Gas Gougers
Friday, 20 March 2009

Price Gouging Status

Joe Doyle, Administrator, announced settlements that have been reached to date as a result of recent gasoline price-gouging investigations conducted by the Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA).  OCA began the investigation of price gouging immediately after Governor Perdue’s Executive Order of September 12, 2008.

Under Georgia law, price-control statutes are activated upon the Governor’s declaration of a state of emergency.  During the declared state of emergency, businesses may not sell any goods or services necessary to protect the health, safety or property of citizens at prices higher than the prices at which those same goods or services were offered before the declaration of a state of emergency.  The only exception allowed is if the business can document that the price was increased only in an amount which accurately reflects an increase in the cost of the goods or services to the person selling the goods or services or an increase in the cost of transporting the goods or service into the area.  Absent a declared state of emergency, competition and demand drive prices in our free-market economy.

“As I said during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Governor and his Office of Consumer Affairs take the issue of price-gouging very seriously and will continue to be vigilant now and in the future,” said Administrator Doyle. 

As of March 19th, 61 cases have been resolved - 26 with a finding of no price gouging and 35 with a finding of price gouging.  Cases were evaluated on the individual facts, and the settlements with violators included fines, consumer restitution or both.  All fines collected were deposited in the State treasury.  If a gas station operator was required to provide consumer restitution, he or she had to post signage stating that customers with receipts who were covered by the agreement were eligible for refunds.

OCA, which received more than 2,000 complaints or inquiries about price gouging or gas shortages, is still investigating a number of cases.  The agency also put hundreds of stations on notice of the provisions of the price-gouging statute in order to avoid future violations.

The recent settlements include the following businesses:

  • J&P Shop & Stop, 630 West Jackson Street, Thomasville, Georgia – Restitution plus $700 fine
  • Clyde's Market 57, 3100 Lanes Bridge Road, Jessup, Georgia – Restitution plus $1,400 fine
  • Pilot Travel Center #70, 7001 Highway 21, Port Wentworth, Georgia - Restitution plus $20,000 fine, which was assessed jointly against the 9 Pilot locations listed here  
  • Pilot Travel Center #319, 244 Connector 3 Southwest, Dalton, Georgia - Restitution plus $20,000 fine, which was assessed jointly against the 9 Pilot locations listed here
  • Pilot Travel Center #421, 142 Carbondale Road, Dalton, Georgia - Restitution plus $20,000 fine, which was assessed jointly against the 9 Pilot locations listed here
  • Pilot Travel Center #65, 4091 Jimmie Dyess Parkway, Augusta, Georgia – Restitution plus $20,000 fine, which was assessed jointly against the 9 Pilot locations listed here
  • Pilot Travel Center #67, 968 Cassville White Road, Cartersville, Georgia – Restitution plus $20,000 fine, which was assessed jointly against the 9 Pilot locations listed here
  • Pilot Travel Center #422, 1645 Highway 29 South, Newnan, Georgia – Restitution plus $20,000 fine, which was assessed jointly against the 9 Pilot locations listed here
  • Pilot Station #416, 2201 East 16th Avenue, Cordele, Georgia – Restitution plus $20,000 fine, which was assessed jointly against the 9 Pilot locations listed here
  • Pilot Station #66, 5888 Highway 53, Braselton, Georgia – Restitution plus $20,000 fine, which was assessed jointly against the 9 Pilot locations listed here
  • Pilot Station #68, 2185 U.S. 441, Dublin, Georgia – Restitution plus $20,000 fine, which was assessed jointly against the 9 Pilot locations listed here
  • Chevron, 400 N. Cobb Parkway, Marietta, Georgia – Restitution plus $2,000 fine
  • Citgo, 2900 Evans Mill Road, Lithonia, Georgia – Restitution plus $2,000 fine
  • Leon's Food Mrt, 5410 Matt Highway, Cumming, Georgia – Restitution plus $1,400 fine
  • Super Speedzone, 678 North Expressway, Griffin, Georgia – Restitution plus $2,500 fine
  • Kroger, 3139 Highway 278 NW, Covington, Georgia - Restitution plus $4,000 fine, which was assessed jointly against the 3 Kroger locations listed here.
  • Kroger, 2325 Bethel View Rd., Cumming, Georgia - Restitution plus $4,000 fine, which was assessed jointly against these 3 Kroger locations
  • Kroger Fuel Center, 3651 Peachtree Parkway, Suwanee, Georgia - Restitution plus $4,000 fine, which was assessed jointly against thees 3 Kroger locations 
  • Lakeview Grocery, 3970 North Expressway, Griffin, Georgia – Restitution plus $1,500 fine 
  • Super Express, 3150 Wrightsboro Rd., Augusta, Georgia – Restitution plus $5,000 fine
  • Shell, 3794 Bouldercrest Road, Ellenwood, Georgia – Restitution plus $1,000 fine
  • Coastal Gas Station, 935 Dallas Highway, Douglasville, Georgia – Restitution plus $750 fine
  • Oak Foods, 500 North Oak Street, Valdosta, Georgia – Restitution plus $2,500 fine  
  • Zetella Express, 4289 Highway 16 West, Griffin, Georgia – Restitution plus $2,500 fine
  • Adel Truck Plaza, 1503 West Fourth Street, Adel, Georgia – Restitution plus $10,000 fine
  • Shell (Top of the Ridge), 2874 Ridge Road, Douglasville, Georgia – Restitution plus $1,000 fine
  • Aden's Minute Mart # 42, 1126 Bowens Mill Road, Douglas, Georgia – Restitution plus $1,000 fine
  • Aden's Minit Market # 50, Georgia Highway 111, Meigs, Georgia – Restitution plus $750
  • Aden's Minute Market # 52, 2067 U.S. Highway 19 SE, Pelham, Georgia – Restitution plus $1,000
  • Stop N Shop #2, 3107 Lanes Bridge Road, Jessup, Georgia – Restitution plus $500
  • Fillers #22, 801 Georgia Highway 96, Warner Robins, Georgia – Restitution only
  • Fillers #24, 101 Marshallville Road, Perry, Georgia – Restitution only
  • Marathon Ashland, 1325 South Main Street, Cedartown, Georgia – Restitution only
  • Ashley's Convenience Store, 6001 Ogeechee Road, Savannah, Georgia – Restitution plus $3,000
  • Executive Park Chevron, 2911 Buford Highway, Atlanta, Georgia – Restitution plus $5,000

The Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs appreciates the work and contributions provided by the Department of Agriculture and local law enforcement officials in this endeavor.

 
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