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Floridians Mad About Gas Price Spike

September 15th, 2008 by flanews

A total of more than 2,000 complaints of gas price gouging have been reported to the Attorney Generals office and the Commissioner of Agriculture. As Whitney Ray tells us, investigators will look at the complaints to determine if prices went up because of Hurricane Ike or if gas companies were breaking the law.

To report gas price gouging you can call one of two state hotlines. The Department of Agricultures consumer hotline number is 1800-HELP-FLA and the Attorney Generals price gouging line is 1800-9NO-SCAM.

The phones at two state hotlines are ringing off the hook. Right now there are more questions than answers as investigators try to figure out why some gas stations raised their prices by almost two bucks. Jack Hagadarn is gathering vital information for investigators. Jack said the price has gotten so high in some parts of the state, people cant afford to drive.

The ones Ive had today tend to be the ones on fixed or limited incomes. Some retirees who are trying to survive and get around and are having trouble getting the gas, said Jack.

In some areas people couldnt get gas because stations sold it all. Over the weekend the price of a gallon of gas one Tallahassee station was $5.50 a gallon and they still sold out.

Commissioner of Agriculture Charles Bronson says stations sold out because people panicked, not because of a supply shortage. Bronson released a public service ad to calm fears. Bronsons office has subpoenaed information from 16 gas companies in the state.

Were going to find out who jacked the price of fuel up or whether it was price gouging or not, said Bronson.

If its determined prices where raised illegally companies could faces a 25,000 dollar fine for every day they ripped off their customers.

Posted in Gas Prices, Hurricane Season, McCollum, State News | 1 Comment »

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