By Miriam Raftery
March 30, 2020 (San Diego) – Earlier this month, Amazon.com announced that it had pulled over a million products off its online site for price gouging during the pandemic and/or false advertising regarding effectiveness of products against the COVID-19 virus. Now the company has suspended over 4,000 vendors for price gouging, CNN reports.
Price gouging during a declared emergency is a crime. Some high-demand products ranging from toilet paper to cereal to hand soaps have been found selling for many times more than their value. A statement on Amazon’s website indicates it is monitoring its stores “24/7 through both automated and manual means and aggressively removing bad actors and offers” as well as collaborating with law enforcement at all levels to hold price gougers accountable.
But a Rancho San Diego resident says she tried to report suspected price gouging to Amazon, and could not do so.
Valerie Harrison informed ECM just days ago, “Amazon has shut down any channels of communication. The customer service line and email contact are not operating. It is frustrating.” She indicated in her email that she also tried calling the vendor company Deal4U, but “they never called back.”
ECM called the Deals4U phone and got a message stating its voice mail was full. ECM searched on Amazon’s website and could no longer find a customer service phone or email address listed.
Harrison forwarded images that show a Deals4U site on Amazon offering six bottles of Dial Cherry Blossom hand soap for $54.99. “Dial Cherry Blossom, as well as all other hand-wash items are always approximately $1.19-$1.79, depending on where you go,” she says.
She was able to find Dial antibacterial hand soap for a far more affordable six for just $6.45.