CONSUMER ALERT: Avoid Businesses that Raise Prices Just for those Cleaning for Pesach

CONSUMER ALERT: Avoid Businesses that Raise Prices Just for those Cleaning for Pesach

By Yehudit Garmaise

While companies advertise special rates for car washing services that are related to Passover, some companies sometimes are charging only Jewish customers up to 50% higher prices, according to reports provided to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG).

At the urging of NY Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, James sent letters to organizations that represent New York car wash owners to remind their members that charging different customers different prices for the same services is illegal and should be reported to OAG.  

“Taking advantage of someone’s religious observances and practices is offensive, discriminatory, and absolutely unacceptable,” said Attorney General James. “For millions of observant Jews in New York and beyond, Passover is an important holiday, and their preparations should be respected, not manipulated for profit. 

“I urge any New Yorker who is concerned that they have been a victim of discriminatory behavior because of their religion, race, or background to contact my office immediately.” 

While Passover is joyous, the preparation for the Yom Tov can be stressful and expensive, said Assemblymember Daniel Rosenthal. 

“Unnecessary financial pressure should never be placed on any religious community by those seeking to profiteer,” Rosenthal said.

“Last year, we brought this matter to the attention of Attorney General Letitia James, and she swiftly issued a consumer alert for which we are grateful,” said Assemblymember Eichenstein. “Car wash establishments who shamelessly overcharge their Jewish customers for services before the Passover holiday are clearly discriminating against one religious community. 

“That is unacceptable and illegal. Car wash operators: you have now been warned. Don’t do it.”

New Yorkers who know of businesses that price services in discriminatory ways and customers who believe that they were charged more for services because of their religions, races, or backgrounds are encouraged to file complaints with the OAG online or by calling (800) 771-7755. 

photo credit: Flickr

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