Multiple cases in which Dollar General and Family Dollars stores have overcharged their customers by mismatching the shelf and register prices were discovered through an inspection in Ohio.
Corporations Making Extra Money by Overcharging Poor People
The Dollar General Corporation has nearly 19,000 retail locations in the continental United States compared, while Family Dollar has more than 8,200 stores.
An inspection in Ohio’s Greater Cleveland area has discovered that various Dollar General items, such as deodorants, coffee, bandages, cleaning supplies, and fruit snacks, often show a disparity between their shelf and register prices, Cleveland.com reported.
It informs that in December, inspectors went to 14 Dollar General Venues in Summit County and discovered price mismatching violations in all of them.
In another case, not only Dollar General, but also Family Dollar stores have committed such violations in Ohio’s Cuyahoga County, failing over 50 inspections since 2021, the most recent case being on January 26.
In one of the Cuyahoga County stores, inspectors discovered price tags put up two years ago.
The report points out that only in rare cases, the item with a mismatched price was cheaper by a few cents. However, in most cases, the mispriced items turned out to be more expensive – anywhere between five cents and a whole dollar.
According to Marc Dann, a private lawyer and former Attorney General of Ohio, the mispricing means a big corporation is stealing money from many “poor people.”
The publication reviewed more than 100 reports of failed inspections, showing the problem with mismatched prices at Dollar General and Family Dollar stores could be observed all over the state of Ohio.
It points out cases where an energy drink cost 25 cents more at the cash register, whereas a bag of cat food was $2.25 more expensive than advertised.
Ohio Dollar General stores temporarily shut down amid overcharging lawsuit https://t.co/idV3PoE3OE
— fox8news (@fox8news) January 28, 2023
Ohio’s Dollar General stores are shutting down to re-tag all their shelf prices— exactly the reason we sued them.
Glad to see this first step—but we are going to insist on the court order to enforce continued compliance with Ohio’s market fairness laws. https://t.co/lfQh2rfq5W
— Attorney General Dave Yost (@DaveYostOH) January 27, 2023
This is the Dollar General on Schrock Rd. in Westerville. @EricHalperinTV visited a couple more locations in central Ohio. They were also closed. Again, @DollarGeneral, please feel free to tell us why here, since you prefer to not answer the phone or respond to emails. pic.twitter.com/TLieNXpHTN
— Jamie Ostroff (@TheJOstroff) January 27, 2023
Violation Not Limited to Ohio
In October, former state AG Dann initiated a lawsuit against a Dollar General store in Lorain County, which has been taken to federal court.
He could not say whether the mispricing was intentional, but insisted the Dollar General Corporation should be fixing those. The lawyer argued the owner must be aware of the issue, but seemed to have decided “they don’t care.”
The issue was exposed further in November when Ohio’s current Attorney General, Dave Yost, filed a lawsuit against Family Dollar and Dollar General in Butler County, which led to the Greater Cleveland inspections.
The inspections in 14 stores in Summit County, Ohio, showed an average of 19% of the items had incorrect price tags on the shelves and there was overcharging between 4% and 40% of the time.
A total of 407 items were scanned. 59 were found to be more expensive at the register and 17 were cheaper. The error was typically within $1.00.
The mismatched prices could occur on any items, on consumer products ranging from duct tape, baby food, and cat litter to hand soap, sandwich bags, and seasoning. Cases of failed inspections in various Ohio counties have been recorded since 2021.
The head of Cuyahoga County’s Consumer Affairs Department, Sheryl Harris, said the inspections had been an opener and the local authority would seek to do more price-checking and find new ways to alert shoppers about the issue.
The Ohio AG office has received 160 price discrepancy complaints for Dollar General and 40 about Family Dollar since September. These have come from 58 counties.
The problem is not limited to Ohio. Dollar General recently settled a suit with Vermont by paying $1.75 million, while North Carolina fined Dollar General for such practices.
#DollarGeneral and #FamilyDollar stores in Cuyahoga County have failed inspections more than 50 times since 2021. “A big company is stealing a little bit of money from a lot of poor people,” former Ohio AG Marc Dann said.https://t.co/FoYhvRHlip
— clevelanddotcom (@clevelanddotcom) February 4, 2023
Overcharged: Reports detail price mistakes at Ohio’s Dollar General, Family Dollar stores https://t.co/BsOkSYnvdJ pic.twitter.com/uIvkA3PfMj
— Nordonia Hills News (@NHillsNews) February 5, 2023