Virginia Attorney General triggers anti-price gouging statutes

Virginia News

After gas prices hit a yearly high earlier this month, motorists could soon see some relief at the pumps. Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy’s Head of Petroleum Analysis said prices could fall as much as 15 to 30 cents per gallon over the next couple of weeks. (Getty Images)

RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency for Virginia amid concerns about the winter weather, which triggered the Commonwealth’s anti-price gouging statutes.

“The sad reality is that bad actors will take advantage of inclement weather or other natural disasters just to make an extra buck,” said Attorney General Mark Herring. “Virginians should not have to worry about paying too much for necessary goods when they are trying to keep themselves and their families safe and warm during a snowstorm. I want to encourage any Virginian who believes they may have experienced any kind of price gouging to reach out to my Consumer Protection Section and please take extra precautions during this winter weather.”

Virginia’s Anti-Price Gouging Act, which was enacted in 2004, helps to stop suppliers from charging “unconscionable prices” for “necessary goods and services” when a state of emergency is declared during a 30-day period. This protection includes services not limited to water, ice, food, generators, batteries, home repair materials and services, and tree removal services.

Complaints and violations of Virginia’s Anti-Price Gouging Act should be reported to the Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Section — with the exception of gasoline and motor fuel prices claims — which the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services handles.

Violations of Virginia’s Anti-Price Gouging Act are enforceable by the Office of the Attorney General through the Virginia Consumer Protection Act. Complaints should be reported for investigation to the Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Section, with the exception of claims related to gasoline and motor fuel prices, which are handled by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

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