News 12 at 6, September 15, 2008
AUGUSTA--Plenty of people are frustrated over the gas prices and calling what's going on out and out price gouging.
We've gotten a ton of phone calls and emails from people all over the area complaining about the price of gas.
Most feel they're being ripped off.
One viewer says "Why is it oil by the barrel is down, but it has doubled at the pumps in the Aiken/Augusta area?"
Another said "I bought gas on Washington Road yesterday for $3.55. I drove by that same station today and it was $4.50. That is a 95 cents increase. I said thank you, God, that I bought gas yesterday."
And the complaints have not just been limited to here.
The South Carolina Attorney General's Office has received more than 3,000 complaints.
The Georgia Office of Consumer Affairs received thousands too, but has widdled them down and is investigating 140 across the state.
Those investigations are beginning immediately.
In Georgia, you can be fined for anywhere between $2,000 and $25,000.
In South Carolina, the fine is $5,000 per customer gouged, an additional $1,000 fine and 30 days in jail.
So, rest assured, if a station is gouging, it will be investigated and penalized.