I-TEAM: Ohio attorney general asks court to force Dollar General to make its prices match

DAYTON — State Attorney General Dave Yost is asking for a temporary restraining order against Dollar General stores because his office has found that the company’s bait and switch pricing problems continue.

Thursday, he asked a Butler County Common Pleas judge to immediately force the Tennessee-based retailer to stop advertising one price on its store shelves and charging another price – typically higher – at its registers. Yost, in his request against the discount retailer, cited ongoing violations of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act. He also requested a hearing for a preliminary injunction that would require Dollar General to abide by Ohio consumer laws as the lawsuit progresses.

>> I-Team: Dollar General stores failing inspections in auditor’s check on pricing

“There’s a mountain of evidence showing that Dollar General simply doesn’t care to fix the issues -- and that’s despite numerous complaints, failed auditor inspections and our lawsuit. The bait-and-switch price games stop now,” Yost said in a prepared statement Thursday.

Yost’s announcement comes as News Center 7′s I-Team has continues its investigation of Dollar General stores arising from customer complaints that prices at the register sometimes ring higher than prices marked on store shelves.

Yost sued Dollar General stores in Butler County on Nov. 1, 2022. He said that nearly three months since then, the pricing issue has not improved at all.

One shopper at the Salem Avenue store in Dayton told News Center 7′s Mike Campbell that employees have worked with him when prices didn’t match.

“They give me the prices on the shelves, the customer, Allen Jordan, said. “If it is two dollars and it says three, they give it to me for two dollars, correct their mistakes.”

>> I-Team: News Center 7 finds price inconsistencies at area Dollar General stores

Yost said Dollar General makes far too many mistakes, Campbell reports, and most of them are higher prices at the register than on the shelves.

News Center 7 has filed numerous reports about the pricing problems through interviews with customers, former Dollar General employees and the Montgomery County auditor, who found that a very high percentages of stores in the county failed his initial price matching checks. Those stores are in the process of being tested again.

This news organization also sent a reporter into a Dollar General store in Montgomery County to buy items and learned that six of eight items purchased had different prices at the register than the prices displayed on store shelf labels.

Officials with Dollar General have not responded to a half-dozen requests from News Center 7 for comment through email and phone calls.

Yost said his office has received 116 complaints about Dollar General since the sue was filed in Butler County. That number does not include all the complaints to county auditors in the 88 counties throughout Ohio, Campbell reports.