ROMULUS, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Michigan Department of Attorney General has issued a cease and desist letter to a gas station near Detroit Metro Airport that reportedly overcharged customers by nearly $2 per gallon.
7 Action News spoke with the owner who said he believes he did nothing wrong and that customers can choose to shop where they want.
The Attorney General's Office said it received complaints from consumers in October and November that the BP gas station at 9201 Middlebelt Road in Romulus was charging $1.50 or more per gallon compared to most nearby competitors.
Last week, the Attorney General's Office said a special agent visited the area twice and found the gas station was selling gas for $4.74 per gallon.
Attorney General Dana Nessel sent written notice of intended action against the gas station.
“With many people traveling to and from our state in the coming days to spend the holidays with friends and family, we are now emphasizing that you must curb this pattern of what appears to be extremely excessive pricing,” the Attorney General's Office said. In the message. “If you have additional information that might help justify your pricing, we are very interested in receiving it. However, know that just your location will not be a satisfactory justification—even if that is (as one consumer complainant suggested) the explanation.”
The gas station has until January 8, 2024 to respond to the notice.
“I hope the gas station takes this notice seriously and no further action will be necessary,” Nessel said. “My office stands ready to investigate reports of businesses attempting to take advantage of residents, especially during the holiday season.”
7 Action News spoke with its owner, Marvin Hader, by phone.
“Gas prices are naturally regulated by supply and demand, and consumers have the right to shop for their goods and services,” he said.
Hadir said that he tried to contact the Public Prosecutor’s Office by phone to solve this problem.
“We have made several phone calls and have not received a phone call yet. In order to solve the problem, we want to see why and how they think it is price gouging,” he explained.
“Is there a bonus because you're close to the airport? Yes. Are we playing around? I don't think so. Not at all.”
“Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst.”