Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Warns Against Storm Related Price-Gouging, Storm Chasers
Attorney General Jack Conway today put Kentucky businesses on notice that price-gouging will not be tolerated during times of emergency. Gov. Steve Beshear declared a state of emergency on Saturday, December 19 after more than one foot of snow fell on portions of Central and Eastern Kentucky. At the request of General Conway, Gov. Beshear today signed an executive order to implement Kentucky’s price-gouging laws statewide as of December 18, when the storm began.
"I appreciate the Governor’s quick attention to this matter. We both want to ensure that Kentuckians who were left without power or suffered damage as a result of this weekend’s storm are not victimized a second time by unscrupulous businesses," said General Conway. "Those who seek excessive profits during emergency situations will be investigated and prosecuted."
The emergency declaration issued by Gov. Beshear triggers several consumer protection measures that will remain in place for 30 days. Among them, it empowers the Attorney General to investigate and prosecute, where appropriate, those who sell gasoline, generators, building supplies, chain saws, hotel rooms and other necessary goods and services at an exorbitant price in a time of disaster.
General Conway encourages anyone with specific information regarding possible price gouging to contact the Office of the Attorney General at 1-888-432-9257 or to email firstname.lastname@example.org. He also encourages Kentuckians to stay safe.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the thousands of Kentucky families who have been without power or running water. I strongly encourage those who’ve been affected by the storm to take advantage of local community shelters. I also ask that during this season of celebration and giving, you remember those who may need a helping hand," said General Conway.
Attorney General Conway provides the following tips to consumers needing storm repair or clean up services:
- Never pay in advance for labor. Scam artists often take advance payments from consumers and never return to complete the work. If an advance is needed to purchase materials, offer to purchase the materials yourself;
- Use local, reputable contractors for repairs, if possible and ask for references. Contact references to see if they were satisfied with the contractor. If local contractors bring in out-of-town workers, ask who will be responsible for their work if it is not satisfactory;
- Ask if the contractor is licensed, bonded (if required by the city or county), and insured;
- Check unknown companies out with the Better Business Bureau (Louisville/Western KY 1-800-388-2222; Lexington/Eastern KY 1-800-866-6668) or call the Consumer Protection Division 1-888-432-9257 to see if information is available about the company;
- Demand a written contract. If possible, get estimates from several contractors;
- Be suspicious of unfamiliar, out-of-state vehicles and those who offer repair work at unreasonably low prices. Contact local law enforcement about your suspicions.
Gov. Beshear's Price-Gouging Order