FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, DEC. 9, 2008
||Stephen Benjamin, director
NCDA&CS Standards Division
Six 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 Fayetteville, Greenville, Indian Trail, Maysville and Rocky Mount 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.
Following are stores that paid civil penalties after two inspections:
- Dollar General #7476 at 1202 N. Memorial Drive, Greenville, paid $4,515 in civil penalties after two inspections found excessive price-scanning errors. An inspection in June revealed a 6 percent error rate, based on three overcharges in a lot of 50 randomly selected items. An inspection in July found 29 overcharges out of 300 items, an error rate of 9.67 percent.
- CVS #1742 at 2901 Wesley Chapel Road, Indian Trail, paid $945 in civil penalties after inspectors found excessive price-scanner errors on two separate occasions. An initial inspection in September revealed an error rate of 5 percent, based on five overcharges from a lot of 100 randomly selected items. A second inspection in October revealed an error rate of 4 percent from 12 overcharges in a lot of 300 items.
- Dollar General #9300 at 1006 Main St., Maysville, paid $1,095 in civil penalties after two inspections found excessive price-scanning errors. An NCDA&CS inspector found an initial error rate of 6 percent in September, based on three overcharge errors in an inspection lot of 50 items. A follow-up inspection in October found an error rate of 2.67 percent, based on eight overcharges out of 300 items.
- Advance Auto Parts #04970 at 1917 Sunset Ave., Rocky Mount, paid $1,110 in civil penalties after two inspections found excessive price-scanning errors. An inspection in August revealed a 6 percent error rate, based on three overcharges in a lot of 50 randomly selected items. An inspection in October found 10 overcharges out of 300 items, an error rate of 3.33 percent.
The stores listed below previously paid penalties for excessive price-scanner errors. This is each store’s third failed inspection.
- Advance Auto Parts #4300 at 5015 Santa Fe Drive, Fayetteville, paid $815 in civil penalties after a third inspection found excessive price-scanning errors. The company previously paid a penalty of $615 in May after failing two inspections. Inspectors found an error rate of 2.67 percent based on eight overcharges out of a lot of 300 items during a third inspection in July. Previous inspections found error rates of 2.3 and 5 percent.
- Rite Aid #11501 at 103 Country Club Drive, Fayetteville, paid $1,070 for excessive price-scanning errors. The company previously paid a penalty of $1,245 in April after two failed inspections. During a third visit in July, inspectors found an error rate of 3 percent based on nine overcharged items out of a lot of 300. The initial error rate was 6 percent in March, followed by an error rate of 5.3 in April.
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.