Best Buy is now apologizing after a Houston store was reported to be selling cases of water for $42 after Hurricane Harvey hit the region.
A tweet showing the Best Buy prices went viral earlier Tuesday. It occurred at the Best Buy on Highway 290 in Cypress, Texas.
“This was a big mistake on the part of a few employees at one store on Friday,” a Best Buy spokesman 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,” the statement continued.
Best Buy does not typically sell cases of water, the statement says, so the point-of-sale system had no price for the entire case.
According to CNBC, price gouging is increasing after the hurricane, with over 500 complaints.
That includes reports of up to $99 for a case of water, hotels that are tripling or quadrupling their prices and fuel going for $4 to $10 a gallon, he said in an interview with “Closing Bell.”
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“These are things you can’t do in Texas,” Paxton said. “There are significant penalties if you price gouge in a crisis like this.”
Anyone who does so can be hit with a $20,000 fine per occurrence, or up to $250,000 if the victim is someone age 65 or older.