FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, OCT. 10, 2008
Stephen Benjamin, director
NCDA&CS Standards Division
Two Winston-Salem stores pay fines for price-scanning errors
RALEIGH - The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Standards Division recently collected fines from two Winston-Salem stores 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. The following store paid civil penalties after two inspections:
- CVS #5595 at 550 Martin Luther Drive, Winston-Salem, paid $1,155 in civil penalties after two random inspections turned up excessive price-scanner errors. An initial inspection in May revealed an error rate of 8 percent based on four overcharges in a random lot of 50 items. A follow-up inspection in July found an error rate of 3.33 percent based on 10 scanning errors in a lot of 300 items.
The store listed below is paying a second penalty for excessive price-scanner errors:
- Target #1077 at 5420 University Parkway, Winston-Salem, paid $1,505 after an inspection in August turned up a 2.67 percent error rate based on eight overcharges from an inspection lot of 300 items. An initial inspection in March found an error rate of 8 percent, based on four overcharges out of an inspection lot of 50 items. In May, a follow-up inspection found an error rate of 2.67 percent, based on eight overcharges from an inspection lot of 300 randomly selected items. Target #1077 paid a $1,335 civil penalty following the second failed inspection.
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.