CHARLESTON -- West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is reminding West Virginia consumers to watch out for potential price gouging related to appliances in the wake of winter snowstorms and power outages.

“As winter weather continues, consumers will sometimes find themselves with appliances that need to be repaired or replaced due to damage from storms and power outages,” Morrisey said Tuesday in a press release. “Purchasing a new appliance, or repairing your existing one can be a major expense that takes a big bite out of your budget. Our goal is to help consumers make the best choice for themselves.”

Here are some tips consumers may follow to make the best choice:

* Check to see if your appliance is still under warranty. Repairing the appliance on your own may void the warranty.

* Ask your insurance company if it will offer an adjusted replacement cost for the appliance.

* Get a written estimate on how much repairs will cost, and get a second opinion from another repairman. Remember that sometimes buying new is cheaper than repairing old.

“The best way to ensure you are making a smart decision is to do research before deciding whether to repair or replace an appliance,” Morrisey said. “Educating consumers can help guide them through complicated decisions during trying times."

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