FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 9, 2018
For More Information, contact:
Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Alabama Attorney General
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
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Attorney General Steve Marshall Warns Against Price Gouging as Alabama Placed
Under State of Emergency in Advance of Hurricane Michael
(MONTGOMERY) Attorney General Steve Marshall warned those who would seek to
illegally profit from bad weather that Alabama’s price gouging law has been activated
in advance of the arrival of Hurricane Michael this week.
Alabama’s price gouging law comes into effect when the Governor declares a State of
Emergency and it prohibits the ‘unconscionable pricing’ of items for sale or rent.
Effective at 3:00 p.m., October 8, Governor Ivey declared a State of Emergency “in
anticipation of wide-spread power outages, wind damage and debris produced by high
winds and heavy rain associated with Hurricane Michael.” Hurricane Michael is
expected to affect southeast Alabama by Wednesday morning and tropical storm
warnings are already in effect in the Wiregrass region of south Alabama.
“Alabamians should be cautious of those who would seek to prey upon them through
crimes such as price gouging and home repair fraud,” said Attorney General Marshall.
Although what constitutes an unconscionable price is not specifically set forth in state
law, a price that is 25 percent or more above the average price charged in the same area
within the last 30 days– unless the increase can be attributed to a reasonable cost– is a
prima facie case of unconscionable pricing. The penalty is a fine of up to $1,000 per
violation, and those determined to have willfully and continuously violated this law
may be prohibited from doing business in Alabama.
Consumers and officials can report concerns of alleged fraud or illegal price gouging to
the Attorney General’s Consumer Interest Division by calling toll-free 1-800-392-5658,
visiting the Attorney General’s website to file a complaint
https://ago.alabama.gov/ConsumerComplaint, or by writing to 501 Washington
Avenue, Montgomery, Alabama, 36130.
501 Washington Avenue * Montgomery, AL 36104 * (334) 242-7300