Report Price Gouging To Attorney General's Consumer Complaint Hotline

In the wake of Hurricane Ike, the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Complaint Hotline has received hundreds of price gouging complaints from across the state. Most complaints allege price gouging on gas and lodging; others report price hikes involving food, water and power generators. The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is investigating some consumers' claims that they were unlawfully charged inflated prices for necessities including fuel, hotel lodging and other items.

Although Hurricane Ike has left the state, the governor’s disaster declarations are still active, so the OAG continues to have enforcement authority to pursue price gouging complaints in 99 Texas counties. Under Texas law, vendors are prohibited from charging exorbitant prices for necessities such as groceries, clothing, medical supplies, lodging, repair work and fuel during and after declared disasters.

The emergency Consumer Complaint Hotline continues to have staff available between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to receive price gouging complaints. Texans who encounter price gouging should call the hotline at (800) 252-8011. Information collected is relayed directly to agency investigators.

A disaster declaration triggers heightened enforcement authority for the Office of the Attorney General under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. This authority protects Texans by prohibiting exorbitant prices for necessities, such as drinking water, food, batteries and generators.

Texans should keep written records and receipts of any transaction they believe constitutes price gouging. If speaking directly with the service provider does not resolve the dispute, Texans should call the toll-free complaint line or, if Internet service is available, file a complaint online at

Although the law prohibits vendors from illegally raising prices to reap exorbitant profits during a disaster, it does allow retailers to pass along wholesale price increases to customers. Thus, in some cases, increased prices may not necessarily signal illegal price gouging.

On September 7, Gov. Perry issued a disaster declaration for the following counties: Anderson, Angelina, Aransas, Archer, Austin, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Bowie, Brazoria, Brazos, Brooks, Calhoun, Cameron, Cass, Chambers, Cherokee, Collin, Colorado, Comal, Dallas, Denton, DeWitt, Ellis, El Paso, Fort Bend, Franklin, Galveston, Goliad, Grayson, Gregg, Hardin, Harris, Harrison, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hill, Hopkins, Hunt, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Kaufman, Kenedy, Kleberg, Lamar, Lavaca, Liberty, Lubbock, Matagorda, McLennan, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Navarro, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Panola, Parker, Polk, Potter, Randall, Refugio, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Shelby, Smith, Starr, Tarrant, Titus, Tom Green, Travis, Trinity, Tyler, Van Zandt, Victoria, Waller, Walker, Webb, Wharton, Willacy, Williamson, Wise and Wood.

On Sept. 12, the governor extended the declaration to include Burleson, Coryell, Freestone, Grimes, Houston, Madison, Milam, Leon, Robertson, Rusk and Washington Counties.

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  • by Victim Location: Gainesville on Sep 17, 2008 at 10:13 AM
    Maybe they should allow the cops to just drive up and issue them tickets. I know it would mena they would have to get out of there cars. It should be pretty apparent to them when they drive by a gas station and see gas go up 30 to forty cents in a matter of a few hours. It isn't like the gas that was already in the tank was effected by the weather. There is one station here in Gainesvile that has for $4.30 a gallon still.
Sherman 4201 Texoma Pkwy (903) 892 -8123 Ardmore 2624 S. Commerce (580) 223-0946
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