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News Station Investigates Price Gouging at Hotels During Storm

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Those living along the Texas coast needed to book hotel rooms to stay safe from the storm, and price gouging really adds insult to injury to evacuees. KXAN uncovered their own story about hotel price gouging when reporters booked hotel rooms at a Best Western Plus about 20 miles away from Corpus Christi. According to their article, “An internet search showed room rates for a two queen bed priced between $120 and $149 a night. But, when it came time to book the room at the hotel’s counter, that price nearly tripled [to $321.89]”

The clerks said they had no control over the price, and they admitted that it was unusually high. Also, they were charged taxes, which Texas Governor Greg Abbott said should be suspended on hotels and motels through the disaster.

But hotels aren’t the only culprits of price gouging during the disastrous aftermath of Harvey. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told CNBC that 500 complaints had been logged by Monday morning concerning water selling for up to $99 a case and gas ranging from $4 – 10 a gallon. “These are things you can’t do in Texas,” Paxton told the news. “There are significant penalties if you price gouge in a crisis like this.”

KXAN says that those who experience price gouging should keep their receipts and call the Attorney General’s Office’s complaint line at (800) 252-8011 or file online here. They’re working with Best Western Plus to solve the pricing problem.