Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost recently sued two retail chains over their pricing practices. Specifically, the AG sued them for advertising one price on the shelves, but then charging a higher price at the register.
At the beginning of November, the Ohio AG sued Dollar General, alleging that "the price that is charged to the consumer is different than the price advertised on the shelf," in violation of Ohio's consumer protection laws. The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief, restitution, and civil penalties. In announcing the lawsuit, AG Yost said, "This is appalling behavior and should be answered for in a court of law."
A week later, the AG sued Family Dollar, based on similar allegations. In announcing this case, AG Yost said, "We're looking not just for reimbursement, but we want a court order to make them stop doing this and to put adequate controls in place so that the price you see on the shelf is the price that they charge at the register."
While these cases aren't breaking any new legal ground, they're a good reminder that retailers need to to have proper procedures in place to ensure that the prices that they are advertising in-store and on-shelf match up with the prices that are actually charged by the store's point-of-sale system. How do you know if you're doing it right? Conduct regular audits -- and keep records to show that you're staying on top of it and correcting problems when you find them.
"This is appalling behavior and should be answered for in a court of law" -- Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost