HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — From Amazon to the local supermarket, officials are taking action against price gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic from banning thousands of sellers online, to sending cease and desist orders to retailers.
The Office of the Attorney General(OAG) has been flooded with complaints from consumers in Pennsylvania. The OAG reports they’ve received 3,735 complaints and have issued 233 cease and desist letters.
In Central Pennsylvania, an Altoona department story was reportedly selling $3.75/gallon bleach for $6.25. A drug store in State College reportedly increased it’s $12 price on a 12-roll package of toilet paper to $21.99. The Office of the Attorney General reports that they were both issued cease and desist letters.
The AOG also reports that a State College business increased the price of 50 medical facemasks from $15 to $69.99 and they’re investigating the complaint.
What can you do if you see price gouging happening when you’re shopping for essential items? Well, the process is much easier than many may think.
You don’t need to try and speak to a manager, or any empoyee at that matter. You can simply submit a complaint directly to the Office of the Attorney General. In fact, it’s encouraged by Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
Following Governor Wolf’s COVID-19 disaster declaration for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, our office informed consumers and businesses to send us tips, complaints, and information about price gouging happening in their communities. We follow up on every tip we receive and will take legal action if necessary to make sure this illegal practice does not continue.The Office of the Attorney General
Consumers with questions or concerns about price gouging can call OAG’s Bureau of Consumer Protection hotline at 800-441-2555 or click here to file a complaint.
The site will ask for information and will let you upload receipts and even pictures of the price tag on the store shelf.