Don't gouge, AG warns

LANSING--As Michigan drivers deal with a spike in gas prices, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette last week warned retailers against any attempt to take advantage of consumers by price gouging or price fixing.

"Michigan consumers are struggling with rising costs just as summer vacations are getting underway, making it hard on family budgets," said Schuette. "We will not tolerate unscrupulous behavior that violates Michigan law when it comes to gouging and price fixing."

Every day, year-around, the Michigan Attorney General's Office's professional legal team monitors the balance of wholesale and retail prices and profit margins in regions around Michigan.

Additionally, the office takes in complaints about individual stations directly into its Consumer Protection Division.

The office investigates any time there is evidence that state law has been violated for gouging or price fixing.

Under the Michigan 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.

Consumers who are 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," can call 1-877-765-8388 or file an online complaint at www.michigan.gov/ag.

Published: Mon, Jun 17, 2013

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