(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — After receiving consumer complaints from multiple counties, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is taking Dollar General to court for allegedly advertising goods for one price on shelves and charging a higher price at the register.
“Everything we buy these days costs more – Ohioans can ill-afford businesses that draw people in with the promise of low prices only to deceive them at the checkout counter,” Yost said.
“This seems like a company trying to make an extra buck and hoping no one will notice. We’ve not only noticed but are taking action to stop it.”
Dollar General, a Tennessee-based company specializing in household goods, has operated in Ohio since 2015. It has 943 stores statewide.
Ohio Department of Agriculture rules permit stores to have up to a 2% error rate on overcharges.
But testing done last month in Butler County by the county auditor’s Department of Weights and Measures and made available to the Attorney General’s Office found error rates ranging from 16.7% to 88.2% for 20 Dollar General stores.
Furthermore, from March 2021 to August 2022, the Attorney General’s Office received 12 complaints detailing similar unfair and deceptive practices by Dollar General stores in Cuyahoga, Franklin, Highland, Lucas, Madison, Richland, Summit and Trumbull counties.
One consumer reported, for example, that a Dollar General in Franklin County listed shampoo at $1 on the shelves but charged double that amount at the register.
In certain instances, consumers alleged that even after they pointed out price discrepancies, the stores would not change the price.
The lawsuit, filed in Butler County Common Pleas Court, cites violations of Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act, saying Dollar General listed false prices on items and engaged in bait advertising.
In addition to seeking monetary payments, the state is seeking court intervention to remedy the unjust situation for consumers and bring Dollar General into compliance with Ohio law.
“This is appalling behavior and should be answered for in a court of law,” Yost said.
“If you see this happening in a store near you, let my office know. We’re here to protect Ohioans from being ripped off.”
Ohioans who suspect unfair business practices should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioProtects.org or 800-282-0515.