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Best Buy apologized after a store in Cypress, Texas overpriced packs of bottled water on Friday as then-Hurricane Harvey began to unload a historic amount of water on a large swath of the state.
The Texas’ southeast is dealing with three feet of water and counting from what has proved to be an unrelenting storm, forcing residents to flee their homes for shelter. Part of that flight involves stocking up on necessities such as water, and someone noticed that a Best Buy in Cypress was selling its bottles at a steep price — up to $42.96 per pack.
One Houston resident sent me a pic of water he saw being sold for *$42* at a nearby Best Buy. They were kind enough to offer $29 bottles too pic.twitter.com/8dKz3sJJM1
— ken klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) August 29, 2017
“This was a big mistake on the part of a few employees at one store on Friday,” Carly Charlson, a public relations representative at Best Buy, wrote in a statement provided to Mashable. “As a company we are focused on helping, not hurting affected people. We’re sorry and it won’t happen again.”
Charlson explained that Best Buy doesn’t generally sell cases of water, and “the mistake was made when employees priced a case of water using the single-bottle price for each bottle in the case.”
Multiplication led to an inflated figure.
Plenty of businesses have outsized their prices as the storm rages and residents try to make it somewhere safe, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said on Monday.
Residents had sent around 500 claims of price-gouging to Paxton’s office as of Monday, including reports of water cases sold for nearly $100, gas going for $10 a gallon, and hotel room prices three-four times their regular cost.