Michigan Retailer Accused of Price Gouging

Gas station was reportedly charging as much as $2 more than other area stations
bp fuel price sign
Photograph courtesy of Michigan Department of Attorney General

A gas station retailer located near the Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, Michigan, has been accused of price gouging. It was told to cease and desist from engaging in unlawful business practices at the bp-branded site, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced.

In October and November, the department received consumer complaints reporting that the gas station was charging $1.50 or more per gallon compared to most nearby competitors.

A special agent from the department visited the area twice in mid-December to investigate the claims and found the gas station listed regular unleaded gas for $4.74 per gallon. Those prices were as much as $2 higher per gallon than other area stations.

As written in the notice of intended action against the gas station, the department is concerned the prices "are taking advantage” of the station’s location, resulting in probable cause to believe the station is in violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, which makes it unlawful to charge a price that is grossly in excess of the price at which similar property or services are sold.

The gas station has until Jan. 8 to respond to the notice. Possible action includes a civil lawsuit or formal investigation.

“It is my hope this gas station will take this notice seriously and no further action will be necessary,” said Nessel. “My office stands ready to investigate reports of businesses that attempt to take advantage of residents, especially during the holiday season.”

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