During emergencies such as the COVID-19 outbreak, it is not unusual for unscrupulous businesses, profiteers and scam artists to prey on consumers. Governor Evers has declared a State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Wisconsin and that means Wisconsin's Anti Price Gouging Law is in effect.
The law prohibits sellers from selling consumer goods or services at prices greater than 15% above the highest price at which the seller sold like goods or services in the area during the 60 days immediately preceding the emergency declaration.
- The law applies to both wholesale and retail sales. As the current emergency declaration affects the whole State of Wisconsin, price gouging is illegal statewide.
- The only exceptions to the law are cases in which the price does not exceed the seller's cost plus normal markup or the selling price is required by law.
- Wisconsin's Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) enforces the Anti Price Gouging Law. If you believe a business is price gouging during the COVID-19 emergency, call DATCP at (800) 422-7128 to file a complaint.
Terrence M. Polich is a partner at Lawton Cates, S.C., specializing in lemon law and warranty cases, professional negligence, personal injury, business litigation and consumer law. Attorney Polich has been litigating Lemon Law cases for nearly 20 years.