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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid