Attorney General Investigators, Lawyers
Comb Metro-Detroit for Price Gougers
State Employees to Staff Consumer Protection Hotline on Saturday
Lansing, MI –
With power outages still impacting southeast Michigan and escalating reports of
price gouging, Attorney General Mike Cox has sent investigators and lawyers from
his office into metro-Detroit to record any price gouging of essential items
like gas, ice and water.
Departing from the standard
procedure of only responding to verified consumer complaints, Cox chose to
proactively send out his legal team to help stave off any potential violations
of the Consumer Protection Act. If a retail outlet is gouging consumers, Cox’s
team will immediately issue a Notice of Intended Action (NIA) and Opportunity to
Cease and Desist.
“No crisis, no matter what the
cause, gives someone the legal right to gouge consumers for essential goods and
services,” said Cox. “I have sent my legal team into metro-Detroit and ordered
them to take immediate legal action if they find any evidence of price gouging.
Anyone that fails to comply with the law runs the risk of being fined up to
If a consumer feels that a business is engaging
in price gouging, they should immediately send the Attorney General’s office the
following information: the name and address of the business and either a receipt
or picture of the advertised price. A price comparison on the goods prior to
the power failure is also helpful.
Under the Michigan Consumer Protection Act a
retailer is prohibited from charging a price that is “grossly excessive” and can
suffer a penalty of up to $25,000.
In response to the high volume
of consumer complaints, Cox has also arranged for state employees to work
overtime from 8:30am to 4:30pm Saturday in order to have a live person instead
of a recorded voice answering the Consumer Protection Hotline (877-765-8388).
Depending upon the volume of calls, employees may also work on Sunday.
Complaints can also be filed on the Attorney General’s website: www.michigan.gov/ag.
For further information contact:
State of Michigan, Department of Attorney General