Release Date: March 25, 2020
Media Contact: Ti Gauger, Public Information Officer, (608) 224-5007
MADISON – The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is taking swift action to begin addressing complaints against Wisconsin businesses accused of price gouging.
Following dozens of complaints and thorough price checking at over a hundred stores across Wisconsin, the agency has issued Cease and Desist letters to 16 companies that are suspected of raising prices unlawfully during this period of economic disruption. One such company is N95Sales.com, which engaged in suspected price gouging on N95 masks, a critical item for front-line health care workers that is in short supply in Wisconsin.
In Executive Order #72, Governor Evers declared a public health emergency in the State of Wisconsin. He also declared that Wisconsin is experiencing a period of abnormal economic disruption because of COVID-19. This declaration authorizes DATCP to enforce Wisconsin's price gouging law (Section 100.305 of the statutes and Chapter ATCP 106 of DATCP's Administrative Code) until the emergency has ended. This declaration applies to the entire state and applies to any consumer good or service being sold at wholesale or retail.
“While it is not uncommon for prices to increase during times of high demand or low supply DATCP will be closely monitoring the marketplace to ensure Wisconsin consumers are being treated fairly," said Lara Sutherlin, Administrator for the Division of Trade and Consumer Protection “Consumers can report their concerns to DATCP's Bureau of Consumer Protection for evaluation and follow up."
To report suspected price gouging, please download a complaint form from the DATCP website at datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/DownloadConsumerComplaintForm.aspx and submit it via email to DATCPHotline@wisconsin.gov. Please be prepared to provide the following information:
- Date the product was offered for sale
- Seller's name
- Seller's location
- Specific product being sold, including:
- Product name, product size, and price.
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