Hurricane Rita Price Gouging
Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 711, FAX 703-324-2010
Sept. 26, 2005
Send Post-Hurricane Rita Price-Gouging
Complaints to Department of Cable Communications
and Consumer Protection
Fairfax County consumers who believe they are victims of price gouging in the wake of Hurricane Rita should send their complaints to the county’s Department of Cable Communications and Consumer Protection.
To file a complaint, consumers must complete a form from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The complaint form can be downloaded online at www.vdacs.virginia.gov/forms-pdf/cp/oca/complaint/pricegouging.pdf, or consumers can call 1-800-552-9963, TTY 711, to receive a form by mail or fax.
Completed complaint forms should be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or they can be mailed to the Fairfax County Department of Cable Communications and Consumer Protection, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 443, Fairfax, VA 22035, attention “Price Gouging.”
The Post-Disaster Anti-Price Gouging Act makes it illegal to charge unconscionable prices for 30 days after a declared state of emergency. This state law prohibits price gouging for “necessary goods and services” that are in demand after a disaster. These goods and services include but are not limited to water, food, ice, gasoline, generators, batteries and building materials.
The law went into effect on Aug. 31 when Gov. Mark Warner declared a state of emergency. Because he extended this state of emergency on Sept. 23 in response to Hurricane Rita, the law will remain in effect through Oct. 23. The law only applies during a time of disaster when either the governor or the president declares a state of emergency in Virginia.
Virginia enacted its anti-gouging law in 2004, and the state is one of approximately 25 that have anti-price gouging statutes.
For more information about filing a price-gouging complaint, please contact the Department of Cable Communications and Consumer Protection at 703-222-8435, TTY 711.