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Wisconsin Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

Wisconsin has not adopted the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act.  Wisconsin deceptive trade practices laws are stated in Wisconsin Consumer Act (“Act”).  The Act is enumerated in Wisconsin Annotated Statutes, Chapters 421 to 429.

Section 423.301 prohibits false and deceptive advertising.  Under Section 423.110, the administrator, or the aggrieved customer can bring an action.  Also, Section 423.110 permits class action.

Remedies under Section 423.110 are injunction, actual damages, and attorney fees.  Under Section 425.305, if a transaction is declared void, the customer can retain the goods received without obligation to pay any money, and the customer can also recover any money paid to merchant.  Under Section 425.401, a person who willfully violates the Act will be fined with an amount not more than $2000.

Under Section 347.415 of the Motor Vehicles Code, tampering the odometer with an intention to misrepresent the number of miles in the meter is forbidden.  Under Section 347.50, a person who tampers the odometer shall be liable to pay a fine which is not more than $5000, or shall be imprisoned in country jail for not more than one year or shall be liable for both.

Wis. Stat. § 426.110 reads in part:

“426.110. Class actions; injunctions; declaratory relief.
   (1) Either the administrator, or any customer affected by a violation of chs. 421 to 427 and 429 or of the rules promulgated pursuant thereto or by a violation of the federal consumer credit protection act, or by conduct of a kind described in sub. (2), may bring a civil action on behalf of himself or herself and all persons similarly situated, for actual damages by reason of such conduct or violation, together with penalties as provided in sub. (14), reasonable attorney fees and other relief to which such persons are entitled under chs. 421 to 427 and 429 The customer filing the action must give prompt notice thereof to the administrator, who shall be permitted, upon application within 30 days, to join as a party plaintiff. For purposes of apportionment of cost, the administrator need not be a party to the action.
(2) Actions may be maintained under this section against any person who in making, soliciting or enforcing consumer credit transactions engages in any of the following kinds of conduct:(a) Making or enforcing unconscionable terms or provisions of consumer credit transactions;(b) False, misleading, deceptive, or unconscionable conduct in inducing customers to enter into consumer credit transactions; or(c) False, misleading, deceptive, or unconscionable conduct in enforcing debts or security interests arising from consumer credit transactions.”

Wis. Stat. § 425.305 reads:
 “425.305. Transactions which are void.
   (1) In a transaction to which this section applies, the customer shall be entitled to retain the goods, services or money received pursuant to the transaction without obligation to pay any amount.
(2) In addition, the customer shall be entitled to recover any sums paid to the merchant pursuant to the transaction.”

Wis. Stat. § 425.401 reads:
 “425.401. Willful violations: misdemeanor.
   (1) Except as provided in sub. (2), a person who willfully and knowingly engages in any conduct or practice in violation of chs. 421 to 427 may be fined not more than 2,000.
(2) A person who intentionally violates s. 425.2065 (2) may be fined not more than 500.”

Inside Wisconsin Deceptive Trade Practices Laws