Dollar General Corp (DG.N), one of the largest U.S. discount retailers, was sued on Tuesday by Ohio, which accused the company of baiting shoppers with low prices on store shelves, only to then charge more at the register.
Citing inflationary pressures faced by consumers, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said he sued after receiving 12 complaints about overcharges, including from a shopper charged $2 for shampoo that was listed at $1 on the shelf.
Yost said Ohio lets stores have error rates on overcharges as high as 2%, but that testing last month at 20 Dollar General stores in Butler County, just north of Cincinnati, found error rates of 16.7% to 88.2%.
The attorney general also said employees sometimes wouldn’t change prices even after shoppers pointed out discrepancies.
“This seems like a company trying to make an extra buck and hoping no one will notice,” Yost said in a statement. “We’ve not only noticed but are taking action to stop it.”
Dollar General did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The lawsuit filed in the Butler County Court of Common Pleas accused Dollar General of violating a state consumer protection laws and a rule against “bait advertising.”
It seeks unspecified damages for shoppers, civil fines of $25,000 per violation, and an injunction against further violations.
Dollar General is based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. It operates more than 18,000 stores in 47 U.S. states, including more than 900 in Ohio.