Pay more than $3.99 for a gallon of gas after Harvey hit? You might get money back

Gasoline lines form Thursday in North Texas as Harvey disrupts supply

This QT at Cooper Street and Road to Six Flags in Arlington was busy with morning commuters who wanted to top off their tanks just in case a shortage occurs.
Up Next
This QT at Cooper Street and Road to Six Flags in Arlington was busy with morning commuters who wanted to top off their tanks just in case a shortage occurs.

If you paid too much for gasoline in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, you might be able to get some of it back.

Anyone who bought gas for $3.99 a gallon or more at nearly a dozen area gas stations accused of price gouging last year — mostly Big Willy’s — can file for a refund.

“My office is sending a powerful message that taking advantage of Texans during a declared disaster such as Hurricane Harvey is against the law and we will always do everything in our power to hold violators accountable,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a written statement.

This latest settlement ensures that aggrieved consumers are repaid if they were victims of price gouging at the pumps.”

Texas law prevents companies from “charging exorbitant prices” for necessities during disasters such as Harvey that devastated some beach-side communities before dumping more than 50 inches of rain on Houston and surrounding areas in a matter of days.

After Harvey hit, some refineries shut down, prompting a number of North Texans to hurry to fill up their vehicles with gasoline.

Long lines formed at many gas stations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and prices began spiking well above $3 for just a gallon of unleaded gasoline or diesel.

In the end, thousands of complaints by Texans who felt they were victims of price gouging were filed with the attorney general’s office.

Earlier this year, 48 gas stations, including more than a dozen in Tarrant County, agreed to pay restitution to Texans.

Now, the owners of another 11 gas stations in North Texas have agreed to reimburse eligible consumers who paid $3.99 or more per gallon of gas between Aug. 31, 2017, and Sept. 6, 2017, at:

Lucky Mart, 3841 Cummings Drive, and Happy Hill, 8101 East FM 917, Alvarado, TX 76009;

BigWilly’s #9, 4500 South Bowen Road, Arlington, TX 76017;

BigWilly’s #11, 216 NW Renfro Street, Burleson, TX 76028;

Big Willy’s #17, 710 South Main Street, Cleburne, TX 76033;

BigWilly’s #6, 420 S. Broadway Street, and BigWilly’s #12, 500 North Broadway Street, Joshua, TX 76058;

Big Willy’s #10, 6051 Lake Worth Blvd., Lake Worth, TX 76135;

Big Willy’s #8, 1595 E. Broad Street, Mansfield, TX 76063;

Big Willy’s #18, 1703 East Hubbard Street, Mineral Wells, TX 76067; and

Big Willy’s #15, 707 East Jefferson Avenue, Whitney, TX 76692.

Claims for refunds may be filed through Jan. 31, 2019, and refunds should be made by March 15, 2019.

Forms are available online at https://www2.texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/epress/files/2018/BWclaimform.pdf.

Texans who believe they are victims of price gouging by any business at any time can reach out to the state’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-621-0508 or by email at consumeremergency@oag.texas.gov.

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

Anna M. Tinsley grew up in a journalism family and has been a reporter for the Star-Telegram since 2001. She has covered the Texas Legislature and politics for more than two decades and has won multiple awards for political reporting, most recently a third place from APME for deadline writing. She is a Baylor University graduate.