Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced that his office stopped illegal price gouging at the EZ Dollar Plus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“We won’t tolerate illegal price gouging during this emergency and we’ll act to stop it. Pennsylvanians need financial protection right now, especially when so many have lost wages and 1 in 3 have lost work.” said Attorney General Shapiro. “You have a right in Pennsylvania to purchase life-saving goods at reasonable prices in times like these. If you see suspicious price increases on products like groceries and medicine, I encourage you to email firstname.lastname@example.org and fill out a complaint form so we can put a stop to price gouging.”
The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General entered into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) with EZ Dollar Plus after the Office received tips alleging that the store was selling facemasks and hand sanitizers for unlawful prices. The Office learned that EZ Dollar Plus sold 20-packs of facemasks for $24.99 and 2-ounce hand sanitizers for $5.99.
Under the Price Gouging Act, a price increase of more than 20 percent during a declared state of emergency is considered price gouging. The AVC requires EZ Dollar Plus to pay $600 in civil penalties, in addition to restitution of $158.16 for consumers who purchased the facemasks and hand sanitizers. EZ Dollar Plus also agreed to fully comply with all provisions of the Pennsylvania Consumer Protection Law and Price Gouging Act moving forward.
Consumers who purchased facemasks and hand sanitizers from EZ Dollar Plus may be eligible for restitution if they paid more than they should have. In order to be considered for restitution, consumers should file a consumer complaint form and attach a copy of their receipt showing they purchased the facemasks and hand sanitizers between March 6, 2020 and May 21, 2020. Complaints must be submitted by July 21, 2020 to be considered.