Best Buy is under fire after TMZ posted pictures of cases of water on display at the price of $42 per case in a Houston store.
The photo above spurred outrage as it made the rounds on social media. Twitter users are ticked. The angriest Tweeters are calling for social activism, telling others to remember this on Black Friday, or straight up vowing to never shop at Best Buy again.
Price gouging during #HarveyFlood, Best Buy?
There is no pit of Hell deep enough for SCUM who do this during national crises. https://t.co/oxBffHyAjB
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) August 29, 2017
REALLY?? This Best Buy is on HWY 290 in Cypress, TX. Their number is (281) 758-0892. This guy from Philadelphia is about to go off on them. https://t.co/s9GeB6pRtt
— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) August 30, 2017
Price gouging at Best Buy. Remember this on Black Friday and during the holiday season. https://t.co/Z4KVivwyuR
— 1st Officer Burnham (@jennib3) August 29, 2017
— Lev Lazinskiy ? (@levlaz) August 29, 2017
Best Buy issued an apology and attempted to explain the water’s high price. “Not as an excuse but as an explanation, we don’t typically sell cases of water. The mistake was made when employees priced a case of water using the single-bottle price for each bottle in the case.”
I kind of get that. I mean, maybe the employees are young or inexperienced. It seems like a reasonable explanation to say that a super young employee just made a mistake. Youth these days… geez! (insert eye-roll) But on the other hand…
Where was the manager? Or assistant manager? Or any employee with a heart in their chest to say “Guys, it’s water! We’re in a natural disaster! And at the very least, give the customers a discount for buying in bulk! That price should be $39.99… duh.”
Texas price gouging laws
Section 17.46(b) of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act protects Texas residents from price gouging. Under this law, the Attorney general has the authority to prosecute any business that price gouges after the Governor declares a state of emergency.
Businesses are guilty of price gouging if they sell for, or demand an excessively high price for a necessity (i.e., gas, food, water, medicine).
The Texas Attorney General’s website tells consumers to “be frank” with retailers that are charging high prices. If the retailer won’t lower its price, file a complaint here. You need the following information when you file a complaint: (1) the business or individuals name; (2) their full address including zip code; (3) a description of the complaint – details are your friend!
Best Buy isn’t the only scoundrel in town
USA Today posted an article last night about other price gougers in the area. CNBC estimates that more than 500 price gouging complaints have been filed as of Monday. Some retailers are selling cases of water for $99. Gas is priced close to $10/gallon. And some hotels are tripling or quadrupling their hotel rates.
If you are the victim of price gouging fight for your rights. Price gouging laws are in place to protect consumers when they are most vulnerable.
Keep your chin up, Houston! Price gouging aside, Gotham City Esquire is inspired by the generosity of your citizenry and send our deepest condolences to those who are suffering.