Customers can report suspected price gouging at the pump

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ALBANY, N.Y. – Governor
Andrew Cuomo has announced a new website for consumers to use if they become
suspicious of price gouging at gas stations.

Cuomo says he has directed
the Department of State and the Department of Agriculture and Markets to ensure
consumers are protected against potential unfair practices at gasoline pumps as
fuel costs rise across the nation.

Mac Brownson, the president of the New York State
Association of Service Stations, was critical of its need.

“The spot market price in NYC dictates what my cost
is going to be. I have to go up because my cost went up. If we're all going up
equally than how could it be gouging?” 

Furthermore, Brownson says there's no set definition for
what gouging is.

“They've left it so vague that we can't interpret it
and they won't tell us. They purposely leave it vague so they can interpret it
when the want to.”

The State's Division of
Consumer Protection launched a toll-free hotline at (800) 214-4372 and website
at http://www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/consumer_resources/gas_gouging.html
for New Yorkers to report sudden and unexpected increases in retail gas prices
or concerns about improper delivery of quantity.

The website also includes
tips to help consumers save money at the gas pump.

Average retail gasoline
prices in New York State have increased over the past several weeks by
$0.21/gallon, or 5.6 percent.

“When
is it going to stop, when is it going to end?” said Tim Dyer of Albany.

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