AG urges consumers to report price-gouging

Published 8:43 am Tuesday, June 28, 2022

TOM LATEK

Kentucky Today

Attorney General Daniel Cameron is encouraging the reporting of suspected price-gouging to his office after Gov. Andy Beshear issued a state of emergency Thursday on gas prices in the state, which is needed to activate Kentucky’s price-gouging law.

According to the statute, no person shall sell or rent an item for a price “which is grossly in excess of the price prior to the declaration.”

It sets a threshold for gasoline at the price the day before the price gouging order was issued, and further states that a price is not a violation if it is 10% or less above the price prior to the declaration, or 10% or less above the sum of the costs and normal markup for a good or service.

Cameron’s office says as an example, AAA reported that an average price for a gallon of regular gasoline on June 22, 2022, was approximately $4.717. For price gouging to occur under the statute, regular gasoline would have to be sold at approximately $5.188 or higher. Other factors, including cost to the business, increased transportation costs, etc., are also considered when evaluating suspected price gouging.

“My office has been monitoring gas prices across the Commonwealth for months and has already issued civil investigative demands and subpoenas to businesses suspected of charging unconscionable prices for gasoline,” Cameron said. “We will continue to do our job and protect Kentuckians from unlawful prices.”

Suspected price gouging of gasoline can be reported to the Attorney General’s Office by calling 502-696-5485 or by visiting ag.ky.gov/pricegouging.

Cameron’s office says when filing a price gouging complaint, Kentuckians are encouraged to report as many details as possible about the suspected price gouging, including the name and address of the seller/retailer, the item purchased, the price of the item after the emergency declaration, and the price of the item before the emergency declaration, if known. If a refund is sought, consumers should also keep receipts from the transaction to show proof of purchase.