CORONAVIRUS

If You See Price Gouging In Stores, The Utah Attorney General Wants You To Report It

Mar 15, 2020, 9:37 AM | Updated: 10:03 am

Empty shelves at a West Valley City Albertson's store....

Empty shelves at a West Valley City Albertson's store.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – While there’s technically no shortage of household supplies in the United States, Americans have been panic buying items faster than stores can restock – and it’s leading to price gouging.

There are empty shelves across the nation as consumers are buying up supplies in bulk. Unfortunately, scarcity of some products has led to instances of price increases. In Utah, though, hiking up prices to levels that aren’t reasonable is against state law.

The Utah Attorney General’s Office on Saturday posted a notice on its Facebook page asking consumers to report retailers that have raised prices unfairly on goods that are in demand.

“Unfortunately, Utahns are reporting price gouging (or increasing prices much higher than reasonable or fair) on supplies that are in limited supply in stores,” according to the AG’s post. “The items include: toilet paper, water, hand sanitizer, certain household cleaners, and even cold medicine and baby formula.”

The post notes that under Utah Code 13-41-101-202 – the Price Controls Under Emergencies Act, the penalty for hiking up those prices during an emergency situation is a $1,000 fine per incident.

Authorities are asking anyone who sees price gouging to report it to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at 801-530-6601 or 800-721-7233. The division can also be reached by email at consumerprotection@utah.gov.

More than two-thirds of states have anti-price gouging laws in place, and a bill was introduced in Congress on March 12 that would prohibit price gouging during a state of emergency declaration.

Unfortunately, Utahns are reporting price gouging (or increasing prices much higher than reasonable or fair) on supplies…

Posted by Utah Attorney General's Office on Saturday, March 14, 2020

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If You See Price Gouging In Stores, The Utah Attorney General Wants You To Report It