Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith applauded last week’s announcement that Dollar General has reached a $1 million dollar settlement with the State of Ohio in a lawsuit filed over instances of overcharging at the company’s stores.
“I’m glad to see Dollar General pay up for their breach of their customers’ trust,” Keith said. “We supported the state’s litigation by providing them with evidence of overcharging from our pricing inspections here in Montgomery County.”
Twenty-two of the retailer’s 32 Montgomery County locations failed inspections during the Auditor’s price verification sweep of Dollar General stores last November. The bargain chain showed little improvement in follow-up inspections, with 13 stores failing a second time and six failing three times in a row before the end of 2022.
Since that time, Keith believes the pressure his inspectors have put on the stores has made a difference.
“We’ve seen great improvements in pricing accuracy at Dollar General locations this year as a result of the intense scrutiny we put on them last winter,” Keith said.
This year, only six Dollar General stores have failed the Auditor’s inspections, and most of the locations that failed have passed follow-up inspections. Only the store at 720 E. Main St. in Trotwood has failed more than three times in a row. In total, the Auditor’s staff have price-checked more than 3,100 items during 63 inspections at Dollar General locations so far this year.
Despite the improvements, Keith says consumers should still be vigilant. If a consumer believes they are being overcharged at Dollar General or another retailer, he advises them to ask store staff to correct the price. If they do not resolve the issue, they can call Keith’s Consumer Hotline at 937-225-6309 to request an inspection.
The Auditor’s Office will start performing its routine inspections of all Montgomery County retailers soon, an annual winter activity.
“We will continue to make sure the price you see in the aisle is the price you pay at the register,” Keith said.
County Auditors inspect retailers to ensure that prices on the shelves match the prices at the register. In a retailer the size of a dollar store, inspectors will select and scan 50 items at random off the shelves. If more than 2% of items tested are found to be inaccurately priced, the retailer fails its inspection.
According to Keith, the purpose of the weights and measures program is to assure that equity prevails in the marketplace for both buyer and seller. The Auditor's staff work to ensure integrity of all commercial weights and measures in the county by inspecting over 5,000 gas pumps, testing more than 2,000 scales, and performing scanning tests on over 18,000 items at more than 340 retailers each year. Maps and spreadsheets of inspection results are available in this Google Drive folder.