Missouri AG Andrew Bailey sues Dollar General, accusing retail chain of deceptive prices

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey on Wednesday filed suit against Dollar General for deceptive and unfair pricing in its stores across the state.

The lawsuit, filed in St. Louis court, alleges that the retail chain violated Missouri’s consumer protection laws by advertising one price on the shelf and then charging a higher price at the register.

“Candles, toilet paper, lip balm, lemonade, tire foam and drink coolers all have one thing in common at Dollar General stores across the state of Missouri: the prices charged at the point of sale are frequently higher than the prices listed on the shelf,” the complaint states.

Bailey’s lawsuit seeks an injunction, full restitution and civil penalties. The Republican attorney general in a statement Wednesday vowed to obtain “full restitution for all affected.”

“Prices are at an all-time high; the last thing Missourians need is to feel the brunt of Dollar General’s scheme,” he said in the statement.

A spokesperson for Dollar General, which is based in Tennessee, said in a statement Wednesday that the company was “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.”

“When a pricing discrepancy is identified, our store teams are empowered to correct the matter on the spot for our customers,” the statement said. “We typically do not comment on pending litigation.”

The lawsuit comes after an investigation Bailey’s office conducted with the Missouri Department of Agriculture. The investigation, according to Bailey’s office, found that 92 of the 147 investigated locations failed inspections. Price discrepancies were as much as $6.50 per item with an average overcharge of $2.71, his office said.

“Ensuring price verification and accuracy is one of the key components of the Missouri Department of Agriculture,” Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Chris Chinn said in a statement, applauding Bailey for working with the department’s Weights and Measures Division.