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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, AUG. 9, 2007

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

Raleigh and Salisbury stores pay fines for price-scanning errors

RALEIGH - The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Standards Division recently collected fines from stores in Raleigh and Salisbury for excessive price-scanning errors.

“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.

  • K-Mart #3442 at 6200 Capital Blvd., Raleigh, paid $1,760 in civil penalties after a re-inspection in June found an error rate of 3.33 percent based on 10 scanner errors from a lot of 300 items. Previously, the store had paid a $3,075 fine for excessive errors during inspections in February and March. The store will be subject to re-inspection until it meets the 2-percent-or-less error rate.
  • Office Depot #547 at 715 East Innes St., Salisbury, paid $3,870 in civil penalties after two inspections found price-scanning errors. During an initial inspection in April, an error rate of 6 percent was found based on three overcharges from an inspection lot of 50 randomly selected items. A follow-up inspection in May found an error rate of 7.67 percent based on 23 overcharges out 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) 733-4216; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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Steve Troxler, Commissioner of Agriculture

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