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Ohio attorney's general office reaches $1M settlement agreement with Dollar General

Front of Dollar General on Salem Ave. in Dayton, Ohio.
Desmond Winton-Finklea
Dollar General settles for $1 million after Ohio Attorney General uncovers deceptive pricing practices, vowing to benefit Ohio food banks.

The state attorney general reached a $1 million settlement with Dollar General after the attorney’s office received several complaints for allegedly advertising goods for one price but charging a higher price at the register.

Last year, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a lawsuit in Butler County against the Tennessee-based company. The lawsuit alleged 20 discount stores in Southwest Ohio had goods for one price at the shelf but charged a higher price at the register.

Ohio Department of Agriculture rules permit stores to have up to a 2% error rate on overcharges. But an investigation by the Butler County Auditor's office found error rates ranging from 16.7% to 88.2% for 20 Dollar General stores, according to a statement from the attorney’s office.

“Everything we buy these days costs more – Ohioans can ill-afford businesses that draw people in with the promise of low prices only to deceive them at the checkout counter,” Yost said in a statement when the lawsuit was filed. “This seems like a company trying to make an extra buck and hoping no one will notice.”

The original lawsuit detailed the company violated Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act — which makes it illegal for retailers to misrepresent the nature of their business, products and the price of their goods.

In a court document, Butler County Commons Pleas Court Judge Michael Oster outlined Dollar General will pay the AG’s office $750,000 plus $250,000 in court fees, reimbursements and investigations fees.

Oster detailed the $1 million settlement will be distributed to Ohio food banks or other charitable organizations solely for the purpose of food or personal care items, citing it would be nearly impossible to identify and repay consumers.

Alejandro Figueroa is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

Alejandro Figueroa covers food insecurity and the business of food for WYSO through Report for America — a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Alejandro particularly covers the lack of access to healthy and affordable food in Southwest Ohio communities, and what local government and nonprofits are doing to address it. He also covers rural and urban farming

Email: afigueroa@wyso.org
Phone: 937-917-5943