Best Buy on Tuesday apologized for a Houston store that reportedly sold $42 cases of water after Tropical Storm Harvey struck the area.
“This was a big mistake on the part of a few employees at one store on Friday,” a Best Buy spokesman said in a statement to The Hill.
“Not as an excuse but as an explanation, we don’t typically sell cases of water,” they continued. “The mistake was made when employees priced a case of water using the single-bottle price for each bottle in the case.”
“As a company we are focused on helping, not hurting affected people. We’re sorry and it won’t happen again.”
Grit Post contributor Ken Klippenstein on Tuesday tweeted out a picture from a Houston resident depicting $42 water cases and $29 water bottles at a Best Buy location there.
Klippenstein’s tweet has since gone viral, earning about 1,800 likes, 2,500 re-tweets and 626 comments.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s (R) office on Tuesday told The Hill that it had received hundreds of complaints about price gouging for basic goods following Harvey’s landfall there.
“As of our last tally this morning, we have 600 complaints pertaining to Hurricane Harvey (including scams, fraud, price gouging and charities), and that number is still rising,” spokeswoman Kayleigh Lovvorn wrote in an email.
“The majority of these complaints involve price gouging for bottled water, fuel, groceries and shelter.”
Lovvorn also cited accounts of several gas stations allegedly charging $3.50 a gallon, and, in one extreme incident, $20 dollars for a gallon.
Paxton’s spokeswoman added his office is now sending Civil Investigative Demands (CIDs) to accused businesses following the reports.
Harvey reached the Texas coast last Friday and has troubled the region ever since, with at least 18 people having died in relation to the storm early Wednesday.
The American Red Cross on Wednesday said that more than 17,000 people have sought refuge in Texas shelters as a result of the natural disaster, with that total expected to rise.