New York AG Goes After Post-Hurricane Gas Goons

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Prior to Hurricane Sandy, a gallon of regular gas at the Mobil station at 40-40 Crescent Street in Long Island City was $3.89. That price was even posted on the station's sign following the storm. When the storm came and went, that sign remained -- as the line for gas stretched for three city blocks.

Magically, when customers got to the pump -- after waiting in the absurdly long line -- the price went up to $4.89. If you were paying with a credit card, the price was $4.99 a gallon.

Only, it wasn't magic that made the price jump a dollar in under an hour, it was hurricane profiteers gouging prices to take advantage of desperate consumers -- and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman ain't having it.


Schneiderman yesterday announced his intent to "commence enforcement proceedings" against 13 gas stations his office says violated the state's price gouging laws. He says these cases are just the first of what's expected to be a series of "enforcement proceedings" against post-hurricane price gougers.

"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," Schneiderman says. "Today's action is the first in a series of steps my office will take as we continue to actively investigate the hundreds of complaints we've received from consumers of businesses preying on victims of Hurricane Sandy. We will do everything we can to stop unscrupulous individuals from taking advantage of New Yorkers trying to rebuild their lives."

New York's price-gouging law prohibits merchants from taking unfair advantage of consumers by selling goods or services for an "unconscionably excessive price" during an "abnormal disruption of the market."

A crippling hurricane certainly counts as an "abnormal disruption of the market."

Schneiderman says the investigation was launched after his office received hundreds of complaints from people who claim they got ripped off at a gas station. One of those consumers got gas at the Express mart station located at 1000 Rte 9 in Lindenhurst, where he reported that there were no road signs displaying gas prices, just a plywood sign next to the road announcing the gas station was only accepting cash. When he got to the pump, the price was $4.99, which he was forced to pay out of desperation. 

The AG's Office says that 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

The thirteen gas stations busted in Schneiderman's investigation are as follows:

Nassau County

Shell

3709 Crompond Road

Cortlandt Manor, NY 10567

Consumer compliant $5.00

Shell

408 Rockaway Turnpike

Cedarhurst, NY 11516

Consumer complaint 5.00+

Suffolk County

Babylon Gas Station/Express Mart

1000 Route 109

Lindenhurst, NY 11757

Consumer complaint $4.99

USA Petroleum

East Islip, NY

11730, NY

Consumer complaint $5.50+

USA Petroleum

2664 Route 112

Medford, NY 11763

Consumer complaint 5.50+


Westchester County

Mobil

174 Westchester Avenue

White Plains, NY

Consumer complaint $5.05

Mobil

Hutchinson River Parkway

White Plains, NY

Consumer complaint $5.03

Brooklyn

Sonomax

278 Greenpoint Ave

Brooklyn, NY

Consumer complaint $4.74

Queens

Mobil

4040 Crescent St

Long Island City ,NY

Consumer complaint $4.89

Shell

Northern Heights Service

7018 Northern Blvd

Jackson Heights, NY

Consumer complaint $5.50

Delta

1309 14th Avenue

College Point, NY

Consumer compliant $5.00

Bronx

Getty

600 Pelham Parkway

Bronx, NY

Consumer complaint $5.39

Mobil

688 E. Gun Hill Road

Bronx, NY

Consumer complaint $4.89


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1 comments
gasguzzler
gasguzzler

Just putting it out there...  Why is gas going up $2 per gallon after the storm a bad thing?

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