(ABOVE) Screen capture of the Complaint Form found on the DCCA website.
HAWAII – As commodities like water fly off the shelves of local stores in anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Iselle, the Hawaii State Office of Consumer Protection is reminding everyone of price caps, and is urging consumers to report potential price gouging.
From the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs:
HONOLULU — Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) Executive Director Bruce Kim today informed the public that there is a price cap in effect for commodities in conjunction with Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s disaster declaration.
The statewide emergency has triggered statutory price caps on selling prices at pre-emergency levels for all commodities, including food, water, ice, gasoline, cooking fuel, batteries, and generators. Any price increase of these and other commodities since severe weather warnings began through at least Aug. 16, 2014, is a violation of state law and merchants found in violation may be subject to severe fines and penalties.
“The Office of Consumer Protection will investigate complaints and prosecute any offenders to the fullest extent of the law,” Kim said. “It is also important for consumers to follow through with providing the information.”
If merchants have unknowingly raised prices during this period, they may avoid a violation by:
- rolling back prices to the appropriate level, and
- putting a restitution program in place to return any excessive payments resulting from the illegal price increases to consumers.
If consumers believe they paid increased prices for merchandise, they are advised to:
- keep their receipts and/or other records of the sale, and report any instances of price gouging by emailing email@example.com
1) Name of busines
2) Location of business – island, area
3) What was being purchased, any additional info on the ite
4) Name and contact number of caller if they are willing
- during normal work hours consumers can call the DCCA’s Consumer Resource Center (CRC) between 7:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Mon-Fri by calling 587-4272 or 587-3295 from Oahu, or from the Neighbor Islands call the following numbers followed by 7-4272 and the # sign:
Kauai – 274-3141
Maui – 984-2400
Hawaii – 974-4000
Lanai & Molokai – 1-800-468-4644 (toll free)
An electronic copy of OCP’s complaint is available on its website at http://cca.hawaii.gov/ocp.
During regular business hours, consumers may call 808-587-4272 at the Consumer Resource Center to obtain a complaint form and file a formal complaint.
An office of the State of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, OCP educates and protects consumers from unlawful acts or practices by companies, which may cause harm to consumers. For more information about services, contact the OCP at (808) 586-2636.