Cease-and-desist letters have been sent to 16 companies accused of price-gouging amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) announced on Wednesday, March 25.
The state’s price-gouging law, which bars companies from price increases exceeding 15% during a time of economic disruption, was triggered by the March 12 executive order signed by Gov. Tony Evers declaring a state public-health emergency as a result of the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Among the recipients is a company called 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,” DATCP said in a statement.
A Google search on the company’s name showed evidence of its past presence on the internet, but the URL now leads to an unclaimed Shopify account. Image searches found pictures that appeared to have been on a company’s website.
Other recipients ranged from local stores to chain stores, including Walgreens, Menards and Walmart. Products named in the letters included toilet paper, bleach, bottled water and foodstuffs.
A list of the outlets and the products involved in the complaints against them is here.
Consumers suspecting price gouging can file a complaint by downloading a form at https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/DownloadConsumerComplaintForm.aspx and then emailing the completed form to [email protected].