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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, MAY 1, 2012

CONTACT:

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

Eleven Stores pay fines for price-scanning errors

RALEIGH - The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Standards Division has collected fines from stores in Aberdeen, Lillington, New Bern, Pembroke, Polkton, Raleigh, Selma, Wilmington and Wilson 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.

“Consumers are watching their purchases closely and looking for sales in today’s economy,” 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 in the end of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012 after failed inspections:

  • Dollar General #6396 at 1800 N.C. Highway 5, Aberdeen, paid $1,350 in civil penalties for excessive price-scanner errors. An initial inspection in January revealed an error rate of 4 percent, based on an inspection lot of 100 randomly selected items. A second inspection in February found an error rate of 3 percent, based on nine overcharges in a 300-item lot. The store was assessed and paid a civil penalty of $1,350. The store faces another inspection.
  • Dollar General #4351 at 1369 Sandhill Blvd., Aberdeen, paid $1,365 in civil penalties for excessive price-scanner errors. The first inspection in January found an error rate of 12 percent, based on six overcharges out of 50 randomly selected items. In February, a second inspection found an error rate of 3.33 percent based on 10 overcharges out of 300 randomly selected items. The store faces another inspection.¬†
  • Dollar General #1442 at 180 W. Cornelius Harnett Blvd., Lillington, paid $1,275 in civil penalties for excessive price-scanner errors. The first inspection in January revealed a 3 percent error rate, based on three overcharges in a 100-item lot. A second inspection found a 2.67 percent error rate, based on eight overcharges in a 300-item lot. The store faces another inspection.
  • Dollar General #4062 at 2666 Martin Luther King Blvd., New Bern, was assessed a total of $6,085 in civil penalties for excessive price-scanner errors. An initial inspection in December 2011 found an 8 percent error rate, based on four overcharges in a 50-item lot. A second inspection found a 13.67 percent error rate based on 41 overcharges from 300 randomly selected items. The store was assessed and paid a $5,000 civil penalty following the second failed inspection. An inspection in March found an error rate of 2.33 percent. A civil penalty of $1,085 was assessed, and the store faces another inspection.
  • Dollar General #4829 at 913 W. Third St., Pembroke, paid a total of $3,185 in civil penalties for excessive price-scanner errors. In December 2011, an inspection found an error rate of 6 percent, based on three overcharges out of 50 randomly selected items. In January, a follow-up inspection found an error rate of 3.67 percent, based on 11 overcharges out of 300 random items. At the time, the store was assessed and paid a civil penalty of $1,215. A third inspection in March found an error rate of 4.33 percent, based on 13 overcharges out of 300 random items. The store was assessed a second civil penalty of $1,970. The store faces another inspection.
  • Dollar General #10464 at 8049 U.S. Highway 74 W., Polkton, paid $1,305 in civil penalties for excessive price-scanner errors. The initial inspection in January found an error rate of 4 percent. A follow-up inspection found an error rate of 3.33 percent based on 10 overcharges from a 300-item lot. The store was assessed and paid a $1,305 civil penalty. The store faces another inspection.
  • K-Mart #4450 at 4500 Western Blvd., Raleigh, paid $870 in civil penalties for excessive price-scanner errors. An initial inspection in November 2011 revealed an error rate of 5 percent, based on an inspection lot of 100 randomly selected items. A second inspection in January found an error rate of 3 percent, based on nine overcharges in a 300-item lot. The store passed a third inspection in March.
  • Pep Boys #4 at 6806 Davis Circle, Raleigh, paid a total of $6,420 in civil penalties for excessive price scanner errors after four failed inspections. In September 2011, inspectors found a 14 percent error rate for seven overcharges out of a 50-item lot. A follow-up inspection found a 7 percent error rate. The store was assessed and paid a $1,170 civil penalty. In January, a third inspection revealed a 7 percent error rate, and the store was assessed a $2,225 civil penalty, which it paid. In March, the store failed a fourth inspection with a 4 percent error rate. It was assessed and paid a $3,025 civil penalty. The store faces another inspection.
  • Dollar General #8456 at 1130 S. Pollock St., Selma, paid a civil penalty of $2,335 for excessive price-scanner errors after a fourth failed inspection. In December 2011, inspectors on a fourth inspection of the store found a 3 percent error rate with nine overcharges in a 300-item lot. In February, the store passed its fifth inspection. Previous failed inspections were reported in a press release in 2011.
  • Advance Auto #6352 at 3805 Nash St. W., Wilson, paid a $930 civil penalty for excessive price scanner errors. In January, inspectors found a 10 percent error rate, based on five overcharges in a $50-item lot. A follow-up inspection in March revealed a 6.33 percent error rate based on 19 overcharges in a 300-item lot. The store faces another inspection.
  • Walgreens #9931 of 8290 Market St., Wilmington, paid a $1,365 civil penalty for excessive price scanner errors. In November 2011, inspectors found an 18 percent error rate on nine overcharges out of a 50-item lot. A follow-up inspection in January found a 5 percent error rate from a 300-item lot. The store passed its third inspection.

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) 707-3005; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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Steve Troxler, Commissioner of Agriculture

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