Price gouging refers to sellers attempting to take unfair advantage of consumers during the COVID–19 emergency by excessively increasing profits for essential consumer goods and services.
Yes. Complaints can be filed online here. If you prefer to file a complaint by mail, click here and follow the instructions for filing a General Complaint. If you have questions, please call our Consumer Hotline at 410-528-8662.
Click here to file a complaint in spanish.
Yes, in certain circumstances. Maryland's anti–price gouging statute, (Chapters 13 and 14, Laws of Maryland 2020, and Governor's Executive Order 20-03-23-03), prohibits raising the price of many consumer goods and services that increase the seller's profit by more than 10% while the COVID-19 emergency declared by the Governor is in effect.
The statute applies to any sale after the Governor of Maryland signed the Executive Order on March 23, 2020.
Emergency declarations issued by the Governor are generally available on the Governor's website at www.governor.maryland.gov and by public announcements.
Retailers of every size must comply with the statute.
Except to the extent preempted by applicable federal law, a retailer is prohibited from increasing the sale or rental price of the following goods or services to a price that increases the retailer's value of profit by more than 10%:
The order remains effective, except as may be rescinded, superseded, amended, or revised by additional orders, until the termination of the state of emergency and the proclamation of the catastrophic health emergency has been rescinded by the Governor.
If the seller can prove that the increased price is directly attributable to increases in the cost of labor or materials needed to provide the good or service, the seller may not be liable under the statute.
Violations of the anti–price gouging order are a violation of the Consumer Protection Act and are subject to injunctive relief, mandatory disgorgement and consumer restitution, and civil penalties of $10,000 per violation. A violation is also subject to criminal prosecution as a misdemeanor.
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