The price of essential items such as hand sanitiser, toilet roll and paracetamol have been unbelievably hiked in some parts of the county during the coronavirus lockdown.
In one shop hand sanitiser was being sold at £19.99 per bottle while in a petrol station paracetamol was priced at £10.99.
Between March 16 to 29, Gloucestershire County Council’s trading standards department received 275 complaints partly about pricing issues, but also about vehicle sales, rogue traders, animal health and product safety.
Included in the complaints were Gloucestershire residents reporting small shops and food wholesalers who were not making the prices of products, including essential items, known to the consumer – which is a legal offence.
This means the cost of products were increased verbally and inconsistent with the written price tag on display.
Some of the complaints, the county council said, included claims vulnerable people such as the elderly were “willing to pay for them”.
The county council has listed some of the complaints with the most eye-watering price tags for basic, necessary items and says the trading standards department is reminding these businesses of their legal obligations.
The county council added there is no law regarding raising the prices of products, as long as the price is known to the consumer, however it’s “morally questionable but perfectly legal”.
Some of the complaints in the two-week period were:
Small shop – bottles of hand sanitiser 19.99 bottle.
Small shop – paracetamol normally £0.30 now selling for £2.49. Hand sanitiser £1.49 now selling at £12.00.
Small shop – selling multi-pack toilet roll individually, limiting customers to two rolls per person at a cost of 70 pence each.
Filling station – Price increases of paracetamol to £10.9
Food wholesaler – Selling rice usually £16 per kilgoram now £21
Small shop – Selling a nine pack of Andrex toilet tissues for £10.99.
Small shop – All vegetables £9.99 per kg.
Small shop – Sold a 25kg bag of potatoes yesterday from above supplier. I was told it would be £15 but was then told they had gone up again to £19.
Small shop – Selling hand sanitizer at £20 and toilet roll at £19 for 24 rolls.
Small shop – Charging £7.99 for a tray of eggs & £24 for a packet of 24 toilet rolls.
Food wholesaler – Charged £43 for 20kg bag of flour and 20kg bag.
The authority would not confirm which shops, food wholesalers and filling station were reported on nor their district location.
Gloucestershire’s district councils also confirmed how many complaints their licensing departments have received in the same period.
Stroud District Council said it received nine reports of pubs and restaurants which allowed their customers to either sit in their gardens, gather in groups outside, or of possible gatherings inside during the period which the Government ordered such premises to close.
The authority said the police and the licensing team wrote to the reported pubs and restaurants with a warning, and no further reports have been received.