South Dakota gasoline price questions: No laws against price gouging
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -With prices increasing in so many areas of life, every penny can count. If you’re wondering if our gas prices truly reflect the stations’ wholesale costs, you’re not alone.
Customers who fill up at Midway gas tell owner Bruce Vollan they appreciate the quality and the price. Next, they ask why it’s up to 50 cents more per gallon just a few miles away.
“The unfortunate fact around here is that there are so few people that are in a position to combat corporate greed, you know, there’s just a lot of monopolization going on in this market. Not necessarily because people are communicating. It’s kind of the unspoken rule,” said Vollan.
Vollan says prices often stay elevated at other places after their expenses have gone down. So some may call it price gouging, which here in South Dakota is entirely legal.
Jody Gillaspie with the Attorney General’s consumer protection division still listens to concerns of price gouging.
“So, unfortunately, here in South Dakota, we do not have price gouging laws. We’ve had a number of phone calls regarding various things, whether it was the eggs, the meat, gasoline,” said Gillaspie.
“We take the calls, log them in, in the event that something should change down the road. At least we’ve got the documentation.
We asked, are there other states with laws against price gouging?
“Yes,” said Gillaspie
According to Findlaw.com, 40 states have some type of price-gouging regulatory laws on the books. Three more have introduced legislation. If South Dakotans want change, we’ll need to ask for it.
“Reach out to their legislators to hopefully make those changes,” said Gillaspie
In the meantime, doing your research is the best way to protect your wallet.
“Fortunately, consumers have the ability to go out and shop around for the best prices,” said Gillaspie
And those who have done their research have chosen places like Midway and Vollan oil.
I’ve got a great team of people. We’ve got an amazing customer base around here, and that’s what I like,” said Vollan.
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