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More gas stations must pay for price gouging

Posted October 31, 2008

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— Two more gas stations must refund money to drivers in an ongoing price-gouging investigation.

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced Friday that The Corner Market in Jefferson and Citgo in Old Fort overcharged customers on Sept. 12 and 13 when they marked up gas prices in anticipation of Hurricane Ike.

The Corner Market, at 1462 U.S. Highway 221 North, raised prices from $3.69 to $5.29 per gallon, overcharging consumers by more than $1,600 on Sept. 12, according to the investigation. The station agreed to refund up to $1.69 per gallon to customers.

The Old Fort Citgo overcharged by almost $2,000 on Sept. 12 and 13 after raising prices from $3.99 to $4.99 per gallon. The investigation also found evidence of gouging on diesel prices at the station.

Both companies will pay a $5,000 fine.

Drivers who paid by credit card will see a refund on their card statement. Those who paid cash can present a receipt to get their refund

The owners of a Fayetteville gas station and five stations in Cherokee and Clay counties agreed earlier this month to pay refunds. The owner of a Montgomery County station faces a lawsuit alleging he raised prices too fast in the wake of Hurricane Ike.

The attorney general issued a subpoena Friday for the owner of 10 Circle K stores in Charlotte on reports that some Circle Ks charged as much as $5.29 a gallon in the days before and after the storm made landfall along the Gulf coast..

After pump prices skyrocketed amid fears that the storm would cripple refining capacity and create gas shortages, thousands of drivers complained to the Consumer Protection Division in Cooper's office that prices went up too high and too fast.

Across the state, owners of 36 gas stations have been questioned about their wholesale prices and the retail prices they charged. Cooper said stations could not be cited under North Carolina's price-gouging law if they were simply passing along their higher prices.

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  • OSX Oct 31, 2008

    No mention of punitive damages for the victims... Big Oil must have said something to scare Roy Cooper

  • davidmurphy Oct 31, 2008

    This is really dumb. It's not like the people were standing there twisting anyone's arm to buy gas at $5 a gallon. It was the customers choice. Even if a driver were completely out of gas they could have just put in a gallon and gone somewhere else.

    I wonder how much it's costing the tax payers to investigate and fine the offending stations. I'd venture a guess that it's more than what's be returned in the fines.

  • bottleworks Oct 31, 2008

    "the government trying to punish private businesses, and how will they respond???? they'll just raise the price of gas to compensate for it...."

    No Sir! That would be illegal.

  • bottleworks Oct 31, 2008

    ONLY a $5000 fine?!?!?!? What happened to $5K fine -PER- customer? Run those stations into the ground. Put a little fear into the remaining station owners. That will help keep it from happening again.

  • bngexpress Oct 31, 2008

    how is this any different from what exxon has done, and has the nerve to post their third quarter profits,

  • OLD PIRATE 2 Oct 31, 2008

    YO Doc JONES...You should watch what you wish for. If gasoline were price controlled like the utility companies, the major oil companies would have never sold off all their stations. And those left in the business would be promised a profit. You might not really want price control...

  • southern wisdom Oct 31, 2008

    Only 7 stations fined from across the entire state!!! That is putting the fear of your office to them Roy.

  • offconstantly Oct 31, 2008

    gas is 2.30 in some parts in franklin co. and only a few short months ago its was over 4 bucks, go figure

  • TheDocJones Oct 31, 2008

    heck we should regulate gas / oil / propane like we do electricity / cable ... I have better ideas but the censors would not let them through I bet ... oh well I can dream .... /sigh

  • ObamaMustGo aka NCcarguy Oct 31, 2008

    OH boy......here we go again....the government trying to punish private businesses, and how will they respond???? they'll just raise the price of gas to compensate for it....Why do you people think our prices have been higher than everyone else in the country anyway????

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