scarcity of the item in the immediate future. In many states, price gouging is against the law, and legal action can be taken against individuals and companies engaged in price gouging if reported. Here is a brief checklist on reporting suspicions of price gouging to the relevant authorities.

Identification of suspected price gouging

Price gouging is usually noticed when the price of a familiar item increases dramatically in a short period of time. Although laws vary by state, a reasonable assumption is that a rapid price increase of more than 20% is excessive. In some cases, the new price is double or triple the normal cost of the item. Reporting a suspected price hike can remove bad actors from the playing field and ensure that more people don’t take advantage.

Gather all the information you can

When reporting a suspected price hike, it is important to gather all the information you can safely so that the investigating entity has all the facts at their disposal. Information that will be helpful includes the name and address of the business, the date and time of the transaction, the names of all employees involved in the transaction, and the price difference before and after the alleged price increase. price. Any documentation that supports your claim, such as receipts, print advertisements, or photographs, will also be helpful in proving that wrongdoing has occurred.

Suspected report Rising prices at the Better Business Bureau

Once you have gathered all the information, the next step is to report suspected price abuse to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB has an online form you can fill out to initiate the survey. Within two business days, valid complaints will be forwarded to the company, which will have 14 days to respond to the allegations. You will be notified of the response, or lack of response, and the next steps that will be taken. Most cases are closed within 30 days of the initial complaint.

Reporting Suspected Price Hikes to the State Attorney General’s Office

Although there are few federal anti-price gouging laws, 37 states have anti-price gouging laws on their books. In these states, the state attorney general can prosecute any company that excessively raises its prices to take advantage of an emergency. Most states accept complaints about price gouging by phone or online and some also accept complaints by email.

Final Thoughts

While some price increases are to be expected over time, raising the price of basic necessities in times of crisis is unfair and, in many cases, illegal. Reporting a suspected price hike increases the chances that everyone has an equal chance of getting needed food, water and other supplies. For more information on price gouging and other questionable business practices, see some of the articles listed below.

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