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Attorney General’s Office to Keep Price Gouging Tipline Operational This Weekend and Throughout the State of Emergency
“Our Office has taken the steps to ensure that the toll free number will be open and operating during this crisis,” Morrisey said. ‘We have already received numerous calls from consumers who believe they have experienced price gouging, and as this stretches on through the weekend, we believe more instances will arise. Due to call volume, if you call and get voice mail, please leave a message and someone will get in touch with you as soon as they can.”
During a state of emergency, price gouging laws go into effect in West Virginia. Those laws essentially prohibit any person, business or contractor from inflating by more than 10 percent the price of any good or service that is deemed to be vital and necessary to the health, safety and welfare of consumers.
Price gouging laws stay in effect until the state of emergency is lifted or 30 days, whichever is longer. People who believe they have been charged prices in violation of the law are encouraged to call the Office’s toll-free hotline at 800-368-8808 and file a report. If possible, keep a copy of your receipt as proof.
“With the weekend here, and the crisis lingering, the water stockpiles that some people had may be dissipating, which could create a heightened sense of need among some people,” Morrisey said. “There are free water filling stations throughout the region, and supplies are being trucked in. I urge people to be neighborly to one another, check on friends, family members and acquaintances who are elderly or unable to get water, and be patient with one another. West Virginians are strong, and we will get through this time.”