8 INVESTIGATES- Hurricane prices: $53 for 6-pk of water, car rental price doubles

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — As Hurricane Matthew sacked Florida’s east coast, the masses herded west to safety. Along the way, highway robbery.

$6 dollar a gallon gasoline near Orlando.  That’s got Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi ticked. “Shame on them,” said Bondi.

8 On Your Side showed her that in one Jacksonville store we found a six pack of water selling for over $50 dollars.

“We’re asking people to evacuate yet someone is trying to profit trying to sell a six pack of bottled water for $53 DOLLARS,” she said.  “It’s horrible, we will be investigating that.”

Vinny Olmstead evacuated to Tampa from Vero Beach.

He reserved a car from Avis for the return trip.  Vinny says it normally costs about $55 dollars.  His contract shows Avis charged him $105 dollars.

“He said, well the hurricane is hitting and that’s the price,” Vinny explained.  “I said isn’t that price gouging?  And he goes, uh well it’s inventory.”

Attorney General Bondi isn’t buying it.

“It doesn’t matter, in a state of emergency you can not drastically increase the price,” she said.

So 8 On Your Side went to Avis to find out about the price hike.”I can’t comment on anything, I’m sorry,” said the manager who did not want to identify himself.

He provided a corporate public relations telephone number which we called.

Avis corporate requested the name and customer contract number, which 8 On Your Side provided.

Attorney General Bondi vows to investigate the car rental charge.

If you have a price gouging complaint you can call the Florida Attorney General’s Hotline at 1-866-966-7226.

If you have something that you think should be investigated, call our 8 On Your Side Helpline at 1-800-338-0808.

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