Frequently Asked Questions
A. During a statewide emergency, the prices charged for goods and services sold within Illinois may not exceed the prices ordinarily charged for comparable goods and services at, or immediately before, the time of the state of emergency, unless the price by the seller is attributable to fluctuations in commodity markets, regional or national market trends, or to reasonable expenses, charges, and risks incurred in procuring or selling the goods or services.
This means that the prices of goods and services are prohibited from being raised during a state of emergency unless the increases are directly related to a rise in the cost of doing business.
A. Under the Emergency Management Agency Act (20 ILCS 3305 et seq.), Governor Pritzker’s declaration of a state of emergency on March 9 had the effect of granting certain emergency powers to the governor. Specifically, under 20 ILCS 3305/7(14), the governor is empowered to prohibit increases in the prices of goods and services during a disaster.
Section 9 of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation explicitly prohibits increases in the selling price of goods or services, including medical supplies, protective equipment, medications and other commodities intended to assist in the prevention of, or treatment and recovery of, COVID-19 in the State of Illinois while the proclamation is in effect.
A. Yes. The Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation bans price gouging. It became effective on March 9, 2020 and remains in effect for at least 30 days.
A. No. Illinois law does not freeze prices during an emergency. Wholesalers and retailers may increase prices if the increase in price charged by the seller is attributable to local, regional, or national market trends and fluctuations, or to reasonable expenses and charges for a business’s risk incurred in obtaining or selling the goods or services during the state of
A. No. It is the opinion of the CCSAO that the price gouging prohibition covers all goods, services, and commodities intended to assist in the prevention of, or treatment and recovery of, COVID-19.
A. If you believe you are a victim of price gouging, please contact the CCSAO Consumer Fraud Unit at 312-603-8600 or fill out a price gouging complaint form to initiate a complaint. The Consumer Fraud Unit may be able to help you recover your losses, prosecute the person or business responsible for the price gouging, and prevent other members of the public from falling victim to the same misconduct. In some cases, you will be asked to file a written complaint, and in other situations, you may be referred to another government agency or resource.
A. The Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (815 ILCS 505/1 et. seq.) prohibits the charging of excessively high prices during a state-declared emergency or disaster. Upon a violation, the CCSAO may bring a lawsuit for a court order to enjoin or restrain the continuance of the alleged price gouging.
The Court may impose a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $50,000 against any person or business found to have engaged in price gouging or $50,000 per violation for more serious intentional violations. The Court may also impose, where appropriate, an order for a refund for any consumer victim.