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Monday, September 4, 2017

Accusations of Price Gouging in Baldwin City

Kevin Surbaugh

Accusations of price gouging has surfaced in Baldwin City.  The Gazette received an email on Sunday, from a local commuter, who said,

Baldwin City Kwik Shop at
9 P.M. Sunday
Photograph by Kevin Surbaugh
Baldwin's local Kwik Shop has hiked up prices way over what they should be. I bought diesel in Lawrence at Zarco for $2.33 a gallon, then had to buy diesel in Baldwin at the Kwik Shop for $2.75.... that is a ridiculous difference for buying it on the same day and only 3 hours apart.
The Gazette researched and found that the BP in Lawrence at 31st and Iowa was selling Diesel for $2.67 and GasBuddy.com confirmed that Zarco in Lawrence was $2.32, while the Kwik Shop's in Baldwin City and Eudora were both $2.76 for diesel.  A spokesperson for the Kroger owned Kwik Shop was unreachable during the holiday weekend.  However, a press release sent out by the Attorney Generals office just before the price increase of 43 cents said in part,

Lawrence BP at 11:30 A.M. Sunday
Photograph by Kein Surbaugh
While price increases caused by the disruption in supply are to be expected, it is illegal in Kansas to ‘profiteer from a disaster’ by unjustifiably raising the price of motor fuel. Under Kansas law, a price increase that exceeds 25 percent compared with the price the day before the disaster is suspect and subject to scrutiny, and a seller that has increased prices by that amount or more may be required to provide documentation that the increase is due to the seller’s increased cost of obtaining the fuel.
The difference, in this case, is 16.8959%. The afore mentioned press release said that who suspect or are aware of motor fuel cost increases that are unjustifiable may file a complaint with the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division at http://www.InYourCornerKansas.org. The statute prohibiting profiteering from a disaster is K.S.A. 50-6,106, which is available at http://bit.ly/2vIObmJ.

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