Dollar General strikes deal after being accused of mispricing items, DATCP reports

The agency reported the mispriced items cost 17% more, on average, than what was listed.
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 10:20 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 20, 2023 at 12:21 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – Dollar General agreed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars after allegations hundreds of items were ringing up at significantly higher prices at the register than what was shown on the store shelves.

The settlement comes after the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection went to over 200 stores across the state, including in Madison, between Jan. 30 and Feb. 10, and checked the prices on over 7,000 products. Investigators found the prices of nine percent of the items scanned, or 662 of them in all, were more expensive when they went to buy them, DATCP alleged.

The agency reported the mispriced items cost 17% more, on average, than what was listed.

“The accuracy of prices on store shelves is among the most basic and essential protections consumers have,” DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski said. “Consumers should be able to trust that the prices advertised to them are accurate, and they have a right to be informed of the laws protecting them.”

According to DATCP’s statement, Dollar General agreed to pay just over $850,000 for the alleged price accuracy violations along with 53 other allegations that it broke the state’s refund policy disclosure laws. The company signed off on the settlement, the agency stated, but it did not acknowledge breaking any laws.

The 50+ refund policy accusations stemmed from dozens of stores allegedly failing to post prominently a sign about required refund policies at electronic price scanners. The signs let people know the state requires retailers to refund the difference between what is posted and what the register charges. Forty-five stores were accused of violating the rule when DATCP inspectors first visited, while eight did not have the signs when they were re-inspected.

DATCP added Dollar General also agreed to implement policies including regular price accuracy checks every 45 days. A spokesperson for Dollar General noted that individual stores can immediately change prices if they find a discrepancy.

“Dollar General is committed to providing customers with accurate prices on items purchased in our stores, and we are disappointed any time we fail to deliver on this commitment,” the statement continued. “We have appreciated the constructive approach to resolving this matter with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.”

The agency noted this was the not the first time in recent years that Dollar General has been accused of violating price accuracy laws. The company reached a settlement in 2018 after similar claims that saw them pay over $10,000. Additionally, DATCP claimed its investigators conducted 83 routine inspections at Dollar Generals and found 76 stores failed to meet the federal government’s 98% accuracy standard.

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