COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is suing Dollar General for advertising items for one price on shelves and charging a higher price at the register.
Yost's office said the lawsuit comes after it received customer complaints from several counties around the state.
“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 in a news release. “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.”
The Ohio Department of Agriculture allows stores to have up to a 2% error rate on overcharges.
According to Yost's office, testing done last month in Butler County found error rates ranging from 16.7% to 88.2% for 20 Dollar General stores.
The attorney general's office has received 12 complaints of deceptive pricing in several other counties.
Yost's lawsuit was filed in Butler County and cites a violation of Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act. The suit claims Dollar General listed false prices on items and engaged in "bait advertising."
The state is seeking monetary payments as well as court intervention to bring Dollar General in compliance with state law, Yost's office said.
“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.”
In Franklin County, Auditor Michael Stinziano is urging Dollar General customers to check their receipts after eight of 10 stores in the area failed a consumer inspection over the past two weeks.
Stinziano said in all cases, inspectors found the scanned price was more expensive than the item was supposed to be.
According to Stinziano, the following Dollar General locations failed inspection:
“I want to remind consumers to be careful when shopping and make sure you’re getting what you pay for,” Stinziano said. “The auditor’s office will continue to be vigilant and out in the community checking scanners and gas pumps and protecting consumers.”
Stinziano's office provided the following examples of items with incorrect scanner prices:
According to Stinziano, Dollar General settled a $1.75 million Consumer Protection Act case in Vermont for similar pricing inaccuracies.
Tennessee-based Dollar General has operated in Ohio since 2015 and has 943 stores statewide.
If you feel you have paid more than the listed price at Dollar General, you can file a consumer complaint online here.
ABC 6/FOX 28 has reached out to Dollar General for a comment and is waiting to hear back.