Motels in Egg Harbor Township and Pleasantville are included in a third round of lawsuits filed against hotels and gas stations accused of price gouging during the Hurricane Sandy state of emergency in late October.
The lawsuits, filed by the state Attorney General’s Office and Division of Consumer Affairs, address complaints from consumers during the storm experiencing prices more than 5 percent higher than the price before the storm, which is the legal cap.
The Econo Lodge at 6641 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township, allegedly increased room rates by as much as 150 percent. There were at least 545 victims, officials said. Some allegedly were charged up to $199.99 per night.
The Howard Johnson Inn at 8029 Black Horse Pike, Pleasantville, allegedly increased rates by as much as 58 percent, charging customers $119 versus the usual $75 per night. The investigation found 52 incidents of alleged price gouging.
A manager of Howard Johnson Inn said in a phone interview Wednesday that the price increase was not gouging, but instead chosen based on occupancy and covering expenses incurred at the time.
Owners of both businesses were unavailable for comment Wednesday.
The state has filed similar suits against 24 businesses in the aftermath of Sandy. They include 13 hotels or motels and 11 gas stations.
To report any suspected price gouging or other consumer protection law violations, call the Division of Consumer Affairs at 800-242-5846.
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