The Office of the Attorney General is encouraging consumers to report any incidents of price gouging.
Attorney General Edward Manibusan warns retailers that the Consumer Protection Act makes it unlawful for any business to engage in price gouging.
Price gouging occurs when a business increases prices based on the shortage of goods caused by a natural disaster or any other emergency.
“The Office of the Attorney General will prosecute, both criminally and civilly, any business that engages in price gouging,” Manibusan said.
To assist with the investigation of price gouging in connection with Typhoon Mangkhut, affected consumers should submit a written complaint to the OAG, along with copies of all receipts, invoices, or other documents associated with the complained-of transaction.
Consumers should save all receipts, invoices, and other documents related to price gouging. When submitting a complaint to the OAG, consumers should submit copies of any supporting documents and retain the originals for their own records.
Complaint forms may be obtained at www.cnmioag.org under the Consumer Counsel section or in person at the Civil Division on Capital Hill from 7:30am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday, or via email by sending a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consumers who cannot obtain a complaint form may submit a written complaint that includes (1) the name of the consumer and his or her contact information, (2) the name of the business and its location, (3) a description of goods or services purchased, (4) the date of the purchase, (5) the price paid for goods or services, (6) the price of the goods or services prior to Typhoon Mangkhut, (7) any other details that support the complaint, and (8) copies of receipts, invoices, or other documents that support the complaint. Complaints should be hand-delivered to the Civil Division on Capital Hill or submitted via email.
Inquiries regarding consumer protection complaints should be directed to assistant attorney general Bob Pickett at email@example.com or (670) 237-7500.
The OAG typically issues a warning against price gouging not in response to one specific incident but in the event of a disaster in the Commonwealth. (Saipan Tribune)