AG's office: We've received dozens of price gouging complaints

EDISON - The state attorney general's office says it has received dozens of complaints from businesses regarding price gouging in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

A picture that emerged on Facebook shows a 12-pack of Smart Water for $24 and a 24-pack of bottled water for more than $40. Kane in Your Corner asked New Jersey Consumer Affairs Director Thomas Calcagni if this was legal.

Calcagni says he warned retailers in advance not to take advantage of the storm. He says investigators are now making sure no one has.

During a state of emergency, retailers are not allowed to raise their prices more than 10 percent of what they would have charged before, whether that's for a product or service. The only exception would be if businesses were to raise their prices to cover any increase they've had to pay from their suppliers.

The Facebook photo may not be an example of price gouging. Calcagni says stores normally sell bottles individually, rather than by the case. However, the Best Buy store manager says even though the attorney general's office found they did nothing wrong, he agrees that putting up those signs was a bad idea. He says one of his assistant managers did it while he was out of the building, and the sign was taken down after about an hour.

Consumer Affairs Hotline To Report Price Gouging or Scams:800-242-5846

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