For Immediate Release - September 02, 2005

State Consumer Affairs Office Inspecting & Monitoring Gas Prices

Division of Standards Continues Spot-Checks thru Labor Day Weekend

Governor Mitt Romney today directed the Commonwealth's web portal, www.mass.gov, and the Office of Consumer Affairs Hotline to mobilize to gather complaints from motorists with concerns over potential price gouging amid rising gasoline prices following the Gulf hurricane.

State inspectors will continue to conduct spot-checks during the Labor Day weekend and thereafter to ensure accurate pricing at the pumps and will report any unreasonable pricing found to the Office of the Attorney General .

"Sticker shock is evident given the volume of calls we are receiving. We want to continue to hear from consumers, but we're looking for specific information," said Massachusetts Consumer Affairs Director Beth Lindstrom. "We will be referring complaints to our investigators, but we want consumers to keep in mind that we are looking for information on gas prices they believe are significantly higher than those of nearby gas stations," Lindstrom specified.

The Office of Consumer Affairs Hotline can be reached at (888) 283-3757. Messages may be left during hours not normally staffed. The Consumer Affairs website provides a direct link to a newly created form that allows motorists to register their complaint and provide specific details.

Consumers who believe a gas station's prices are significantly higher than those in their region are urged to provide the name and address of that station, the day and time visited, the price per gallon of the gas grade(s) in question as well as any other pertinent information that would assist in the assessment of the complaint.