HARRISBURG―Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that his office stopped illegal price gouging at the Quick Stop Mini Mart in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
“We won’t tolerate illegal price gouging during this emergency, and we’re taking action every day to stop it—here in Allentown and across Pennsylvania. Pennsylvanians need security and financial protection right now, especially when so many have lost wages and 30 percent are out of work.” said Attorney General Shapiro. “You have a right in Pennsylvania to purchase life-saving goods at reasonable prices in times like these. If you see suspicious price increases on products like groceries and medicine, I encourage you to email firstname.lastname@example.org and fill out a complaint form so we can put a stop to price gouging.”
The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General entered into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) with Quick Stop Mini Mart after the Office received tips alleging that the store was selling hand sanitizer for unlawful prices. The Office learned that Quick Stop Mini Mart sold 500mL bottles of “Chinese Letter Hand Sanitizer” for $20 per bottle.
Under the Price Gouging Act, a price increase of more than 20 percent during a declared state of emergency is considered price gouging. The AVC requires Quick Stop Mini Market to pay $500 in civil penalties, in addition to restitution of $840.00 for consumers who purchased the hand sanitizers. Quick Stop Mini Mart also agreed to fully comply with all provisions of the Pennsylvania Consumer Protection Law and Price Gouging Act moving forward.
Consumers who purchased 500mL bottles of “Chinese Letter Hand Sanitizer” from Quick Stop Mini Mart may be eligible for restitution if they paid more than they should have. In order to be considered for restitution, consumers should file a consumer complaint form with the PA Office of Attorney General and attach a copy of their receipt showing they purchased the hand sanitizer between March 6 and May 27, and the filing deadline is July 27 to be considered.
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