W.Va. AG Issues Reminder of Price Gouging Law During State of Emergency

WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey reminded everyone that West Virginia’s price gouging law takes effect during any state of emergency, such as that declared last week due to the recent drought.

Laws prohibiting such activity took effect Thursday, Oct. 3, with the governor’s declaration of a state of emergency in all 55 counties.

The state’s price gouging laws specifically prohibit any person, business or contractor from inflating the price of select consumer items by more than 10 percent of what the items sold for 10 days prior to the declaration.

“Any state of emergency is a good time for everyone to be alert and take note of their surroundings,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “The recent declaration is an added reminder for everyone to conserve water and a reminder for businesses to comply with the law.”

The law takes effect during any state of emergency or state of preparedness as issued by West Virginia’s governor. Price gouging laws remain in effect until the declaration is lifted or 30 days, whichever is longer, subject to limited exceptions.

The Attorney General urges any consumer who believes he or she may have been charged prices that increased dramatically after the state of emergency declaration to file a complaint with his office. Those with a receipt should attach a copy to their complaint.

Anyone with a question about price gouging laws or who believes they have been a victim of price gouging should call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239 or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.

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Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com