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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2013

CONTACT:

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

Six stores fined for price-scanning errors

RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Standards Division has collected fines from stores in Charlotte, Delco, Elkin, Smithfield, Vanceboro and Winston-Salem 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.

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.

“Families are watching their budgets very closely in this economy,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “The department checks the accuracy of price-scanning systems in retail stores so that consumers can rest assured they are paying the advertised price at checkout. If consumers think they have been charged the wrong price, we encourage them to contact our Standards Division at 919-733-3313.”

Following are stores that paid civil penalties after failed inspections between December 2012 and March 2013:

  • Walgreens at 5040 Beatties Ford Road in Charlotte paid $1,745 in civil penalties for excessive price-scanner errors after three failed inspections. The first inspection in October found an error rate of 8 percent, and a second inspection in November found an error rate of 4 percent. A civil penalty of $1,365 was assessed and paid at that time. A third inspection in January found a 2.33 percent error rate. The store faces another inspection.
  • Dollar General at 60-5 Cronley Drive in Delco paid $2,955 in civil penalties for excessive price-scanner errors after five failed inspections. The store had an error rate of 6 percent at its first inspection in April 2012 and a 4.67-percent error rate at its second inspection in May, when it paid a fine of $1,440. A third inspection in August found a 3 percent error rate and a fourth inspection in October found an error rate of 2.33 percent. Civil penalties of $1,625 and $1,960, respectively, were assessed and paid for those violations. The fifth inspection in December found an error rate of 3.67 percent. The store passed a sixth inspection.

  • O’Reilly Auto Parts at 1557 N. Bridge St. in Elkin paid $555 in civil penalities for excessive price-scanner errors after two failed inspections. The first inspection in November found an error rate of 14 percent. In January, a second inspection found an error rate of 3.33 percent. The store passed a third inspection in March.

  • Advance Auto at 909 W. Market St. in Smithfield paid $2,950 in civil penalties for excessive price-scanner errors after four failed inspections. The first inspection in July found an error rate of 8 percent, and a second inspection in August found an error rate of 4.33 percent. At that time, a civil penalty of $810 was assessed and paid. A third inspection in November found an error rate of 2.67 percent, and a civil penalty of $1,355 was assessed and paid at that time. The fourth inspection, conducted in February, found a 3.67 percent error rate. The store faces another inspection.

  • Dollar General at 240 N.C. Hwy. 43 in Vanceboro paid $900 in civil penalties for excessive price-scanner errors after two failed inspections. The first inspection in October found an error rate of 8 percent. In December, a second inspection found an error rate of 2.33 percent. The store passed a third inspection.

  • Walmart at 4550 Kester Mill Road in Winston-Salem paid $3,630 in civil penalties for excessive price-scanner errors after two failed inspections. The first inspection in September found an error rate of 3 percent. An additional inspection in January found an error rate of 3.33 percent. The store faces another 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) 707-3001; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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Steve Troxler, Commissioner of Agriculture

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