AG Reminds Consumers That His Office Is Monitoring Gas Prices
In response to the developing storm in the Gulf of Mexico, Attorney General Bill Schuette reminded consumers and retailers that gas gouging is against the law in Michigan and carries severe penalties.
“As Labor Day weekend nears, Tropical Storm Isaac, combined with other factors, will likely result in higher prices at the pump,” said Schuette. “These circumstances are not a free pass for price gouging. My office monitors gas prices closely, and we will not hesitate to take action if evidence of price gouging surfaces.”
Schuette’s Office monitors the retail profit margins and actual cost of providing gasoline products to consumers throughout the State of Michigan every day and immediately investigates price-gouging claims.
Schuette reminds retailers that under the Consumer Protection Act, a retailer may not charge a price that is “grossly in excess of the price at which similar property or services are sold.” Anti-trust laws also prohibit gas stations from entering into agreements to arbitrarily fix prices in unison.
In December of 2011 Schuette secured the convictions of five gas station owner/operators who were found to be involved in a price fixing operation in the Madison Heights area based on a tip received through the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division.
Schuette is committed to continuing to fight higher gasoline prices in court when the price increases violate the law. If consumers become aware of direct evidence of a conspiracy between companies, or have verifiable evidence of a retailer charging a price “grossly in excess of the price at which similar property or services are sold,” they are encouraged to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-765-8388 or file an online complaint at www.michigan.gov/ag.