Where to Report Price Gouging In Connecticut

October 31, 2012
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Price gouging is illegal in Connecticut.

Consumers who have complaints about suspected price gouging are encouraged to file a complaint at dcp.foodandstandards for gasoline and fuel complaints.

Persons who suspect price gouging on any other product should file a complaint with the Department online at www.ct.gov/dcp — see “Complaint Center,” or by calling 1-800-842-2649.

The following is from the Attorney  General’s office:

Attorney General George Jepsen is reminding residents and retailers that state law prohibits price gouging on consumer items and energy resources during the current civil preparedness emergency in Connecticut.

“Residents across the state are dealing with hurricane-related power outages, property damage and other disruptions to normal living. They need to know they shouldn’t have to pay excessive prices for basic necessities,” Attorney General Jepsen said.  “Anyone who suspects price gouging or profiteering, should report it to my Office or to the Department of Consumer Protection for investigation under Connecticut’s unfair trade practices laws.”

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy declared a civil preparedness emergency in Connecticut on Oct. 27. While that emergency period is in effect, consumer items cannot be priced higher than they would be during the normal course of business. Violations are considered an unfair or deceptive trade practice and violators are subject to fines, the Attorney General said.

Also, Connecticut is currently under statutory notice of an “abnormal market disruption” for energy resources, such as heating oil, gasoline, propane, natural gas, electricity and wood fuels, among others. The notice means that dealers are prohibited from charging unconscionably excessive prices for those energy resources. Violators may be subject to penalties.

The market disruption period began Aug. 4 and is scheduled to expire Nov. 3, unless it is extended. The notice is posted on the Attorney General’s website.

An “unconscionably excessive price” may occur when there is a gross disparity between the price during the market disruption and the price in the ordinary course of business immediately prior to the market disruption; and the price is not attributable to additional costs. Profits are compared to a 90-day look back period.

Reports of suspected price gouging for consumer goods or unconscionably excessive pricing of gasoline or other fuels, can be made to Attorney.General@ct.gov, or to the Department of Consumer Protection at dcp.foodandstandards@ct.gov

Assistant Attorney General Thomas Saadi is assisting the Attorney General with this matter, along with Assistant Attorney General Phillip Rosario, head of the Consumer Protection unit.

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