Wednesday 14 November, 2018

Consumer Affairs warns against 'price gouging' of goods after floods

The Consumer Affairs Division (CAD) is warning customers to be wary of price gouging at retailers following the severe flooding which has impacted parts of Trinidad and Tobago.

Price gouging is defined as the spiking of the price of goods, services or commodities to a level that is much higher than is concerned reasonable or fair. This usually occurs during times of natural disaster or other crisis.

Suppliers are being urged not to take advantage of consumers by increasing prices in order to make a quick profit or selling food items that have been affected by the flood waters.

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This advisory comes in the wake of reports of price gouging of grocery items including water.

In response, Blue Waters has asked its customers to report any instances of price gouging.

“If you are experiencing price gouging on our products during these trying times and would like to contact us directly to purchase such products at the fair selling price please see the following options we have made available: You can reach us for home and office support by calling one of our customer service reps at 640-8824/8825 or email us at customerservice@bluewaterstt.com. You can also visit our factory at #2 Orange Grove Estate, Trincity, Trinidad to purchase directly,” it said in a Facebook post.

On Saturday, persons were asked to pay as much as $1000 to wreckers to transport light motor vehicles across flood waters along the Uriah Butler Highway.

The stranded motorists say they were left with no choice but to pay the monies.

Other reports indicate that commuters were being asked to pay $60 to $100 to go to Chaguanas from Port of Spain.

On Sunday, Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan announced that the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) will be providing free shuttle service to and from San Fernando and Port of Spain until further notice.