Attorney General Bondi calls 7-Eleven bottled water prices 'shameful'

39 complaints of price gouging at Tampa stores
Posted at 11:53 PM, Sep 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-07 23:53:31-04

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is calling some Tampa 7-Eleven stores shameful after reports of price gouging for cases of bottled water. 

Brianna Johnson got sticker shock Thursday night when shopping for bottled water at 7-Eleven on south Dale Mabry.  

"I dropped it immediately," said Johnson. "No thank you. I was not paying $30 for a case of water today.”

Florida's top prosecutor doesn't believe anyone should be paying those prices. 

“I can’t put you in jail, I wish I could but I’ll be saying your name all over the news," said Bondi. 

ABC Action News got a tour of Tampa's price gouging hotline where staff members are fielding up to 100 calls per hour. 

Bondi says one of the top complaints in Tampa is the price for a case of bottled water at area 7-Eleven stores. ABC Action News uncovered several locations selling packs by multiplying the price of a single bottle. 

“Shame on anyone, anyone who is going to do that with bottled water, wether they are going to get away with it or not," said Bondi. "Well, maybe they can, but people, think about where you shop next time." 

ABC Action News reporter Ryan Smith bought a case of 15 Aquafina bottles of water for $26. We went inside the store to get answers. 

“Do you personally feel $26 is a bit much for folks to pay for a case?," asked Smith. "It is absolutely, absolutely you’re right, what you’re saying," said the 7-Eleven employee. "It’s too much, but my boss say it so I have to follow him."

Bondi says that's not illegal, but is taking advantage of Floridians in need.   

“If anyone’s going to shop at a 7-Eleven, think very closely before you do if they’re selling water like that to people," said Bondi. "Go Somewhere else." 

Bondi tells ABC Action News, they have received 39 complaints already regarding Tampa Bay 7-Eleven stores. 

"It’s insane to me and people should try to be a little more giving, I guess, when it’s a little bit of a state of crisis right now," said Johnson. 

You can file a report with the state's price gouging hotline here, or call (866) 9NO-SCAM.