Wisconsin Department of Agriculture
Trade and Consumer Protection
2811 Agriculture Dr.
P.O. Box 8911
Madison, WI 53708-8911
Consumer Protection Hotline: (800) 422-7128
To file a complaint online, click here.
Here’s a snapshot of Wisconsin’s laws regarding deceptive advertising:
Wisconsin Code§ 100.18: Makes it unlawful to use advertisements that contain untrue, deceptive, or misleading statements.
Some of the penalties that fraudulent or deceptive advertisers may suffer in Wisconsin include:
- The cost of reasonable attorney’s fees of the person suing, if that person wins the lawsuit (Wisconsin Code § 100.18(11)(b));
- Twice the amount of pecuniary loss, if the advertiser violated an injunction (Wisconsin Code § 100.18(11)(b));
- Between $50 and $200 for each violation of the law against deceptive advertising (Wisconsin Code § 100.26(4));
- Between $100 and $10,000 for each violation of an injunction (Wisconsin Code § 100.26(6)).
Small Claims Court in Wisconsin
If you’re not trying to recover big bucks, but rather just trying to recoup the money you spent on a product or service after being duped by a false ad, then you might consider filing a lawsuit in Small Claims Court.
For general info about filing a lawsuit in Small Claims Court, click here.
For info on how to file a Small Claims lawsuit in Wisconsin, click here.
Researching Consumer Complaints
To obtain copies of complaints consumers have filed against a business, you can send a Freedom of Information request to:
State of Wisconsin
Department of Justice/ Attorney General
17 W. Main St.
P.O. Box 7857
Madison, WI 53707-7857
Att: Public Records Custodian
A sample Freedom of Information request can be found here.
**Please note that this page is informational only and does not take the place of legal advice. Please also note that the above summary is meant to provide a brief look at the laws in Wisconsin, and not a comprehensive list.**
A court order that requires a person or company to do a particular act or to refrain from doing a particular act. Example? A court order prohibiting a company from using an ad that’s been deemed deceptive.
See Actual damages.