Skip to content

Dollar General Under Fire for Seriously Overcharging Shoppers

The discount chain was slapped with $850,000 in civil forfeitures, surcharges, and fees.

For many Americans, Dollar General is a go-to retailer thanks to its product selection, convenient locations, and—as the name suggests—low prices. So, when you do venture into one of these stores, you expect your receipt to list your savings, not unexpectedly higher prices. But Dollar General is now under fire for allegedly overcharging customers, landing the company with $850,000 in fines. Read on to find out how shoppers ended up paying more.

RELATED: Shoppers Are Abandoning Dollar General: "Really Bad Situation."

Dollar General allegedly violated price accuracy laws.

A senior man using the self-checkout kiosk at Dollar General

According to a Nov. 20 press release, Dollar General reached a settlement with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) following 662 alleged violations of state price accuracy laws and 52 violations of refund policy disclosure laws.

While Dollar General didn't admit to any violation of Wisconsin law, as part of the settlement, the company will pay $850,00.11 in civil forfeitures, surcharges, and fees.

In a statement provided to Best Life, the company said, "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 company continued, "When a pricing discrepancy is identified, our store teams are empowered to correct the matter on the spot for our customers. We have appreciated the constructive approach to resolving this matter with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection."

RELATED: Communities Are Fighting Dollar General—And Now the Company Is Suing.

Approximately 9 percent of products were more expensive at the register.

aisle at dollar general store
Billy F Blume Jr / Shutterstock

Per the release, 238 Dollar General stores in Wisconsin underwent DATCP price verification inspections between Jan. 30 and Feb. 10 this year. Inspectors checked a total of 7,344 products to confirm prices at the register were the same or lower than those listed on the shelf. But according to the DATCP, 662 of these items, or 9 percent, scanned at a higher price, meaning customers were paying more than they should have been.

"The accuracy of prices on store shelves is among the most basic and essential protections consumers have," DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski said in the press release. "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."

Under Wisconsin law, if a customer is overcharged, merchants with electronic scanning systems are required to refund "at least the difference between the posted price and the price charged at the point of sale." Retailers are also supposed to post signage informing customers about this law, but the DATCP alleged that 45 Dollar General stores were missing this signage when they were first inspected, and eight stores were still missing it when they were reinspected.

Dollar General stores will continue to undergo inspections.

Dollar General Retail Location. Dollar General is a Small-Box Discount Retailer.

In addition to the $850,000 for the price accuracy and refund signage violations, Dollar General will be conducting price accuracy checks at every one of its Wisconsin stores at least once every 45 days, the release states.

The company also said that it has invested and continues to invest in improving price accuracy, and DATCP will continue to work with the retailer through inspections and staff training.

But while Dollar General is seeking to make changes now, it was already accused of overcharging in Wisconsin back in 2019, paying out $10,586.50. It's also far from the first time the store has been slammed for overcharging in other states.

RELATED: Dollar General "Jeopardizes the Safety of Everyone in Their Stores," Official Warns.

Dollar General is facing several lawsuits and fines.

wooden gavel on us dollar banknote

Late last year, the state of Ohio sued Dollar General (as well as Family Dollar), for charging customers more at the register than what was listed on the shelves. This past September, Dollar General and the Ohio Attorney General's Office reached a $1,000,000 settlement agreement, which also requires the retailer to keep enough staff to ensure shelf pricing is correct, price match if customers point out a discrepancy, and undergo random price checks every 45 days, among other changes.

"Most people don't shop at Dollar General because they have a lot of extra money to spend," Attorney General Dave Yost said during a county auditors' conference earlier this month. "So when a bottle of shampoo that should cost $1 costs $2 at the checkout, that's a real thing."

At the conference, Yost also announced that $750,000 of the settlement would be going to food banks and other hunger-relief organizations in Ohio.

The discount chain is facing yet another lawsuit in Missouri, and North Carolina has also flagged and fined Dollar General for overcharging following several inspections.

RELATED: For more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more
Filed Under
 •  •
Sources referenced in this article
  1. Source:
  2. Source:
  3. Source: