Price Gouging at the Pump
Written By: Joe Melillo
New York state has launched a toll-free hotline and website for New Yorkers to report suspected price gouging at gas stations.
Southern Tier (WENY) - New York state has launched a toll-free hotline and website for New Yorkers to report suspected price gouging at gas stations. The average price of gas in Binghamton is at $3.68 a gallon, and the cost keeps going up.
The Coldiron family have been running their business in Elmira Heights for for more than 70 years, and just like the consumer, they really feel it when the price of gas goes up. At Coldiron Fuel, gas is 2 cents cheaper than its competitor down the road, and the people who fill up here say they're just looking for the cheapest gas.
“It takes more money out of my checking account to come here and buy gas or stop anywhere for gas when prices on anything goes up more money out of your pocket that you don't have to do other things with,” says one customer.
Justin Coldiron and his family opened the business in the 1940's. He says they are feeling the pain at the pump just as much as the customer.
“Yea we've been called commies, and I've been called a commie running the register you name it I've heard it,” says Justin.
The gas station gets a few emails a day from a few different refineries in the area - those emails set the price for the day. Justin says they just pick the cheapest one and put it up on the board
“It's the gas stations fault and your local gas stations fault but in reality its way up the ladder,” jokes Justin. “We're not making any more on a gallon then we were in the 80's or 90's."
He also says the price gouging hotline is a good idea but he doesn’t see businesses in Chemung County trying to rip off customers.
“Maybe in the country out in the middle of nowhere you can get away with that. But in the most part you have to be with your competitor.”
New Yorkers can report unusual increases in gas prices by calling the state's hotline at 1-800 214-4372.