A Local Gas Station Charges $9.99 A Gallon, Manager Denies Price Gouging

CHARLOTTE, NC. — Truck driver Clarissa Rankin was stunned when she pulled up the gas pump at the Mobil/Queens Market on West Sugar Creek Road just before 10 pm Wednesday.

“As I’m pumping, I’m like $60, $70, $80, $90. I was like, wait a minute,” Rankin says.

She says she was charged $9.99 per gallon. Rankin says she was told she could only get nine gallons. Posting what happened on TikTok to her 1.1 million followers. Her receipt for nine gallons of gas, $90.

“You’ve gotta think, we already going through hard times. Why be greedy, or why try to take away from your community. That’s why you’re in the community, to serve. We’re coming to you because we need that service, then you steal from us.”

WCCB went to the gas station to try and get answers. The site manager, Ray Patel, denied price gouging.  He told WCCB over the phone they posted $9.99 to deter people from getting gas, using it as a sign to say there were out of gas. He says they put signs that said “No gas” and plastic bags over the pumps, but people ripped them down. Some gas does remain in the tanks, so the equipment doesn’t get damaged. Patel says anyone who was charged $9.99 per gallon can get a refund. The Department of Justice has received six complaints about this gas station since the pipeline incident.

Attorney General Josh Stein says his office has received 622 reports of price gouging in the last two days. Both North and South Carolina are under a state of emergency, and price gouging laws are in effect. He says his office will investigate each complaint, and if a gas station is found price gouging, he will hold them accountable.

“If a gas station has their supply in their underground storage tank that they paid X dollars on, they can’t raise the price on that just because folks are desperate,” says Josh Stein.

Cashion’s gas station in Cornelius had 9.99 on their signs. WCCB called, and the station said they posted that as a way for drivers to see and know there was no gas at the station.