RICHMOND -- With the declaration of a state of emergency, Virginia's price gouging law is now in effect.
Enacted in 2004, Virginia's Anti-Price Gouging Act prohibits a supplier from charging "unconscionable prices" for "necessary goods and services" during the thirty day period following a declared state of emergency.
Items and services covered by these protections include but are not limited to water, ice, food, generators, batteries, home repair materials and services, and tree removal services. The basic test for determining if a price is unconscionable is whether the post-disaster price grossly exceeds the price charged for the same or similar goods or services during the ten days immediately prior to the disaster.
"Virginians first priority should be to prepare for this potentially significant winter storm event, but I encourage consumers to be aware of their rights and encourage businesses to be aware of their responsibilities under the law as we all respond to this storm," said Attorney General Herring.
If a consumer suspects they are a victim of price gouging, they can call the Consumer Protection Hotline or download a complaint form from the Attorney General's website and submit it in-person, by mail, or by fax. Consumers are encouraged to keep any relevant documentation and submit copies with their complaint.
Online Complaint Form
Office of the Attorney General of Virginia , Consumer Protection Section
900 East Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219
By Fax: (804) 225-4378
By Phone: (800) 552-9963, or (804) 786-2042 if calling from the Richmond area