Attorney General James warns Western New Yorkers of price gouging during winter storm


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WKBW

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — New York Attorney General Letitia James is warning Western New Yorkers of price gouging during the winter storm in Buffalo.

According to a statement from the attorney general, New York State law prohibits business from taking advantage of consumers by charging more for essential items or services during a state of emergency.

“Taking advantage of consumers during emergencies will not be tolerated. As New Yorkers prepare for the heavy winter storm, this is a reminder that retailers cannot hike prices to profit off emergencies. I urge New Yorkers to remain vigilant as the storm passes and encourage anyone who believes they are a victim of price gouging to contact my office immediately.”

– Attorney General James

Consumers are encouraged to consider the following when looking for storm-related services:

  • Shop around – Get at least three estimates from reputable contractors that include specific information about the materials and services to be provided for the job.
  • Get it in writing – Insist on a written contract that includes the price and description of the work needed.
  • Don’t pay unreasonable advance sums – Negotiate a payment schedule tied to the completion of specific stages of the job. Never pay the full price up front.
  • Get references – Check with the Better Business Bureau, banks, suppliers, and neighbors. Always contact references provided to you.
  • Know your rights – You have three days to cancel after signing a contract for home improvements. All cancellations must be in writing.

Consumers are also encouraged to consider the following when repor…

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