COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The battle between Ohio and Dollar General continues, with the state’s attorney general asking a judge on Wednesday to file a temporary restraining order against the national retailer.
The lawsuit filed in November against Dollar General by Ohio Attorney General David Yost charges the retailer with deceptive pricing practices, alleging customers were charged more at the register than the price on the shelves.
“There’s a mountain of evidence showing that Dollar General simply doesn’t care to fix the issue – and that’s despite numerous consumer complaints, failed auditor inspections and our lawsuit,” Yost said in a press release. “The bait-and-switch price games stop now.”
If granted, the temporary restraining order would force Dollar General to charge customers the prices advertised on their shelves. The restraining order would be enforced for 14 days or until a preliminary injunction, which would do the same thing, hearing could be held.
Last week, the retailer asked the same Butler County court to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the state’s complaint was “vague, ambiguous and devoid of factual allegations,” arguing the state offered no proof of its allegations.
According to court documents, several county auditors across the state have found discrepancies in Dollar General prices through regular audits. The attorney general’s office alleges that Dollar General continued to fail pricing audits even after the lawsuit was filed.
In December, Franklin County Auditor Michael Stinziano ordered some Dollar General stores in the county to display stickers warning customers of possible price discrepancies. Stinziano’s office accused one store, located on West Broad Street in Columbus, of removing the stickers after they had been placed.
“In the history of Franklin County, we’ve never seen a three-failure situation, and it just continues to go where we have 70% of their stores still failing,” Stinziano said.
Since the lawsuit was filed, Yost’s office said it has received 116 complaints against Dollar General for shelf-pricing issues. The attorney general has also filed a lawsuit against the owners of Family Dollar and Dollar Tree, alleging the same price discrepancy complaints.
Dollar General has not responded to repeated requests for comment dating back to November.