Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Delaware County Store Busted by Attorney General for Price Gouging During Coronavirus Crisis

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Attorney General Josh Shapiro said his office has shut down price gouging efforts at the Fresh & Easy Convenience Store in Boothwyn, Your Content has learned.

“As we continue to confront COVID-19 merchants must obey the law: you cannot jack up prices and rip consumers off in a crisis,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “In Pennsylvania you have a right to buy life-saving goods at reasonable prices during this emergency. If you see suspicious price increases on products like groceries and medicine, I’m asking you to reach out to my office.”

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The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General entered into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) with the Fresh & Easy Convenience Store after the Office received a tip alleging that the store was selling Lysol cleaning wipes for $25. After the Office issued a cease and desist letter to the store, and conducted an investigation, the Office learned that Fresh & Easy sold Lysol wipes for $8.99 and $14.99, depending on the size.

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 Fresh & Easy Convenience Store to pay $600 in civil penalties, in addition to restitution of $119.88 for consumers who purchased the Lysol wipes.  Fresh & Easy also agreed to fully comply with all provisions of the Pennsylvania Consumer Protection Law and Price Gouging Act moving forward.

Consumers who purchased Lysol wipes from Fresh & Easy 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 (put in hyperlink to the complaint form) and attach a copy of their receipt showing they purchased the Lysol wipes between March 6, 2020 and May 5, 2020.  Complaints must be submitted by July 6, 2020 to be considered. 

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The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General has received 4,660 price gouging tips and issued 416 cease-and-desist letters since opening the [email protected]tipline in March.

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