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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2007


Contact: Stephen Benjamin, director
NCDA&CS Standards Division
(919) 733-3313

Stores pay fines for price-scanning errors

RALEIGH - The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Standards Division recently collected fines from six stores in North Carolina for excessive price-scanning errors. Civil penalties were assessed against stores in Fayetteville, Roseboro, Smithfield, Raleigh and Apex.

"We constantly have inspectors monitoring the accuracy of price-scanning systems in retail stores throughout the state. These inspections ensure fairness in business transactions for consumers and retailers," said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. "In addition to routine inspections, our Standards Division responds to price-scanner errors reported by consumers. The division can be contacted at (919) 733-3313 with reports and complaints."

The NCDA&CS Standards Division conducts periodic, unannounced inspections of a business' price-scanner system to check for accuracy between the prices advertised and the prices that ring up at the register. If a store has more than a 2 percent error rate on overcharges, inspectors discuss the findings with the store manager and conduct a more intensive follow-up inspection at a later date. Penalties are assessed if a store fails the follow-up inspection.

  • Napa Auto Parts Store #928 at 1009 Hope Mills Road, Fayetteville, paid $825 in civil penalties after Standards Division inspectors found price-scanner errors during two separate inspections. An initial inspection in February found an error rate of 16 percent based on eight overcharges from an inspection lot of 50 randomly selected items. A follow-up inspection in March found 23 errors from 300 items, an error rate of 7.66 percent.

  • Piggly Wiggly #31 at 315 N.C. 24, Roseboro, paid $1,155 in civil penalties after two inspections found price-scanning errors. During an initial inspection in January, an error rate of 10 percent was found based on five overcharges from an inspection lot of 50 randomly selected items. A follow-up inspection in March found an error rate of 5 percent based on 15 overcharges out of 300 items.

  • Walgreen Pharmacy #9434 of 424 North Brightleaf Blvd., Smithfield, paid $510 in civil penalties after Standards Division inspectors found price-scanning errors on two occasions. An initial inspection in January found an error rate of 6 percent based on three overcharges from an inspection lot of 50 items. A follow-up inspection in March found 8 overcharges from an inspection lot of 300 randomly selected items, an error rate of 2.67 percent.

  • The Standards Division collected a $465 civil penalty from Eckerd Pharmacy #8596 at 1601-51 Cross Link Road, Raleigh, after inspectors found price-scanner errors during two inspections. The initial inspection in March found an error rate of 16 percent based on eight overcharges from an inspection lot of 50 randomly selected items. A follow-up inspection in April found seven errors from 300 items, an error rate of 2.33 percent.

  • The Market Basket #101 of 150 Liledon Road, Taylorsville, paid $960 after a February inspection found three overcharges from an inspection lot of 50 items, a 6 percent error rate. A follow-up inspection in March found nine errors from a lot of 300 items, an error rate of 3 percent.

  • Eckerd Pharmacy #8938 of 744 Hunter St., Apex, paid $615 in civil penalties after inspectors found price-scanner errors during two inspections. The initial inspection in February found an error rate of 7 percent based on seven overcharge errors from a random selection of 100 items. A follow-up investigation in April revealed an error rate of 3 percent based on nine errors from a lot of 300 items.

  • Each store could have been assessed a civil penalty of up to $5,000 for each violation under the Weights and Measures Act of 1975. Money collected from civil penalties is distributed to school systems statewide.

    -erb-

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    NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
    Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
    Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
    Phone: (919) 707-3001; FAX: (919) 733-5047