Thursday, December 28, 2023

Romulus gas station accused of price gouging

Operators of the BP gas station on Middlebelt Road in Romulus have until Jan. 8 to respond to a cease-and-desist notice from the office of State Attorney General Dana Nessel alleging overcharging of customers.

The notice, issued last week, alleges that the station near Detroit Metro Airport was charging $1.50 per gallon more than nearby competitors. “The Attorney General's Office has now probable cause to believe the gas station unfairly overcharged consumers more than the typical price for its services in violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act,” the notice read.

The business was engaging in “unlawful business practices” according to a prepared release from Nessel's office. The notice also alleged the business was taking advantage of the location near the car rental return area of the airport. 

According to Nessel's office, the gas station listed regular unleaded gas for $4.74 per gallon, nearly $2 higher per gallon than other nearby gas stations. The discrepancy was documented by a special investigator from the attorney general's office, according to the statement. Nessel's office had received complaints from two other consumers about the gas prices at the station.  

“If you have additional information that might serve to justify your prices, we are very interested in receiving it,” the notice read. “Know, however, that your mere location would not be a satisfactory justification - even if that is (as one of the consumer complaints suggested) the explanation.”

“It is my hope this gas station will take this notice seriously and no further action will be necessary,” Nessel said. “My office stands ready to investigate reports of businesses that attempt to take advantage of residents, especially during the holiday season.”