Price Gouging

Frances has yet to strike, but the hurricane is already generating a storm of price gouging complaints. The complaints cover everything anyone would need to get ready for a storm.

"Convenience stores hiking up the prices on water and ice."

"Most of them so far are complaints about airlines raising prices to get out of town at the last minute purchases."

"Mostly my calls have been plywood. A lady was just telling me that she was standing in line and they went up on the price while she was standing in line."

"Yeah, people are upset, but it’s understandable when they are getting charged like $60 for one piece of plywood."

With the phones literally ringing off the hook with complaints, the hours of the center are being extended from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at night for the foreseeable future. Volunteers are being recruited from the attorney general's staff to man the overtime investigators already in the field.

“Initially we contact the business, then we will contact the victim again and get documentation, get affidavits then we can file suit.”

Violators face a$1,000 for each instance, up to $25,000 a day, and extreme over charging could result in grand theft criminal charges.