In May 6 Issue
Attorney General Jack Conway is putting Kentucky businesses on notice that price-gouging will not be tolerated during times of emergency. Gov. Steve Beshear today declared a state of emergency in the wake of this weekend’s severe thunderstorms that resulted in flooding and widespread damage across the Central and Eastern parts of Kentucky. Additionally, four deaths were also blamed on the severe weather.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the families who lost loved ones as a result of the severe weather,” said General Conway. “Be assured, my office stands ready to investigate and prosecute anyone who seeks excessive profits during emergency situations. Those who have fallen victim to this storm should not be victimized again by unscrupulous price-gougers.”
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 a price grossly in excess of the prices at the time of the emergency declaration unless the sellers costs increased as well.
Attorney General Conway provides the following tips to consumers needing storm repair or clean up services:
Never pay in advance for repair work or materials. 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. If local contractors bring in out-of-town workers, ask who will be responsible for their work if it is not satisfactory;
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.
Mold remediation is also a concern for victims of flooding. Public health concerns associated with water damage include mold mitigation and prevention, carbon monoxide exposure and proper food handling and storage. For more information visit http://tinyurl.com/2bb74ys .