Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt sent a cease and desist letter to a Branson-area business, Tuning Element, for allegedly inflating the prices on KN95 masks.
The letter demands that the business cease and desist from selling masks at substantially higher prices.
“Since this pandemic began, we have remained vigilant in monitoring price gouging across the state, and have taken legal action wherever possible,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “We will continue to investigate and work with businesses to root out and combat price gouging.”
According to information obtained by the Office of the Attorney General, Tuning Element is advertising the sale of 5-layer KN95 masks for $20 each; 4-layer KN95 masks for $15 each; and 50-count boxes of 3-layer disposable masks for $99.
These products generally sell in the range of $3.95-$5.98 each; $2.99 each; and $24.95-$39.99 for 50-count boxes, respectively. In addition, our investigation has revealed that Tuning Element is charging an additional “phone and internet fee” of $1.82 per mask on top of the price of the item.
Anyone seeing instances of price gouging, particularly as relates to personal protective equipment or other health-related items, is encouraged to report it to the Missouri Attorney General’s Office by calling the Consumer Protection hotline at 800-392-8222 or submitting a complaint online at https://ago.mo.gov/civil-division/consumer/consumer-complaints.