With the post-Hurricane Sandy gas shortages finally starting to subside (rationing ends in Long Island at midnight, but is still in effect in NYC) the government is starting to crack down on fuel peddlers who tried to make an extra buck amidst the crisis. Yesterday New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office announced that it is filing its first series of gas gouging charges—with more expected to follow.
13 gas station operators have been notified that they are facing "enforcement proceedings against them for violations of the New York State Price Gouging statute," the AG says. "Our office has zero tolerance for price gouging and we are taking action to send a message that ripping off New Yorkers is against the law."
The 13 stations notified yesterday are accused of charging as much as $5.50 for a gallon of gas, which is very much against the law. The worst of the alleged offenders (and they are all allegedly pretty bad) were the ones who didn't even list the price they were charging publicly. For instance, "in the case of the Mobil station located at 40-40 Crescent Street in Long Island City, the price per gallon was posted at the roadside as $3.89. The line for the station was three city blocks long. When the consumer got to the pump, the price sign noted a cash price of $4.89 for regular gas and a credit card price of $4.99." And that, as they say, is fucked up.
If you believe you are a victim of price gouging or a post-hurricane scam, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Helpline at 800-771-7755 or find a complaint form online at: www.ag.ny.gov.