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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, OCT. 10, 2008

CONTACT:

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

Seven N.C. 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 Burlington, Erwin, Lincolnton, Pembroke, Raleigh, Rocky Mount and Wilkesboro 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 stores paid civil penalties after two inspections:

  • Erwin IGA #885 at 801 South 13th St., Erwin, paid $750 in civil penalties after two random inspections turned up excessive price-scanner errors. An initial inspection in April revealed an error rate of 6 percent based on six overcharges in a random lot of 100 items. A follow-up inspection in June found an error rate of 4 percent based on 12 scanning errors in a lot of 300 items.
  • Fred’s #2193 at 1585 North Aspen St., Lincolnton, paid $1,800 for excessive price-scanning errors during two inspections. The first inspection in May found an error rate of 10 percent, based on five overcharges out of an inspection lot of 50 items. In June, a follow-up inspection found an error rate of 5 percent, based on 15 overcharges from an inspection lot of 300 randomly selected items.
  • Advance Auto Parts #8067 at 7982 N.C. Highway 711, Pembroke, paid $1,785 for excessive price-scanning errors during two inspections. The first inspection in May found an error rate of 6 percent, based on three overcharges out of an inspection lot of 50 items. In July, a follow-up inspection found an error rate of 6.33 percent, based on 19 overcharges from an inspection lot of

300 randomly selected items.

  • Super K-Mart #4955 at 4300 Fayetteville Road, Raleigh, paid $1,200 for excessive price-scanning errors during two inspections. The first inspection in August found an error rate of 4 percent, based on four overcharges out of an inspection lot of 100 items. In September, a follow-up inspection found an error rate of 3 percent, based on nine overcharges from an inspection lot of 300 randomly selected items.
  • Lowes Food #139 at 1828 Winkler St., Wilkesboro, paid $1,125 in civil penalties after two random inspections turned up excessive price-scanner errors. An initial inspection in February revealed an error rate of 10 percent based on five overcharges in a random lot of 100 items. A follow-up inspection in April 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:

  • Super K-Mart #4961 at 529 Huffman Mill Road, Burlington, paid $1,770 for excessive price-scanning errors found during three inspections. The first inspection in April found an error rate of 6 percent, based on six overcharges out of an inspection lot of 100 items. In May, a follow-up inspection found an error rate of 5 percent, based on 15 overcharges from an inspection lot of 300 randomly selected items. A third inspection in July turned up a 4 percent error rate based on an inspection lot of 300 randomly selected items. Super K-Mart¬† #4961 paid a $1,200 civil penalty following the second failed inspection.

The following store paid its third penalty for excessive price-scanner errors:

  • K-Mart #4716 at 720 Sutter’s Creek Blvd., Rocky Mount, paid $3,705 in civil penalties after a fourth inspection turned up a 3.67 percent error rate based on 11 overcharges from a lot of 300 items. An initial inspection in September 2007 found an error rate of 5 percent based in an inspection lot of 50 randomly selected items. Follow-up inspections in October 2007 and in February found error rates of 4 percent and 4.67 percent, respectively. K-Mart #4716 previously paid a fine of $1,290 in December and a fine of $2,006 in May.

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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