Store owner accused of price gouging: ‘I feel slandered’

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LOUISA COUNTY, Va. -- Allegations of price gouging made the rounds on social media Wednesday, but the CBS Problem Solvers discovered those claims were unfounded.

The Louisa County Sheriff's Office said deputies were called to a convenience store at a BP gas station in the 900 block of Cross Country Road after a Facebook post was shared with them.

Cases of Deer Park water with a sign that read "All Deer Park Water Case For $14.99" were pictured.

The post read, "I hope the store owner in Louisa Co. in this case closer to Goochland Co residents, is aware that price gouging is illegal since Hurricane Sandy. Disgusting! We wont shop there again. They should be reported."

The CBS 6 Problem Solvers took the concerns to store owner Nancy Kaur.

Kaur explained that the cases displayed outside her store were of one liter bottles and 700 ML sport bottles and not 16-ounce bottles.

Kaur provided the CBS 6 Problem Solvers with her wholesale ordering forms as she did for investigators Wednesday.

The paperwork showed the store purchased the 28-count Deer Park sport bottles for $13.78, for a profit of $1.21 and the one liter bottles were purchased for $12.46, for a profit of $2.53.

Deputies found no wrongdoing in the sale of the cases and the investigation was immediately cleared.

"The sheriffs office investigated the social media claim of price gouging minutes after discovery. It was quickly determined by store records that the water in question were actually 1l sport bottles and not the bottles claimed in the social media post," Louisa Sheriff's Deputy Major Donnie Lowe said. "This is clearly demonstrated in the picture posted with the claim. The Sheriffs Office considers this to be an unfounded closed case and we sincerely hope that the community continues to support this business as businesses thrive on their reputation.”

Wednesday afternoon, the cases of Deer Park that were on display outside the store were replaced with cases of 16-ounce bottles of Dasani for $6.99, which is half the price for half the amount of water. The store profit on the Dasani is 74 cents.

Kaur said she's been in business for 13 years and prided herself on serving the community. She said she felt hurt and slandered. She said the store received hateful phone calls all day Wednesday. CBS 6 did interview concerned residents prior to them learning the actual size of the water bottles.

CBS 6 News is working for you. Click here to email a tip to the CBS 6 Problem Solvers. Be sure to leave us your name, phone number and detailed description of the problem. You can also leave a message by calling 804-254-3672.

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