Missouri AG files suit against Dollar General, alleging unfair and deceptive pricing

An investigation found that consumers are frequently charged more at the register than what is listed on the shelf, the lawsuit said.
Dollar General
Dollar General is being accused of charging more at the register than the prices listed on its shelves at stores in Missouri. / Photo: Shutterstock

Missouri’s attorney general filed a lawsuit against Dollar General this week, accusing the discounter of deceptive and unfair pricing at its more than 600 stores in the state.

In a lawsuit filed in the St. Louis Circuit Court, Attorney General Andrew Bailey said Dollar General is “routinely overcharging” and deceiving customers on a variety of products by charging more at the register than the price listed on the shelf.

“Candles, toilet paper, lip balm, lemonade, tire foam and drink coolers all have one thing in common at Dollar General stores across the state of Missouri,” the lawsuit stated. “The prices charged at the point of sale are frequently higher than the prices listed on the shelf.”

Dollar General, in an email to WGB Friday, said it does not comment on pending litigation, but that it is committed to correcting pricing discrepancies and that it is “disappointed” when accurate prices are not presented.

“When a pricing discrepancy is identified, our store teams are empowered to correct the matter on the spot for our customers,” the Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based discounter said.  

Last October, the Ohio Department of Agriculture said it was investigating Dollar General locations in its state after pricing discrepancies were found there.

In February, Dollar General reached an agreement with Ohio’s attorney general to avert a temporary restraining order that had been filed against the discounter the month before. Under the terms of the agreement, Dollar General was required to ensure that the prices on its shelves matched those rung up at the register. And the chain’s employees were told to charge the shelf price if a customer notices they’ve been charged too much at checkout. The order also mandated Dollar General to post signs at its stores in Ohio, informing customers of the pricing rules.

In Missouri, Bailey is seeking an injunction, full restitution, civil penalties and other relief against Dollar General.

“Prices are at an all-time high,” he said in a statement. “The last thing Missourians need is to feel the brunt of Dollar General’s scheme. We will move forward undeterred in our fight to obtain full restitution for all affected.”

An investigation with the Missouri Department of Agriculture Weights and Measures Division found that 92 of the 147 locations surveyed failed inspection, with price discrepancies ranging up to as much as $6.50 per item. Overcharges averaged $2.71 for the more than 5,000 items price checked by investigators, the attorney general said.

“Ensuring price verification and accuracy is one of the key components of the Missouri Department of Agriculture through our Weights, Measures and Consumer Protection Division,” Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Chris Chinn said in a statement. “I applaud the attorney general for working with our Weights and Measures team to protect Missouri consumers by ensuring that the price charged at checkout matches the advertised price on the shelf.”




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