News Release: Office of Consumer Protection Reminds Public of Price Cap

Posted on Aug 7, 2014 in News Releases

 

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS

Office of Consumer Protection

 

NEIL ABERCROMBIE
GOVERNOR

KEALII S. LOPEZ
DIRECTOR

BRUCE KIM
OCP EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Aug. 7, 2014

Office of Consumer Protection Reminds Public of Price Caps

OCP Urges Consumers to Report Potential Price Gouging

 

HONOLULU — Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) Executive Director Bruce Kim today informed the public that there is a price cap in effect for commodities in conjunction with Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s disaster declaration.

 

The statewide emergency has triggered statutory price caps on selling prices at pre-emergency levels for all commodities, including food, water, ice, gasoline, cooking fuel, batteries, and generators. Any price increase of these and other commodities since severe weather warnings began through at least Aug. 16, 2014, is a violation of state law and merchants found in violation may be subject to severe fines and penalties.

 

“The Office of Consumer Protection will investigate complaints and prosecute any offenders to the fullest extent of the law,” Kim said. “It is also important for consumers to follow through with providing the information.”

 

If merchants have unknowingly raised prices during this period, they may avoid a violation by:

  • rolling back prices to the appropriate level, and
  • putting a restitution program in place to return any excessive payments resulting from the illegal price increases to consumers.

 

If consumers believe they paid increased prices for merchandise, they are advised to

  • keep their receipts and/or other records of the sale, and
    report any instances of price gouging by emailing ocp@dcca.hawaii.gov
  • Include

1)  Name of business
2)  Location of business – island, area
3)  What was being purchased, any additional info on the item
4)  Name and contact number of caller if they are willing

  • during normal work hours consumers can call the DCCA’s Consumer Resource Center (CRC) between 7:45 am and 4:30 pm Mon-Fri by calling 587-4272 or 587-3295 from Oahu or from the Neighbor Islands call the following numbers followed by 7-4272 and the # sign:

 

Kauai 274-3141
Maui 984-2400
Hawaii 974-4000
Lanai & Molokai 1-800-468-4644 (toll free)

 

 

An electronic copy of OCP’s complaint is available on its website at http://cca.hawaii.gov/ocp.

 

During regular business hours, consumers may call 808-587-4272 at the Consumer Resource Center to obtain a complaint form and file a formal complaint.

 

An office of the State of HawaiiDepartment of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, OCPeducates and protects consumers from unlawful acts or practices by companies, which may cause harm to consumers. For more information about services, contact the OCP at (808) 586-2636.

 

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Media Contact:

Brent Suyama

DCCA Communications Officer

(808) 586-7582

bsuyama@dcca.hawaii.gov

cca.hawaii.gov