FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, AUG. 24, 2009
Stephen Benjamin, director
NCDA&CS Standards Division
Three Charlotte stores pay fines for price-scanning errors
RALEIGH - The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Standards Division recently collected fines from three stores in Charlotte for excessive price-scanning errors.
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.
“With the economy, consumers are watching their purchases closely and looking for sales,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “By checking the accuracy of price-scanning systems in retail stores, we are helping to ensure that when shoppers get to the checkout counter, they get the advertised price. Consumers can contact our Standards Division at (919) 733-3313 to register a complaint.”
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.
Following are stores that paid civil penalties:
- Healthy Home Market at 5410 East Independence Blvd., Charlotte, paid $1,920 in civil penalties for excessive price-scanner errors. The first inspection in June found an error rate of 5 percent, based on five overcharges from 100 randomly selected items. A second inspection in July found an error rate of 4.67 percent based on 14 overcharges from a lot of 300 random items..
- Pep Boys #132 at 5020 South Boulevard, Charlotte, paid $5,000 in civil penalties for excessive price-scanning errors. In April, an inspection found an error rate of 12 percent based on six overcharges out of 50 randomly selected items. In May, the inspection found an error rate of 5.67 percent based on 17 overcharges out of 300 random items.
- Super Target #2080 at 9841 Northlake Center Parkway, Charlotte, paid $2,075 in civil penalties for excessive price-scanner errors. The first inspection in September 2008 found an error rate of 5 percent, based on five overcharges out of 100 randomly selected items. In October, a second inspection found an error rate of 3.33 percent based on 10 overcharges out of 300 randomly selected items. A third inspection in January 2009 found an error rate of 2.67 percent based on eight overcharge errors in a 300-item lot. Super Target #2080 paid a $1,725 fine in October following the second failed inspection.