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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, JULY 6, 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 Charlotte, Fayetteville and Raleigh.

"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. In addition to the penalties paid, the store will be subject to re-inspection every 60 days from the last inspection until it meets the 2-percent-or-less overcharge rate.

  • Wal-Mart Supercenter #5481 at 9820 Callabridge Court, Charlotte, paid $3,600 in civil penalties after Standards Division inspectors found price-scanner errors during two separate inspections. An initial inspection in April found an error rate of 4 percent based on four overcharges from an inspection lot of 100 randomly selected items. A follow-up inspection in May found 11 errors from 300 items, an error rate of 3.66 percent.

  • Wal-Mart #1666 at 3204 Eastway Drive, Charlotte, paid $1,350 in civil penalties after two inspections found price-scanning errors. During an initial inspection in March, an error rate of 7 percent was found based on seven overcharges from an inspection lot of 100 randomly selected items. A follow-up inspection in May found an error rate of 3.33 percent based on 10 overcharges out of 300 items.

  • Wal-Mart Supercenter #3371 of 3240 Wilkerson Blvd., Charlotte, paid $1,620 in civil penalties after Standards Division inspectors found price-scanning errors on two occasions. An initial inspection in April found an error rate of 7 percent based on seven overcharges from an inspection lot of 100 items. A follow-up inspection in May found 10 overcharges from an inspection lot of 300 randomly selected items, an error rate of 3.33 percent.

  • The Standards Division collected a $705 civil penalty from Advance Auto Parts #4126 at 2400 Owen Drive, Fayetteville, after inspectors found price-scanner errors during two inspections. The initial inspection in April found an error rate of 6 percent based on three overcharges from an inspection lot of 50 randomly selected items. A follow-up inspection in May found 15 errors from 300 items, an error rate of 5 percent.

  • Wal-Mart Supercenter #5292 of 2431 New Bern Ave., Raleigh, paid $1,515 after an April inspection found four overcharges from an inspection lot of 100 items, a 4 percent error rate. A follow-up inspection in June found 15 errors from a lot of 300 items, an error rate of 5 percent.

  • K-Mart #3442 of 6200 Capital Blvd., Raleigh, paid $1,537.50 in civil penalties after inspectors found price-scanner errors during two inspections. The initial inspection in February found an error rate of 12 percent based on 12 overcharge errors from a random selection of 100 items. A follow-up investigation in March revealed an error rate of 4.66 percent based on 14 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-

 

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