VERIFY: When is it considered price gouging?

VERIFY: What is gas gouging?

In the days following Hurricane Harvey, we saw reports of price gouging by gas stations in Texas and Louisiana.

We've taken several calls in the last few days from people who think they've already seen price gouging in Central Georgia ahead of Hurricane Irma.

We set out to VERIFY when changing prices can officially be considered gouging.

According to the Georgia Consumer Protection Unit, two things have to happen before the state can charge dealers with gouging.

One: The governor has to issue a state of emergency.

Governor Nathan Deal did that this week for six coastal counties, which allows extended trucking hours -- especially for vehicles bringing in fuel.

Two: The governor has to order a price freeze.

Deal has not done that for the entire state yet. That means gas stations outside of the six counties under the recent state of emergency are free to charge what they want based on supply and demand.

So we verified that until the governor issues a statewide price freeze, the gas prices here in central Georgia aren't considered gouging no matter how high the price.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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