Family Dollar, Dollar General Stores Overcharge by Mismatching Prices

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, 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.

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. 

This article appeared in Mainstpress and has been published here with permission.