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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, AUG. 15, 2008

CONTACT:

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

Two Raleigh stores pay fines for price-scanning errors

RALEIGH - The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Standards Division recently collected fines from two stores in Raleigh for excessive price-scanning errors. For one store, K-Mart #3442 at 6200 Capital Blvd., the latest penalty marked the seventh time the store had been fined for excessive price-scanner errors. The store has since passed a follow-up inspection.

“As prices for most items continue to rise, consumers are more concerned than ever with getting what they pay for,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Our Standards inspectors remain focused on ensuring the accuracy of price scanners, scales and other measurement tools of commerce. Our goal is to ensure fairness for consumers and retailers. 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 #3442 at 6200 Capital Blvd., paid $3,555 in civil penalties for excessive price-scanning errors found as a result of an eighth failed inspection. That inspection in May revealed a 2.67 percent error rate on eight overcharges from a lot of 300 items.

Previous inspections found a 4.67 percent error rate in March, a 7 percent error rate in January, a 6.67 percent error rate in October 2007, a 5.67 error rate in August 2007, a 3.33 percent error rate in June 2007, a 4.66 percent error rate in March 2007 and a 12 percent error rate in February 2007.

K-Mart #3442 had already paid civil penalties totaling $20,700.

Standards staff has met with local and regional K-Mart managers to discuss the findings and ways the store can work to reduce pricing errors. Following those meetings, K-Mart #3442 was re-inspected for a ninth time and passed the inspection.

In another case, Rite Aid # 11387 at 2850 Capital Blvd., Raleigh, paid $1,490 in civil penalties after inspectors found excessive price-scanner errors during a third store inspection in May. At that time, inspectors found a 3 percent error rate based on nine overcharge items from an inspection lot of 300. In January, an error rate of 7 percent was found based on seven overcharges in a random lot of 100 items. A follow-up inspection in March found an error rate of 5 percent based on 15 overcharges in a lot of 300 items. Rite Aid #11387 previously paid a $1,680 civil penalty for the overcharge errors.

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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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