Investigation Says Dollar General May Be Overcharging Customers

At Dollar General, you're promised incredibly low savings on everyday items, from name-brand to generic products. But how sure can you be that you're actually getting those low savings? What if it turned out that you're actually being overcharged every time you visit your local Dollar General? 

According to a recent report from FOX Business, several Dollar General locations in Southwest Ohio underwent an audit inspection that revealed an incredible discrepancy between prices listed on store shelves and what customers were actually being charged. Coffee creamer, for example, had a shelf price of $2.00, but customers were charged $4.35. Chicken strips were listed at $7.95, but customers would pay $10.75. In fact, the Butler County Auditor's Office discovered that these Dollar General stores had "double figure error rates" of up to 88% — well beyond the allowed 2% error rate of price-checking tests.

Notably, it wasn't just the Auditor's Office that took notice of what could be a mass fleecing scheme. As The Columbus Dispatch reports, the Ohio Attorney General's office was notified of the deceptive pricing tactics in Dollar Generals across Ohio. In response, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has opened a lawsuit against the company.

But what does Dollar General have to say about all of this? Could it be that this was just an isolated incident?

Dollar General was sued in 2019 for a similar scheme

While Dollar General has not yet made a comment on recent claims of price manipulation, this actually isn't the first time the company has been under fire for such accusations. In 2019, Dollar General locations in Vermont faced heavy lawsuits for overcharging unsuspecting customers.

As WCAX explains, Vermont Attorney General T. J. Donovan became aware of violations across 22 different stores in the state, a surprisingly high number considering that there are only 36 Dollar General locations in Vermont. These violations included noticeable changes between prices on shelves and at the register, with price differences between two cents to $6. These price changes were against consumer protection laws, forcing the state to step in and sue the chain for an incredible $1.7 million dollars.

Although Donovan had harsh words for the company, even going so far as to claim that the chain ripped off enormous amounts of consumers using this price manipulation tactic, Dollar General claimed that it promotes strict pricing and takes "prompt action" when a pricing mistake is discovered (via Insider). Unsurprisingly, the chain didn't exactly agree with the Attorney General's claims, although they thanked him for his "constructive approach" when dealing with the problem.

With these recent accusations, it would seem that Dollar General may have to clean up its image a bit. This certainly may not bode well for the chain's recent attempts to expand its product offerings to consumers.