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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, DEC. 9, 2008

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

Three Charlotte stores pay fines for price-scanning errors

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

“Our Standards Division inspectors are constantly 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. “Customers with complaints about the accuracy of price scanners can contact the division 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. Additional penalties may be assessed if the store fails a re-inspection.

            The following store paid a civil penalty after two inspections:

  • Super Target #2080 at 9841 Northlake Center Parkway, Charlotte, paid $1,725 in civil penalties after two inspections found excessive price-scanning errors. An NCDA&CS inspector found an initial error rate of 5 percent in September, based on five overcharge errors in an inspection lot of 100 items. A follow-up inspection in October found an error rate of 3.33 percent, based on 10 overcharges out of 300 items selected.

The stores listed below paid additional penalties after multiple inspections turned up excessive price-scanner errors:

  • O’Reilly Auto Parts of 4700-A N. Tryon St., Charlotte, paid $1,865 after a third inspection in August turned up a 5 percent error rate based on 15 overcharges. The store previously paid $4,155 in May after failing two inspections with error rates of 8 and 6.33 percent. 
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts of 3121 N. Sharon Amity Road, Charlotte, paid $2,920 after the store failed a fourth inspection. The company previously paid $1,560 in May and $1,000 in July after failing to pass second and third inspections. An inspection in September revealed a 6.67 percent error rate based on 20 overcharges in an inspection lot of 300 items. The initial error rate in March was 14 percent, followed by error rates of 12.33 percent in May and 7 percent in July.

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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Steve Troxler, Commissioner of Agriculture

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