Amazon Slammed as Sellers Hike Up Bottled Water Prices to $100 Ahead of Hurricane Irma
Many social media users are speaking out about Amazon prices that list water at nearly $100
Amazon is facing backlash after social media users noticed that water is being sold at high prices on the online shop as Hurricane Irma closes in on Florida.
Twitter users shared photos from the website on Wednesday, showing packs of water listed at up to nearly $100 and shaming the company for allowing the alleged hikes.
“Hey @amazon @AmazonHelp, you should monitor the price gauging going on right now … $100 for 24pk of water that is usually about $10 ???” one person tweeted. The user included a screenshot of the Ice Mountain Brand Natural Spring Water being sold for $99.99.
Another person highlighted another case of water being sold for $24.40, writing, “So disappointed with @amazon can’t believe they are price gouging!! @MiamiDadePD.”
An Amazon spokesperson denied the accusation to PEOPLE, saying, they “do not engage in surge pricing.”
“Amazon prices do not fluctuate by region or delivery location,” the spokesperson adds. “Prices on bottled water from Amazon, and third-party sellers that are doing their own fulfillment to customers, have not widely fluctuated in the last month.”
The news comes as Hurricane Irma has strengthened into an “extremely dangerous” Category 5 storm over the Atlantic Ocean, the National Hurricane Center said early Tuesday. Irma’s winds were expected to start hammering the Caribbean on Tuesday, moving near or over Antigua and Barbuda late Tuesday and early Wednesday, according to the NHC.
While Irma’s exact path is uncertain, the hurricane could make landfall in Florida by the weekend.
“Anybody in Florida should be preparing for a hurricane,” Brian Thompson, a meteorologist at AccuWeather tells PEOPLE. “It looks likely that there will be some impact on Florida.”
Florida officials have begun evacuation measures with Gov. Rick Scott announcing that tolls had been waived and crews are ready to help people travel safely and quickly.
As many brace for the massive storm, social media users have continued to speak out about the alleged price hikes.
“Amazon: price gouging water for Florida residents when the governor just declared a state of emergency a few days ago. #smh,” a user tweeted.
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The accusations follow similar claims made as Hurricane Harvey ravaged parts of Texas last week.More than 500 complaints had been filed about price hikes during the storm, Texas Attorney Gen. Ken Paxton told CNBC.
Now, as Irma comes closing in, many are urging the public to report instances of price gouging.
“Price gouging during a state of emergency is ILLEGAL,” an NBC reporter tweeted. “Report it to 1-866-9-NO-SCAM. Be safe, South Florida. @MiamiDadePD.”