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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, MAY 14, 2008

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

Rocky Mount store pays second fine for price-scanning errors

RALEIGH - The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Standards Division recently collected fines from a store in 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.

K-Mart #4716 at 720 Sutter’s Creek Blvd., Rocky Mount, paid $2,006 in civil penalties after a third inspection in February found an error rate of 4 percent, based on 12 overcharges in an inspection lot of 300 items. The store previously paid a $1,290 penalty in December following two inspections with excessive price-scanner errors.

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.

The 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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