Gov. Kay Ivey’s state of emergency declaration, relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19), has put price gouging laws in effect. Price gouging laws prohibits the “unconscionable pricing” of items for sale or rent.
Jackson County District Attorney Jason Pierce said Alabama law provides that it is evidence that price may be unconscionable if any person, during a state of emergency declared by the governor, charges a price that exceeds, by an amount equal to or in excess of 25% the average price at which the same or similar commodity or rental facility was obtainable in the affected area during the last 30 days immediately prior to the declared state of emergency and that the increase in price charged is not attributable to reasonable costs incurred in connection with the rental or sale of the commodity.
“If a citizen believes that price gouging it taking place, they should file a complaint with the Alabama Attorney Generals Consumer Division,” said Pierce.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said Alabamians should be on guard against those who would seek to prey upon them through price gouging of commodities and services for consumption or use as a direct result of the public health emergency.
“Those who seek to profit during this time of emergency though price gouging will be subject to the law,” said Marshall.
The penalty is a fine up to $1,000 per violation, and those determined to have willfully and continuously violated this law may be prohibited from doing business in Alabama.
Alabamians who want to file an illegal price gouging report are encouraged to do via www.alabamaag.gov/consumercomplaint, or by calling 1-800-392-5658 to receive a form by mail to complete and return.
You may also write the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, 501 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36130.