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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, JAN. 11, 2008

CONTACT:

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

Eight 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 Charlotte, Madison, Monroe, Raleigh and Rocky Mount for excessive price-scanning errors.

“We constantly have inspectors monitoring the accuracy of price-scanning systems in retail stores throughout the state to ensure fairness in business transactions for consumers and retailers,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “In addition to routine inspections, our Standards Division will follow up on consumer complaints. The division can be contacted at (919) 733-3313.”

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. Undercharges are also reported, but do not count against a store.

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 rate.

Following are stores that paid civil penalties after two inspections:

  • Pep Boys #94 at 4837 N. Tryon St., Charlotte, paid $2,010 in civil penalties after two inspections found excessive price-scanning errors. An NCDA&CS inspector found an initial error rate of 6 percent in October, based on three overcharge errors in an inspection lot of 50 items. A follow-up inspection in December found an error rate of 4.33 percent based on 13 overcharges out of 300 items selected.
  • Wal-Mart #877 at 2406 Roosevelt Blvd., Monroe, paid $5,000 in civil penalties after two inspections found excessive price-scanning errors. An inspection in October revealed a 4 percent error rate based on four overcharges in a lot of 100 randomly selected items. An inspection in November found nine overcharges out of 300 items, an error rate of 3 percent.
  • K-Mart #3442 at 6200 Capital Blvd., Raleigh, paid $1,537.50 for excessive price-scanning errors during two inspections. The first inspection in February found an error rate of 12 percent, based on 12 overcharges out of an inspection lot of 100 items. In March, a follow-up inspection found an error rate of 4.66 percent, based on 14 overcharges from an inspection lot of 300 randomly selected items.
  • K-Mart #4450 at 4500 Western Blvd., Raleigh, paid $2,595 for excessive price-scanning errors during two inspections. The first inspection in August found an error rate of 7 percent, based on seven overcharges out of an inspection lot of 100 items. In October, a follow-up inspection found an error rate of 10.67 percent, based on 32 overcharges from an inspection lot of 300 randomly selected items.
  • K-Mart #4716 at 720 Sutter’s Creek Blvd., Raleigh, paid $1,290 in civil penalties for excessive price-scanning errors found during two inspections. Inspectors found an error rate of 5 percent during an inspection in September in which five out of 100 randomly selected items were overpriced. A follow-up inspection in October found an error rate of 4 percent based on 12 errors out of 300 scanned items.
  • Office Depot #2237 at 1321 Cobb Corner Drive, Rocky Mount, paid $1,215 in civil penalties after two inspections turned up excessive price-scanning errors. An inspection in September found an error rate of 12 percent based on six overcharges in a lot of 50 items. An October inspection revealed an error rate of 3.33 percent, based on 10 overcharges in lot of 300 randomly selected items.

The stores listed below previously paid penalties after two inspections turned up excessive price-scanner errors. The penalties listed below are the second for the stores, and come after the businesses failed a third inspection.

  • Pep Boys #132 at 5020 South Blvd., Charlotte, paid $1,415 in civil penalties after three inspections turned up excessive price-scanning errors. An inspection in July found an error rate of 14 percent based on seven overcharges in a lot of 50 items. A September inspection revealed an error rate of 10.33 percent, based on 31 overcharges in lot of 300 randomly selected items. A third inspection in November found an error rate of 3 percent based on nine overcharges from an inspection lot of 300 items.
  • Big K-Mart #4757 at 102 New Market, Madison, paid $1,300 in civil penalties for excessive price-scanning errors found during three inspections. Inspectors found an error rate of 5 percent during an inspection in June in which five out of 100 randomly selected items were overpriced. A follow-up inspection in August found an error rate of 5.33 percent based on 16 errors out of 300 scanned items. A third inspection in November found an error rate of 4.33 percent based on 13 overcharges in 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.

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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) 733-4216; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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