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Second Bloomfield Gas Station Accused of Price Gouging

Jenny’s Shell Station, at 461 Bloomfield Ave., is being sued by the state for allegedly raising the price of regular gasoline from $3.70 to $4.50 per gallon after Hurricane Sandy.

 

Another Bloomfield gas station is being sued by the state for price gouging following Hurricane Sandy. 

Jenny’s Shell Station, at 461 Bloomfield Ave., was one of three gas stations named today by Gov. Chris Christie,  Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa and the state’s Division of Consumer Affairs for illegally raising gas prices beyond state regulation during the state of emergency. 

Jenny’s Shell Station allegedly raised its price of regular gasoline from $3.70 to $4.50 per gallon — an increase of 22 percent — after the storm, according to the press release. In addition, the gas station also allegedly increased the cash sales of its plus-grade and V-Power gasoline by 18 and 17 percent, respectively.

The Division of Consumer Affairs reportedly received about 12 complaints from customers about the Bloomfield gas station. 

“The last thing people put out of their homes in a natural disaster should have to confront is price gouging from unscrupulous profiteers,” said Governor Chris Christie in the press release. 

“It’s illegal, offensive and completely opposite the spirit of cooperation we saw just about everywhere else in our state in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. I encourage more of the same treatment from the Attorney General for any other instances of price gouging he discovers.” 

Jenny’s gas station faces significant penalties if convicted. The business can be subject to civil penalties up to $10,000 for the first offense and up to $20,00 for each offense thereafter. 

State law prohibits price increases of more than 10 percent during declared state of emergencies.

This marks the second Bloomfield gas station accused of price gouging after Hurricane Sandy. 

the Delta gas station, at 141 Bloomfield Ave., was accused of raising regular gas prices from $3.19 per gallon to $3.99 per gallon — or 25 percent. 

The other businesses named in the most recent price gouging lawsuit by the state attorney general are listed below. 

▪ Howard Johnson Express-Clifton, at 680 Route 3 West, Clifton. This hotel allegedly charged as much as $449.99 per room night during the state of emergency. That represents an increase of or 151 percent above the highest rate charged prior to the state of emergency, which was $179 per room night. This hotel allegedly engaged in 177 instances of price gouging during the state of emergency.

▪ Holiday Inn Express, 2600 Tonnelle Ave., North Bergen. This hotel is accused of charging as much as $399.99 per room night during the state of emergency. That represents an increase of 92 percent above the highest rate charged immediately prior to the state of emergency, which was $208 per room night.  This hotel allegedly engaged in 109 instances of price gouging during the state of emergency.

▪ Ramada Inn, 120 Evergreen Place, East Orange. This hotel allegedly engaged in 208 instances of price gouging. In more than 90 of those instances, the hotel raised its rates by more than 30 percent above the highest rate charged prior to the state of emergency, which was $130 per room night. 

▪ Howard Johnson Express-Parsippany, at 625 Route 46 East, Parsippany. This hotel was named in New Jersey’s first round of price gouging lawsuits, announced November 9 (see press release). The hotel allegedly charged as much as 32 percent above the highest rate it charged for certain rooms prior to the state of emergency. This hotel allegedly engaged in 15 instances of price gouging during the state of emergency.

Comfort Suites, at 220 Route 17 Mahwah, owned by Tapah, LLC. This hotel allegedly raised its room rates by varying excessive amounts, up to 208 percent. The hotel allegedly charged $219 after the storm, for a room that was rented at $71.20 prior to the state of emergency. The hotel allegedly engaged in price gouging on 473 instances during the state of emergency.

America’s Best Value Inn, at 1311 Route 22 West, Phillipsburg, owned by Om Dutt, LLC.  This hotel allegedly raised its room rates by varying excessive amounts, up to 191.6 percent. The hotel allegedly charged $350 after the storm, for a room that was rented at $120 prior to the state of emergency. The hotel allegedly engaged in price gouging on 30 instances during the state of emergency.

A-1 Motel, at 616 West White Horse Pike, Cologne, owned by A. Classic Corporation. This hotel allegedly raised its room rates by varying excessive amounts, up to 117 percent. The hotel allegedly charged as much as $108.70 during the state of emergency, compared with its highest pre-storm rate of $50 per room night.

Extended Stay America, at 3450 Brunswick Pike, Princeton, owned by ESA P Portfolio LLC. This hotel allegedly raised its room rates by varying excessive amounts, up to 59.8 percent. The hotel allegedly charged as much as $154.99 for double rooms during the state of emergency, compared with its highest pre-storm rate for double rooms of $96.99.  The hotel allegedly engaged in price gouging on 107 instances during the state of emergency.

Empire Oil, LLC, d/b/a Delta at 7319 Bergenline Ave., North Bergen. This gas station allegedly raised the price for cash sales of regular gas from $3.40 per gallon to $4.10 per gallon, an increase of 21 percent, during the state of emergency. The company also allegedly raised the price for cash sales of supreme-grade gasoline by 22 percent. It also allegedly violated the price gouging law by increasing its markup from cost by as much as 14 percent, after receiving shipments of fuel on November 2 and 3. The Division of Consumer Affairs received complaints from approximately 10 consumers about this company.

Shiv Shivam Inc., d/b/a Lukoil at 152 Old New Brunswick Road, Piscataway.  This gas station allegedly raised the price for cash sales of regular gas from $3.49 to $4.50 per gallon during the state of emergency – while the cost to the station for regular gasoline increased by only 7 cents per gallon. The business allegedly violated the price gouging law by raising its markup from cost for regular gasoline by 17.5 percent. The Division of Consumer Affairs received complaints from approximately 16 consumers about this company. 

 

kleeneth November 28, 2012 at 09:20 PM
With the limited amounts of gasoline to sell, I doubt these so-called price gougers made much money those days.
Centrist November 29, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Read this, Montclair libs... http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2004/09/14/price_gouging_in_florida/page/full/
Brian Hurrel December 01, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Right. Because a state of emergency is, of course, the perfect place for studying market forces. Riddle me this, Adam Smith: What difference does the supply of gasoline make when there is no energy to run the pumps at most gas stations? You could put wheels on a 40,000 tonne fuel barge and drag it up Bloomfield Avenue, but if the pumps have no electricity your massive supply isn't exactly following market dynamics, is it? We can do without this kind of armchair Ayn Rand nonsense in a state of emergency, thank you very much.
Robert Jones December 03, 2012 at 01:28 PM
I hope this type of government response to such terrible practices continue and is effective.

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