FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, OCT. 10, 2008
Stephen Benjamin, director
NCDA&CS Standards Division
Two Charlotte stores pay second fine for price-scanning errors
RALEIGH - The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Standards Division recently collected a second fine from two stores in Charlotte 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. Additional penalties may be assessed if the store fails a re-inspection.
The following stores are paying second fines after third inspections turned up excessive price-scanner errors:
- O’Reilly Auto Parts at 3121 North Sharon Amity Road, Charlotte, paid $1,000 in civil penalties after an NCDA&CS inspector found an error rate of 7 percent in July, based on 21 overcharge scanning errors from an inspection lot of 300 items. The store previously paid a $1,560 fine after an initial error rate of 6 percent was found in February and a 2.67 percent error rate was discovered in April.
- Wal-Mart #1666 at 3204 Eastway Drive, Charlotte, paid $1,985 in civil penalties after an inspection in August revealed a 4 percent error rate, based on 12 overcharge errors from an inspection lot of 300 items. A previous inspection in June found an error rate of 4 percent from 300 items, and an error rate of 6 percent in April from a lot of 100 items.
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.