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Gas stations settle state price-gouging complaint

Posted October 23, 2009

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— Three gas stations have agreed to pay $15,500 total to settle price-gouging allegations following Hurricane Ike last fall, officials said Friday.

LR&S, Inc. will pay $7,700 for alleged price gouging by its Four Sister Center and Yadkinville Food Mart gas stations in Yadkinville, and Steve Compton will pay $7,800 for alleged price gouging at Tire Pro of Troy, also known as Troy BP.

Attorney General Roy Cooper said the Consumer Protection Division of his office now has won more than $71,000 in consumer refunds, energy assistance funds and civil penalties from 14 stations in the state probe.

The state began investigating possible price-gouging by North Carolina gas stations when thousands of consumer complaints started pouring in hours after Ike struck the Texas Gulf Coast on Sept. 12, 2008. Former Gov. Mike Easley activated the state's price-gouging law because the storm knocked refineries off line and created a market disruption.

"A crisis shouldn’t be an excuse to rip off consumers,” Cooper said in a statement. “People let us know that they were getting gouged at the pump, and we took action to make violators pay.”


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  • twc Oct 23, 2009

    That's not enough; there should be punitive fines!! Who cares who gets it? Give it to the schools or whatever.

  • workingforthosethatwont Oct 23, 2009

    what about the current situation? gas prices have gone up .40 cents in the last two weeks. I did not notice any gas stations going out of business during the 'economic crunch'. I think the 4.00 gas was a front to pay for the elections. somebody got rich and it wasn't us.

  • Tired of thoughtlessness Oct 23, 2009

    So, do they plan on giving the money to the people who overpaid and actually made the complaint? Weren't they asking for receipt of this gouging?

  • betterplace Oct 23, 2009

    The punishment should act as a deterent. Unfortunately, $7000 is not huge when considering the profit that could have been made. For example: If a company can make 100k with price gouging, they should be fined 200k - go after their property. Until the punishment is severe, nothing can deter these folks by doing it again. This has happened almost EVERY time a hurricane strikes NC or the Gulf coast.

  • Diabolical Oct 23, 2009

    OMG almost $6 bucks for gas?? That's insane.

  • planter Oct 23, 2009

    they didn't do anything to make the slightest difference. Prctically all stations ripped people off. The price of gas went up almost a dollar the afternoon before the hurricane hit. The wholesale price had not gone up. Not a thing was done despite complaints being filed with the ag.

  • cold hands warm heart Oct 23, 2009

    yea...how does the money go to????

  • 6079 SMITH W Oct 23, 2009

    So what happens to the money? Does it go to everyone who was ripped off, or does the state keep it?...Never mind.