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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, DEC. 9, 2008

CONTACT:

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

Four 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 Cary, Durham and Raleigh 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.

The following stores paid civil penalties after two failed inspections:

  • Rite Aid #11361 at 103-B New Waverly Place, Cary, paid $585 for excessive price-scanning errors during two inspections. The first inspection in June found an error rate of 7 percent, based on seven overcharges out of an inspection lot of 100 items. In July, a follow-up inspection found an error rate of 3 percent, based on nine overcharges from an inspection lot of 300 randomly selected items.
  • CVS #7042 at 2010 Sedwick Drive, Durham, paid $915 in civil penalties for excessive price-scanning errors found during two inspections. Inspectors found an error rate of 8 percent during an inspection in July in which four out of 50 randomly selected items were overpriced. A follow-up inspection in September found an error rate of 3.67 percent, based on 11 errors out of 300 scanned items.
  • Rite Aid # 8555 at 3798 Guess Road, Durham, paid $555 in civil penalties after inspectors found excessive price-scanner errors during routine visits. An inspection in June found an error rate of 6 percent, based on three overcharges in a random lot of 50 items. A follow-up inspection in July found an error rate of 3 percent based on nine overcharges in a lot of 300 items.

The store listed below previously paid a penalty after a third inspection turned up excessive price-scanner errors. The penalty listed below is the second for the store.

  • Rite Aid #11387 at 2850 Capital Blvd., Raleigh, paid $1,490 for excessive price-scanning errors. NCDA&CS conducted a third inspection in May and inspectors found a 3 percent error rate, based on nine overcharges from an inspection lot of 300 items. An inspection in January found an error rate of 7 percent, based on seven overcharges out of a lot of 100 items. In March, a follow-up inspection found an error rate of 5 percent, based on 15 overcharges from an inspection lot of 300 randomly selected items. The store paid a $1,680 penalty for the second violation.

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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