COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio’s top lawyer said his office has filed a lawsuit against Dollar General, accusing the retailer of using deceptive pricing practices.
According to Ohio Attorney General David Yost’s office, 12 complaints were made to his office between March 2021 and August 2022 for deceptive pricing at Dollar General stores in Cuyahoga, Franklin, Highland, Lucas, Madison, Richland, Summit, and Trumbull counties.
The lawsuit, filed in Butler County, claims the retailer violated Ohio’s consumer protection laws.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture allows stores to have up to a 2% error rate on overcharges, but according to Yost, 20 Dollar General stores in Butler County had an error rate ranging from 16.7% to 88.2%, based on testing done by the Butler Department of Weights and Measures.
One of the reports made to Yost’s office alleged that a Franklin County store had shampoo listed as $1 on the shelf, but charged double that at the register. Yost alleges that even when the price discrepancy was pointed out, the stores refused to adjust the prices.
Additionally, the Franklin County Auditor’s Office announced Tuesday that eight Dollar General stores in Franklin County failed inspections over the last two weeks. According to Franklin County Auditor Michael Stinziano, some of the examples of incorrect prices found during the inspections were:
- Bic Click Shaver that was supposed to be $6 instead scanned for $6.50
- Comfort Bay Shower Hooks that should have been $2 instead scanned for $5
- Hanes socks that should have been $10.25 instead scanned for $11
- Realtree Flip Flops that should have been $10.50 instead scanned for $12.50.
“There seems to be a weird trend in terms of what’s happening in other states and other counties,” Stinziano said. “It could also be a mistake. We just want to make sure consumers know that we are working very hard to protect their dollar.”
Tennessee-based Dollar General has 943 stores across Ohio.
In addition to monetary payments, the lawsuit is looking for court intervention to bring Dollar General into compliance with Ohio law.
“This is appalling behavior and should be answered for in a court of law,” Yost said in a press release. “If you see this happening in a store near you, let my office know. We’re here to protect Ohioans from being ripped off.”
Dollar General paid a $1.75 million settlement to the state of Vermont in 2019 following a similar lawsuit in that state.
NBC4 has reached out to Dollar General for comment but has not heard back from the company.