Four dozen Texas gasoline stations accused of Hurricane Harvey-related price gouging have agreed to issue refunds to purchasers.
Attorney General Ken Paxton on Thursday announced the nearly $167,000 settlement in an investigation in which some stations allegedly charged as much as $8.99 per gallon. Most violations were by stations in Dallas-Fort Worth, Paxton says.
Harvey made landfall in South Texas last August. Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster as Harvey approached, activating a provision of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act that makes price gouging illegal.
“At the outset of Harvey, I made it clear that my office would not tolerate price gouging of Texans by anyone looking to profit from the hurricane,” Paxton said in a statement.
“The response to Hurricane Harvey showed the incredible generosity of Texans,” he continued. “These settlements should teach the few who take advantage of their fellow residents to follow the law in the future.”
In the wake of the hurricane, Paxton's office received thousands of complaints about overpriced fuel. All 48 stations that settled charged $3.99 or higher per gallon of gasoline or diesel. Many Texans emailed photos and receipts as evidence. And investigations are ongoing, Paxton says.
Consumers need to fill out claim forms to seek refunds.
Texans who believe they’ve been price gouged by any business can call the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Hotline toll-free at (800) 621-0508, email email@example.com or file a complaint online.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.