Reports show that inspectors have recently found items such as whole milk, which costs $3.85 on the shelf but is scanned for $4.05, and the step stool sells for a dollar more than the advertised price.
Brill said stores must comply with the listed price, and if they do not, then buyers should report it to the auditor’s office.
“It must be the same”
In an interview outside a local Dollar General store, customer Jim Brooks said he buys soda there and doesn’t believe that different prices on the shelf and at the checkout are right.
“It has to be the right price,” Brooks said. “It should be the same when you take it off the shelf and take it forward to scan it.”
Messages sent to Dollar General were not returned. The Family Dollar released a statement to the Dayton Daily News.
“At Family Dollar, we strive to meet the needs of our customers and offer them the products they need and want at a bargain price. We are committed to prompt compliance with all applicable federal, state and local laws,” the company said in a statement.
At least half of the items tested did not match the listed price at Dollar General stores at 2228 N. Gettysburg Ave. and 2312 N. Main St. in Dayton.
The 36% bounce rate at 745 Troy Street Family Dollar was the highest among the chain’s local stores. There, inspectors found a gas canister listed for $16 scanned for $18 and a Pantene product listed for $5.45 but scanned for $6.65. The inspectors also found that candy, sodas, bleach and aluminum foil, among other things, were also mislabeled.
The report says the establishment is among the local dollar stores that have not passed pricing reviews and need to be reviewed more frequently.
Inspectors who go to stores and check prices often see few employees, said Joseph Harris, chief inspector of weights and measures at the Montgomery County Accounting Office.
“There are somewhere between two and three employees, and these employees are responsible for calling each customer, as well as putting stock from the back, and also changing shelves and changing prices,” he said. “Therefore, the situation that we observe is connected with a shortage of personnel. But that doesn’t justify the fact that prices for buyers are inflated the wrong way.”
The Dayton Daily News escorted the auditor’s office to a recent audit at the Dollar General store on South Dixie Drive in Kettering. The store manager did not allow the newspaper to observe the process in the store, but watched the inspectors standing in line and informing the manager about the inspection and the need for a scanner.
Harris said inspectors take a scanner and scan randomly selected items to make sure the price on the shelf matches the price on the scanner. Inspectors typically scan between 50 and 200 items, depending on store size, and at least 98% of scanned items must be correct in order to pass inspection, he said.
When inspectors came to Kettering’s store on November 4 to check prices, the store malfunctioned. According to the detailed price check report, the scanned price of the mop was $1 more than the shelf price, the foam cups were 60 cents more expensive, the laundry detergent and paper plates were 50 cents more than the shelf price, and the cake mix and dog treats were more expensive. scanned 20 cents more than the listed price.
When the inspectors returned on November 22 to re-inspect, the store passed without error, records show.
According to Harris, the auditing department checks prices every year at various retail stores, and also checks gas pumps and scales at grocery stores throughout the county.
“We’re only here for fairness in the marketplace,” Harris said. “We’re here to help the seller and we’re here to help the buyer.”
Green County Auditor David Graham said his office had received complaints about prices at local dollar stores, but had made multiple inspections and every store passed. He urged buyers to be careful when purchasing goods and to hold the store accountable in case of discrepancy.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost this month announced lawsuits against Dollar General of Tennessee and Family Dollar of Virginia for allegedly charging customers for fees other than those listed in the catalog. Yost says his office has received complaints about pricing problems in several Ohio counties.
Yost’s office said these stores often cater to low- and lower-middle-income areas.
“We’re not only looking for compensation, but we’re asking for a court order so they stop doing it and put in proper controls so that the price you see on the shelf is the price they charge at the checkout.” – Yost. said. “I am optimistic that we have a good cause and we will get justice.”
The lawsuits were filed in the Butler County General Court.
Montgomery County Price Check:
The Montgomery County Auditor’s office inspects retailers to make sure the price on the shelf matches the price at the checkout. Below is a summary of these reviews for 2017.
2022 – 382 shops checked, 43 refused*
2021 – 357 stores tested, 8 failed
2020 – 132 stores tested, 4 failed
2019 – 391 stores checked, 30 failed
2018 – 374 shops checked, 8 failed
2017 – 313 stores tested, 5 failed
* Until November 23, 2022
Source: Montgomery County Accounting Office.