RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The North Carolina Attorney General’s Office is fielding plenty of price gouging complaints that are coming up during the coronavirus pandemic.
At least one North Carolina business has been taken to court because of excessive charges.
As of Tuesday, there are more than 1,700 price-gouging complaints being examined by the attorney general’s office. Groceries make up about half of those complaints.
One complaint that stood out involves the owner of a Charlotte-based towing company, A-1 Towing Solutions. David Jewell Satterfield is accused of charging an excessive amount of money to truckers to return their vehicles.
“They were trying to deliver medical supplies, food, and water and they were being booted when they had permission to be on the lots where they were,” said Attorney General Josh Stein.
Stein said the price gouging came into play when the truckers tried getting the boot off their rig.
“The truckers were being charged outrageous sums of money: $3,000, $4,000, $4,400 just to get back on the road,” he said.
There were 14 truckers who complained about the situation. Stein’s office took Satterfield to court, asking for a temporary restraining order.
“We want to put a stop to predatory practices and cease violating the price-gouging law and pay back all the people whose money they took,” Stein said.
He added that restitution depends on each case.
Stein’s office has put together an emergency economic relief website with information about what to do for people facing eviction or who need help with bills, among other COVID-19 topics.