Michigan attorney general's office receives 75 complaints (so far) of price-gouging related to coronavirus pandemic

By  | 

FLINT (WJRT) - (03/15/20) - Michigan's attorney general is responding to complaints of price-gouging related to coronavirus.

The office has received 75 complaints as of Friday, March 13. Four businesses have been contacted and letters mailed out.

Attorney General Dana Nessel and her team will evaluate responses to determine what action is appropriate.

“Consumers must be treated fairly and not be held to the whims of a business looking to profit from fear, especially in the midst of a public health emergency,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “My office takes price-gouging complaints very seriously, and I will not hesitate to take legal action against those businesses that are not complying with the law.”

Face masks, hand sanitizers, cleaning supplies and bottled water are some of the products that have reportedly been on store shelves for exceptionally high prices – likely in violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act.

The attorney general's office has contacted businesses in west Michigan, Ann Arbor as well as grocery stores in Farmington Hills and Dearborn.

Retailers may be in violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act if they are:
• Charging the consumer a price that is grossly in excess of the price at which similar property or services are sold; and
• Causing coercion and duress as the result of the time and nature of a sales presentation.

Michigan residents are urged to report any violation of the Consumer Protection Act online or by calling 877-765-8388.

Attorney General Nessel also recently stated her support of price-gouging legislation introduced Thursday in the Michigan Senate by Sens. Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield, and Ruth Johnson, R-Holly.