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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, AUG. 15, 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, Charlotte, Denver, Rocky Mount, Sanford, Swansboro and Winston-Salem for excessive price-scanning errors.

“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. The following are stores that paid civil penalties after two inspections:

  • Super K-Mart #4961 at 529 Huffman Mill Road, Burlington, paid $1,200 in civil penalties for excessive price-scanning errors found during two inspections. Inspectors found an error rate of 6 percent during an inspection in April in which six out of 100 randomly selected items were overpriced. A follow-up inspection in May found an error rate of 5 percent, based on 15 errors out of 300 scanned items.
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts at 4700-A North Tryon St., Charlotte, paid $4,155 for excessive price-scanning errors during two inspections. The first inspection in April found an error rate of 8 percent, based on four overcharges out of an inspection lot of 100 items. In May, 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.
  • Rite Aid #11440 at 108 South Highway 16, Denver, paid $2,355 after excessive price-scanning errors were found during two inspections. The first inspection in April found an error rate of 18 percent, based on nine overcharges out of an inspection lot of 50 items. In June, a follow-up inspection found an error rate of 7 percent, based on 21 overcharges from an inspection lot of 300 randomly selected items.
  • K-Mart #7254 at 2515 South Horner Ave., Sanford, paid $1,125 for excessive price-scanning errors during two inspections. The first inspection in January 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 5.66 percent, based on 17 overcharges from an inspection lot of 300 randomly selected items.
  • Advance Auto Parts #4141 at 4917 Country Club Road, Winston-Salem, paid $1,095 in civil penalties for excessive price-scanning errors found during two inspections. Inspectors found an error rate of 6 percent during an inspection in April in which three out of 100 randomly selected items were overpriced. A follow-up inspection in June found an error rate of 3 percent, based on nine errors out of 300 scanned items.

The stores listed below previously paid penalties after failing follow-up inspections because of continued price-scanner errors.

  • K-Mart # 4716 at 729 Sutter’s Creek Blvd., Rocky Mount, paid $1,897 in civil penalties after inspectors found excessive price-scanner errors during a fourth store inspection. An inspection in June found an error rate of 3.67 percent, based on 11 overcharges in a random lot of 300 items. Previous inspections found a 5 percent error rate in September, a 4 percent error rate in October and a 4.67 percent error rate in February. K-Mart #4716 has paid penalties of $1,290 and $2,675 for failed inspections.
  • Dollar General #869 of 1413 West Corbett Ave., Swansboro, paid $2,965 in civil penalties after inspectors found excessive price-scanner errors during a fourth store inspection. A follow-up June inspection found an error rate of 5 percent based on 15 overcharges from an inspection lot of 300 randomly selected items. Previous inspections found a 14 percent inspection rate in November, a 4 percent error rate in January and a 6.66 percent error rate in March. Dollar General #869 has paid penalties of $1,650 and $3,890 for failed inspections.

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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