A Best Buy store in Houston has apologized after being caught selling bottled water for incredibly high prices in wake of Hurricane Harvey. Tweets surfaced on Tuesday purporting to show the store selling 12-packs of Smartwater for $29.98 and 24-packs of Dasani for a ridiculous $42.96.
However, the company said that it does not sell water by the case and the signage promoting the offer was a mistake made by several employees.
“This was a big mistake on the part of a few employees at one store on Friday,” a company spokesman told CNBC. “As a company we are focused on helping, not hurting affected people. We’re sorry and it won’t happen again. Not as an excuse but as an explanation, we don’t typically sell cases of water. The mistake was made when employees priced a case of water using the single-bottle price for each bottle in the case.”
— Max Cotterill ? (@mcotteri) August 29, 2017
Since when does best buy even sell water or use signs like that?
— Lunadeapril (@TiffiePop85) August 29, 2017
Though Best Buy wasn’t participating, price gouging for essential goods is routinely an issue in the wake of natural disasters. The Texas attorney general’s office told the reporter who tweeted the photo that it had received 225 emails and 550 complaints of price gouging since Harvey devastated southeastern Texas.