State takes action after gas price complaints -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

State takes action after gas price complaints

Posted: Updated:

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

January 9, 2009

PELHAM, GA (WALB) - Gas station owners who gouged customers in the wake of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike are now paying for it. The state has fined nine stations, three in southwest Georgia, after receiving more than two thousand complaints from residents.

 They're investigating 200 gas stations and of the 21 investigated so far, nine over charged customers. It's up to the stations to notify their customers and refund some of their money.

In the wake of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, gas prices in southwest Georgia climbed above four dollars. Many customers complained they were being gouged and now the state has agreed, fining nine of 21 stations in the first phase of their investigation. It's stunned customers at Aden's on Highway 19 in Pelham. The station's been fined a thousand dollars for over charging.

Aden's stations on Highway 11 in Meigs and Bowens Mill Road in Douglas were also fined. While the owners have denied any wrongdoing to the state and told us no comment, the state says their records show customers deserve a refund.

If you have your receipt or can show credit card records proving you bought gas at the stations between September 12th and September 19th they owe you the difference. The Governor's office of Consumer Affairs said the stations are require to post a sign in the window and above the main cash register informing customers although this morning at the store on Highway 19 we found the sign below the counter and many customers had no idea they deserved a refund.

We're told by the state that Aden's moved their sign to comply with the rules. Many customers say they're glad the state took it as far as they did. Now customers have until January 24th to collect their refunds.

The Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs expects the investigation to take another several months to compete.

The recent settlements include the following businesses:

  • Aden's Minute Mart # 42, 1126 Bowens Mill Road, Douglas, Georgia - Restitution plus $1,000 fine
  • Aden's Minit Market # 50, Georgia Highway 111, Meigs, Georgia - Restitution plus $750
  • Aden's Minute Market # 52, 2067 U.S. Highway 19 SE, Pelham, Georgia - Restitution plus $1,000
  • Stop N Shop #2, 3107 Lanes Bridge Road, Jessup, Georgia - Restitution plus $500
  • Fillers #22, 801 Georgia Highway 96, Warner Robins, Georgia - Restitution only
  • Fillers #24, 101 Marshallville Road, Perry, Georgia - Restitution only
  • Marathon Ashland, 1325 South Main Street, Cedartown, Georgia - Restitution only
  • Ashley's Convenience Store, 6001 Ogeechee Road, Savannah, Georgia - Restitution plus $3,000
  • Executive Park Chevron, 2911 Buford Highway, Atlanta, Georgia - Restitution plus $5,000