Price controllers to be out to prevent price gouging

Section Inspection Head at the Department of Economic Affairs M. Thewet says economic controllers are currently out –Wednesday- to prevent price gouging with respect to the passing of Tropical Storm Isaac.


The island is currently under a Tropical Storm Warning. Tropical Storm Isaac is forecast to pass Wednesday night approximately 110 miles South of the country.

It has become common practice in different parts of the world when a natural disaster such as a hurricane strikes, a number of retailers will try to take advantage of the victims.

Price gouging is when a retailer unnecessarily and callously increases their prices during a time of great panic or in an emergency situation.

In order to avoid the above situation, the Office of Disaster Management has advised residents prior to the start of the hurricane season to prepare a disaster kit which should include non-perishable canned foods, water, batteries etc.

Food items and sanitary products with a maximum price are: corned beef, sardines, soup, tuna in the can, vienna sausages, bottled water, toothpaste, mouth wash, dishwashing liquid, bath soaps, toilet paper, soap powder, disinfectant, batteries, glass candles, and hurricane lamps.

Government has also set maximum prices for building materials that are used for securing one’s home or business during the last hours pending a hurricane strike.

The maximum prices are for lumber, ply form, nails (galvanize, steel, concrete, zinc nails), paint, hammers, felt paper, flush doors, roof zinc, blocks, cement, P.V.C. fittings, and C.P.V.C.

As a consumer, if you believe that a merchant has cheated or scammed you by engaging in price gouging, then you can call the Inspection Department at Tel. 543-7820, 542-4519 to file a complaint or email ea**********@si************.org.