During this state of emergency, and the scarcity of necessary items such as groceries, cleaning supplies, and paper products, we warn citizens to be on the lookout for illegal practices from retailers trying to take advantage of the pandemic. Wisconsin has statues in place to protect against "unreasonably excessive pricing" from retailers.
Wisconsin Statute § 100.305, Wisconsin's price gouging statute, was created by 2005 Wisconsin Act 450. In addition to prohibiting charging “unreasonably excessive prices," commonly referred to as price gouging, the statute also directed DATCP to write administrative rules to establish formulas or standards used in determining “whether a wholesale or retail price is unreasonably excessive." Those standards can be found in Wis. Amin. Code ch. ATCP 106.
In order for the price gouging law to be enforced, Wis. Stat. § 100.305(2) requires that the Governor issue an executive order certifying that “the state or a part of the state is in a period of abnormal economic disruption." This means a period of time in which the state, or a part of the state, is experiencing a disruption (or a threat of disruption) to normal business transactions due to an emergency. Source: DATCP.wi.gov
When Governor Evers issued Executive Order #72 on March 12, 2020 declaring a state health emergency, price gouging rules went into effect. There have already been reports around the country and in the state of illegal pricing from retailers. If you feel a retailer is charging "unreasonably excessive" pricing on necessities, report them to the DATCP Consumer Protection hotline at (800)422-7128, email DATCPHotline@wisconsin.gov, or file an online complaint.
Follow the link below to DATCP's website for more information.
DATCP.wi.gov News COVID19