|6 Gas Stations Agree to Refund Customers for Hurricane Harvey Price Gouging
AUSTIN May 24, 2019 - Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced that his Consumer Protection Division settled lawsuits against two Texas gas stations accused of price gouging during the declared disaster for Hurricane Harvey. The attorney general’s office also secured Assurances of Voluntary Compliance with four Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex gas stations.
Under separate agreements, Encinal Fuel LLC and Lafayette C-Store will each pay $17,500 in civil restitution to refund Texans who were charged up to $9.99 a gallon for gas from August 31-September 3, 2017, at:
--Encinal Fuel, 28442 South IH-325, Encinal, TX; and
--Tejano Mart 505, 502 Lafayette Street, Laredo, TX 78041
Four gas stations also signed agreements promising to reimburse consumers who were charged $3.99 or more per gallon of gas during Harvey:
--Rush 24/7, 2410 S.Hampton Road, Dallas, TX 75224;
--Hans Texaco, 12920 Preston Road, Dallas, TX 75230; and
--Hans Chevron, 2590 E. Arkansas Lane, Arlington, TX 76014
--B Z Star, Inc., 3020 Big Town Blvd., Mesquite TX 75150
Texas consumers who believe they were victims of price gouging should submit a claim form with Attorney General Paxton’s Consumer Protection Division. Claim forms will be accepted for Encinal Fuel, Tejano Mart, Hans Chevron, Hans Texaco and B Z Star through June 30, 2019, while the deadline for Rush 24/7 claim forms is July 31, 2019.
“These latest settlements make things right for Texans who were charged excessive or exorbitant amounts for fuel during Hurricane Harvey,” Attorney General Paxton said. “The settlements also reinforce the message that my office will not tolerate price gouging of Texans by anyone looking to profit off disasters.”
To date, the Consumer Protection Division has finalized 61 Hurricane Harvey-related price gouging settlements totaling $307,801 with gasoline stations across Texas.
As Hurricane Harvey was approaching the Texas coast in 2017, Governor Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster activating a provision of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act that makes price gouging on necessities – such as drinking water, food and gasoline – illegal. In the wake of the hurricane, the attorney general’s office received numerous complaints about inflated prices at gasoline pumps. Many Texans emailed photos and receipts as evidence. Investigations are ongoing.
Texans who believe they’ve been scammed or price gouged by any business should call the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Hotline toll-free at (800) 621-0508, email email@example.com, or file a complaint online at https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/cpd/file-a-consumer-complaint.