Price Gouging Hotline receives 4,400 consumer complaints

MOODY GRID 2
Nearly $500K has been returned to consumers.

In the two months since Attorney General Ashley Moody launched Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline, her office has received roughly 4,400 consumer reports about price gouging on essential items.

“A key part of our success is the thousands of tips flooding into our Price Gouging Hotline from Florida and beyond,” Moody said. “And as we slowly start to reopen, I want to remind Floridians to remain vigilant. Don’t let your guard down. We are more successful when we work together, so please keep sending us price gouging tips and we will continue to do our part to protect consumers.”

The battle against price gouging has occurred on several fronts including securing thousands of dollars’ worth of refunds, working with online platforms to remove excessively priced items, and gathering evidence for price gouging investigations.

Thus far, 70 subpoenas have been issued for further investigations and more than $497,000 worth of refunds has been secured. Additionally, more than 198 online posts have been deactivated for “outrageous” pricing.

The penalties for price gouging can be stiff. According to the Florida Office of the Attorney General, violators can face civil penalties of $1,000 per violation and up to $25,000 for multiple violations committed within 24 hours.

Commodities protected by Florida’s COVID-19 State of Emergency price gouging laws include protective masks, gloves, disinfectant supplies, and COVID-19 testing kits.

Incidents of price gouging can be reported to the Florida Office of the Attorney General online and by phone at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


One comment

  • Larry Gillis, Libertarian

    May 12, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    “FL MERCHANT CHARGES FAIR MARKET VALUE FOR GOODS SOLD; ATTORNEY GENERAL IS ‘OUTRAGED’ ” (news headline).

    Think about that one: goods and services are being sold (and bought) at an agreed price. However he did it, the merchant got the goods in question all the way to the shelf in his store, and at his own risk. No one then forced the consumer to buy the goods in question.

    When Robert Kraft send the Patriots jet all the way to China, bought a planeload of Corona masks, and flew them all the way to New York and then on to Boston, it was then his choice to actually GIVE them to the recipients. God bless him for choosing to do the classy thing.

    And God bless the merchant who — every day — sees needs and takes steps (at his OWN risk) to meet those needs. No one takes any pity on him when he goes belly-up, as a lot of entrepreneurs are doing right now.

    All this “gouging” rhetoric is self-serving posturing by politicians-on-the-make. Their particular form of Righteousness is not pretty to watch.

    Long live the free market.

    Larry Gillis, Libertarian (Cape Coral)

Comments are closed.


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