News / USA

New York Officials Work to Curtail Price Gouging

New York Officials Work to Curtail Price Gougingi
|| 0:00:00
X
Peter Fedynsky
November 07, 2012 8:59 PM
In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, consumers in New York are complaining about having to pay more for services than they would normally. The New York State Attorney General's office is investigating accusations of price gouging. VOA correspondent Peter Fedynsky reports state officials are highlighting the issue to deter gougers from preying on victims of the storm.

New York Officials Work to Curtail Price Gouging

Peter Fedynsky
— In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, consumers in New York are complaining about having to pay more for services than they would normally. The New York State Attorney General's office is investigating accusations of price gouging. State officials are highlighting the issue to deter gougers from preying on victims of the storm.

“This is a different day, my friend.”  That’s what a cab driver recently said when this reporter protested his attempt to charge $30 for what would usually be a $10 ride.  

A spike in demand for taxis, generators, batteries, hotel rooms and gasoline during and after last week's storm prompted a few vendors to charge exorbitant prices for goods and services. 

Al Ridolfo, a hotel manager, says some of his competitors charged $800 for a $300 room.  And he paid $25 for an $8 set of radio batteries.

“There are just these few businesses.  They see money, their eyes go wild - dollar signs in their eyes," he said.  "And it’s really bad.  It’s bad for the city; it’s bad for the other businesses”

The attorney general says several hundred cases of price gouging have been reported since the storm hit New York state, which has a total population of more than 19 million people. 

New York University law professor Eleanor Fox says that is a small percentage.  Prosecutors intend to keep it that way.

“In the very extreme cases, where you look at the law and you look at what was done, and you know that person did wrong, the person will probably want to settle," she said. "So, assume the person settles, the attorney general would want to issue press releases and make a very big deal about the fact that this is happening and it is wrong.”

One private online Craigslist ad offers gas at $15 per four liters, more than triple the usual price.  Fox says reselling goods at a higher price is not considered gouging.  But retailers are prohibited from charging what the law refers to as “an unconscionably excessive price.”  The penalty for doing so is a fine of up to $25,000 and, where appropriate, restitution to aggrieved consumers.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jake from: Roanoke, VA
November 09, 2012 10:33 AM
Let me tell you why this is wrong. We can actually see the negative effects of anti-price gouging legislation in NY right now, with 28% of fueling stations being completely out of gas to sell at this point. If prices for necessary goods and services in the aftermath of such a disaster are kept at pre-disaster levels, the first few consumers that purchase bulk quantities "just in case" make it impossible for others to obtain any at all. By raising prices according to demand, it acts as an incentive for people to only buy what they need and ensures a sustainable supply.

In Response

by: eileen from: Minnesota
November 13, 2012 6:03 PM
Give me a break. People last year had their homes flooded in Minot ND. Same devestation and they still gouge them. The oil boom didn't help these poor people either and you don't hear them whining about it. Five thousand home were affected and the news barely touched on it. My heart goes out to all the people that are abused from greedy people.


by: onefeather from: ar
November 07, 2012 8:49 PM
The business owners,cab drivers and all the rest who price gouge should be shut down,lose their job and have their name on a list that is publish for the public.People who do this are low-lifes plain and simple.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid