Attorney General Tong Reminds Consumers and Retailers that Price Gouging is Illegal(Hartford, CT) – With thousands of Connecticut households still without power in the midst of a global pandemic, Attorney General William Tong reminded consumer and retailers that price gouging is illegal during both civil preparedness and public health emergencies.
“Connecticut consumers are facing the unimaginable— mass power outages in the midst of a global pandemic. This is an emergency, and not an opportunity to profit. I’m heartened by the stories of neighbors and businesses who have reached out to offer assistance to those in need. At the same time, we are starting to see complaints of high prices on scarce consumer goods and services, including generators and hotel rooms. We now have two dual emergencies declarations in place that both protect consumers against price gouging, and anyone who suspects profiteering should submit a detailed complaint to my office for investigation,” said Attorney General Tong.
Prior to Tropical Storm Isaias, the Office of the Attorney General had received over 750 COVID-related price gouging complaints. Each and every complaint was reviewed, and several remain under active investigation.
Anyone who suspects price gouging should file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General online at https://www.dir.ct.gov/ag/complaint/. Consumers are encouraged to file their complaints online and list accurate information about the company, retail store or online vendor where the suspected instance of price gouging occurred. In the complaint, consumers should list the name and address of the retailer, the date and time of the instance, and also submit any pictures that show the suspected price hike.
If consumers are unable to file a complaint online or via email, they can call the Office of the Attorney General at 860-808-5318.
During civil preparedness and public health emergencies, price gouging is against Connecticut law. Price gouging or profiteering means increasing the price of an item for sale at retail by more than could be justified in the ordinary course of business market fluctuations.
Acting in coordination with the Department of Consumer Protection, the Office of the Attorney General may file suit against price gougers and seek appropriate relief, including injunctive terms, restraining orders, restitution, and civil financial penalties designed to deter future unscrupulous sales.