After Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, US Retailer Best Buy jacked up the price of water. After customers slammed them for this move, calling it “pure greed,” the Retailer apologized for doing so.
John McGovern, a resident of Houston Texas, provided a photo from inside a Best Buy in the suburb of Cypress earlier this week. The photo shows that 24-packs of bottled Dasani water were sold for $US42.96 each, and 12-packs of Smartwater for $US29.98 with a sign warning of “limited supply”.
Before the Hurricane, a 24-pack of Dasani costed between $US15 and $US25.
One Houston resident sent me a pic of water he saw being sold for *$42* at a nearby Best Buy. They were kind enough to offer $29 bottles too pic.twitter.com/8dKz3sJJM1
— Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) August 29, 2017
The story was first posted by the news website Grit Post. McGovern told them:
“It’s taking advantage of people in need to make easy money playing off fear. Best Buy doesn’t need to sell water at $43 a case. They don’t need the money. I understand the law of supply and demand and the cost and availability of goods being shipped to an area once a disaster hits. This was before there was a shortage. This is pure greed.”
According to reports by The Washington Post, some businesses were selling water for $US99 per case, hotels were reportedly charging double the normal nightly rate and a petrol station was slammed for charging more than $US60 for two cases of beer.
After the criticism Best Buy received, their spokesman apologized, describing it as a “big mistake on the part of a few employees at one store on Friday.” He said:
“As a company we are focused on helping, not hurting affected people. We’re sorry and it won’t happen again. 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.”
Texas Attorney-General Ken Paxton said his office received too much complaints about price gouging. He told Fox News:
“We’re fortunate with technology people can send in pictures, they can email us, that’s how we know about the $42 case of water and the $99 case of water. We appreciate people letting us know because that’s the way we can get or job done.”
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