Tennessee deputy AG urges public to file price-gouging complaints

Coronavirus

FILE – In this Feb. 28, 2020 file photo, rows of hand sanitizer are seen empty at a Walgreens in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Fear of the coronavirus has led people to stock up on hand sanitizer, leaving store shelves empty and online retailers with sky-high prices set by those trying to profit on the rush. (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP, file)

TENNESSEE (WJHL) – With Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee declaring a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic and horrific tornado damage, the state attorney general’s office is working to protect Tennesseans from price-gouging.

Tennessee law dictates that price-gouging is unlawful in circumstances of great need, such as a state of emergency.

“Tennessee’s price gouging laws make it unlawful for individuals and businesses to charge unreasonable prices for essential goods and services, including gasoline, in direct response to a disaster regardless of whether the emergency occurred in Tennessee or elsewhere. The price gouging law makes it unlawful to charge a price that is grossly in excess of the price charged prior to the emergency.”

 TENNESSEE PRICE-GOUGING ACT OF 2002

Deputy Attorney General Jeff Hill told News Channel 11’s Bianca Marais if the price for a necessary item in a time of need were to be raised “in gross excess,” that would be unlawful.

“For certain items such as emergency supplies and medical supplies that, such as anti-bacterial products, are covered by the price gouging statutes and then the price, if a price is offered that is engrossed, grossly in excess of what was charged before the incident is charged, then that is price-gouging,” Hill explained. “So basically, if somebody is selling hand sanitizer for a price that’s in gross excess to what it was charged a few weeks ago, that can be price gouging.”

“I encourage people to file a complaint, and we can’t do anything if we don’t know about it, so and be as specific as you can in the complaint, take pictures of the price and the item and then let us know what’s going on, and we will follow up and see what we can find out,” Hill added.

To file a complaint, click HERE.

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