Welcome to the Department of Justice, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller

For immediate release --September 13, 2001.
Contact Bob Brammer, 515-281-6699
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Attorney General's Office Encourages Gasoline Refunds

A statement of the Attorney General's Office, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2001:

We believe the gas situation has stabilized in Iowa. Consumer demand and consumer confidence have returned to normal, and gas prices have returned to near-normal levels all over Iowa.

Today we are focusing on refunds. We are encouraging gas sellers who raised prices very substantially on Tuesday to offer a refund to customers, and we are encouraging consumers to return to retailers and ask for a refund if they were the victims of unjustified high prices.

Retailers are telling us that they are offering refunds.

We urge consumers to present a receipt or credit card copy showing details of the purchase, but we also encourage consumers to request a refund even if they do not have such paper records. Consumers who are denied a refund may wish to file a complaint with the Iowa Attorney General's Office. Call 515-281-5807 to request a complaint form, or send e-mail to consumer@ag.state.ia.us.

Background:

The Attorney General's Office yesterday dedicated 8-10 persons to make calls or visits to stations that had been reported to charge prices at high levels after the attacks Tuesday morning. Citizen calls about such stations came directly to the Attorney General's Office and also to the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources.

By late Wednesday, our observations included the following: We believe most retailers did not raise prices after the attack. (However, rumors of huge price increases ran ahead of reality, and helped spark long lines at gas stations Tuesday evening.) Very sharp price increases were observed at a relatively small number of Iowa stations. A few price increases were in the $3 and $4 range. Finally, we believe that all or virtually all of the big price spikes had been retracted by Wednesday morning, and prices have returned to near-normal levels. Consumer confidence and consumer demand have returned to normal as well.

Today, we have received numerous reports of gas sellers offering refunds to consumers.

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