Rental Car Company Subpoenaed by State Attorney General for Alleged Price Gouging

The subpoena was issued after eight complaints of possible price gouging on rental cars were filed

Rental Car Company Subpoenaed by State Attorney General for Alleged Price Gouging
Image: NCCC
October 26, 2016

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper has issued a subpoena to a rental car company for potential price gouging in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.

"Communities across North Carolina are working to recover from this devastating storm and we need businesses to pull together to help, not try to make a fast buck," Cooper stated. "If you spot possible price gouging, report it to my office immediately."

The subpoena was issued by the North Carolina Attorney General's Office after it received eight claims of potential price gouging on rental cars from consumers across the state.

The consumers claimed that the company's rental vehicle locations in Boone, Elizabeth City, Fayetteville, Lumberton, and Raleigh doubled prices from roughly $30 per day to roughly $60 per day after the hurricane dumped storms and flooding across the state. One consumer returned a car that she had rented for $175 for about one week, then tried to rent the vehicle again for the next week. She reported that the company informed her that the rate would increase to roughly $345 per week following the hurricane.

About 180 consumers have reported instances of potential price gouging linked to Hurricane Matthew to the North Carolina Attorney General's Office.

The office is also investigating three other business for possibly price gouging consumers in the wake of the hurricane:

  • A motel in Gastonia for allegedly charging evacuees as much as $300 per night
  • A business in Fayetteville for allegedly charging $29 for a 24-pack of bottled water
  • A motel in Mount Olive for allegedly charging as much as $150 per night for rooms for which it usually charges consumers less than $90

The price gouging law in North Carolina was triggered on October 3 by the governor's declaration of a state of emergency due to Hurricane Matthew. The central and eastern parts of the state received several inches of rain that caused severe flood damage to houses, businesses, crops, and vehicles.