A Muskogee, Okla., hotel owner who violated Oklahoma’s price gouging statute by illegally increasing room rates during December 2007 ice storms will refund more than $2,200 to almost 70 consumers, state Attorney General Drew Edmondson said.
An agreement reached between the state and California-based Absolute Hospitality Inc. settles state concerns that the hotel’s owner violated Oklahoma’s Emergency Price Stabilization Act by artificially raising its room rates during a declared state of emergency.
“Nearly 70 people who stayed at the La Quinta Inn and Suites, 3031 Military Blvd., between Dec. 10 and Dec. 20, 2007, will receive refunds,” Edmondson said. “The overcharges averaged about $20 per room, per night.”
The attorney general said consumers not already identified by the state who may be eligible for refunds should contact his office at (405) 521-2029.
As part of the agreement, the company will revise its current operating procedure to ensure compliance with Oklahoma’s price gouging law. The company will also pay the state $2,500 to be used for consumer protection enforcement activities.
The agreement is separate from a similar agreement reached in May 2008 between the state and six corporate-owned locations. Edmondson’s Consumer Protection Unit negotiated both agreements.
Oklahoma’s price gouging statute prohibits an increase of more than 10 percent in the price of most goods and services when a state of emergency has been declared.
Source: Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office
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