Posted by on August 3, 2020 8:28 pm

Tags:
Categories: Coronavirus in Pennsylvania Coronavirus in Schuylkill County Local News

american surgical supply price gouging n95 masks

(Photo: Coal Region Canary)

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro says a Pottsville area business was gouging customers on the price of N95 face masks.

The N95 face mask became a hot commodity during the coronavirus pandemic. And American Surgical Supply, just outside Pottsville, was allegedly charging customers as much as $26 per mask. Shapiro says American Surgical Supply sold 485 masks to customers at overly-inflated prices.

“Consumers have the right to pay a fair price for goods, especially those as essential masks during this pandemic. Ripping people off to make a buck during this pandemic isn’t only unacceptable – it’s illegal,” Shapiro says. “Wherever price gouging happens, we will act to stop it and get people their money back.”

Pennsylvania Shuts Down N95 Mask Price Gouging at Pottsville Area Business

On Monday, Shapiro’s office announced that American Surgical Supply, located by the Fairlane Village Mall along Route 61 South, has entered into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance. That business, along with Keystone Medical Equipment, of Jim Thorpe, were slapped for allegedly gouging prices on the coveted N95 masks.

The N95 mask is allegedly the only solid defense against contracting the coronavirus. Consumers, during the early part of the pandemic, were discouraged from purchasing these masks so enough existed for medical professionals.

n95 mask

(Image: License purchased via Depositphotos.com)

Price gouging is defined as charging 20% more than the regular retail price for a product during a state of emergency. We found KN95 masks selling on Amazon for about $3-4 apiece. N95 masks at Home Depot (currently out-of-stock) sell for as much as $5 each.

We aren’t sure what N95 masks American Surgical Supply was selling but $26 is considerably higher than prices right now on products that are available.

Restitution Owed to Customers

As part of the penalty against American Surgical Supply, the company must pay back customers for the amount they overcharged.

Shapiro urged any customer who believes they were overcharged by either of these businesses to fill out a complaint form to start the restitution process. You can find that online form here. Eligible consumers had to have purchased these N95 masks at American Surgical Supply or Keystone Medical Equipment between March 6 and July 28. Consumers need to show a receipt with the gouged price on it. The deadline to submit a complaint is Sept. 23.

ALSO READ: 

2 responses to AG Shapiro: Pottsville Area Business Gouged Customers for $26 on N95 Masks

  1. Anon E. Mouse August 3rd, 2020 at 10:57 pm

    The penalty imposed by the AG is a farce and don’t you think these companies are aware of the penalty.
    The consumer is the victim here and how many of them are A)going to drive from wherever back to these businesses to get a refund, and B) how many do you think have the receipt. Make the consumer do all the work to get their $26 back.
    Put the responsibility on the businesses to try and locate each customer and provide a refund and if you wind up paying back one or two extra, so what.

    Reply

    • Canary Commenter August 4th, 2020 at 12:06 am

      Isn’t that how it always works? Consumers allegedly get ripped off and have to take more time out of their day (probably costing them more than they’d get back) to do all the leg work here.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *