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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, JAN. 26, 2009

CONTACT:

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

Three 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 Charlotte, Greensboro and Durham 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. Additional penalties may be assessed if the store fails a re-inspection.

            Following are stores that paid civil penalties after two inspections:

  • Rite Aid #11475 at 820 Park Road, Charlotte, paid $600 in civil penalties after two inspections found excessive price-scanning errors. An inspection in October revealed a 6 percent error rate, based on three overcharges in a lot of 50 randomly selected items. An inspection in November found eight overcharges out of 300 items, an error rate of 2.67 percent.
  • Target #1180 at 2701 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro, paid $645 in civil penalties after inspectors found excessive price-scanner errors on two separate occasions. An initial inspection in October revealed an error rate of 4 percent, based on four overcharges from a lot of 100 randomly selected items. A second inspection in November revealed an error rate of 2.67 percent from eight overcharges in a lot of 300 items.

The store listed below previously paid a penalty for excessive price-scanner errors. This is the store’s third failed inspection.

  • CVS #7042 at 2010 Sedwick Drive, Durham, paid $1,595 in civil penalties after a third inspection found excessive price-scanning errors. The company previously paid a penalty of $915 in September after failing two inspections. Inspectors found an error rate of 4 percent based on 12 overcharges out of a lot of 300 items during a third inspection in November. Previous inspections found error rates of 8 and 3.67 percent.

            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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