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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, JULY 14, 2008

CONTACT:

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

Six 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 Charlotte, Fayetteville, Swansboro and Winston-Salem for excessive price-scanning errors.

“We constantly have inspectors 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. “In addition to routine inspections, our Standards Division will follow up on consumer complaints. 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:

  • Wal-Mart #1666 at 3204 Eastway Drive, Charlotte, paid 1,575 in civil penalties after two random inspections turned up excessive price-scanner errors. An initial inspection in April revealed and error rate of 6 percent based on six overcharges in a random lot of 100 items. A follow-up inspection in June found an error rate of 4 percent based on 12 scanning errors in a lot of 300 items.
  • Rite Aid #3558 at 103 Country Club Drive, Fayetteville, paid $1,245 for excessive price-scanning errors during two inspections. The first inspection in March found an error rate of 6 percent, based on three overcharges out of an inspection lot of 50 items. In April, a follow-up inspection found an error rate of 5.3 percent, based on 16 overcharges from an inspection lot of 300 randomly selected items.
  • Advance Auto Parts #4300 at 5015 Sante Fe Drive, Fayetteville, paid $615 for excessive price-scanning errors during two inspections. The first inspection in March found an error rate of 10 percent, based on five overcharges out of an inspection lot of 50 items. In May, a follow-up inspection found an error rate of 2.3 percent, based on seven overcharges from an inspection lot of 300 randomly selected items.
  • Target #1077 at 5420 University Parkway, Winston-Salem, paid $1,335 for excessive price-scanning errors during two inspections. The first inspection in March 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 2.67 percent, based on 8 overcharges from an inspection lot of 300 randomly selected items.

The stores listed below are paying a second penalty for excessive price-scanner errors:

  • CVS #0187 at 14125 Steele Creek Road, Charlotte, paid $2,660 for excessive price-scanning errors found during three inspections. The first inspection in January found an error rate of 4 percent, based on 4 overcharges out of an inspection lot of 100 items. In May, a follow-up inspection found an error rate of 7.67 percent, based on 23 overcharges from an inspection lot of 300 randomly selected items. A third inspection in May turned up a 3.33 percent error rate based on an inspection lot of 300 randomly selected items. CVS #0187 paid a $2,175 civil penalty following the second failed inspection.
  • Dollar General #869 at 1413 West Corbett Ave., Swansboro, paid $3,890 in civil penalties after excessive price scanning errors were found during three separate inspections.¬† The first inspection in November 2007 found an error rate of 14 percent based on seven overcharges in an inspection lot of 50 randomly selected items. A follow-up inspection found a 4 percent error rate based on 12 overcharges from an inspection lot of 300 items. A third inspection in March revealed a 6.66 percent error rate based on 20 overcharges from a lot of 300 items. Dollar General #869 previously paid $1,650 for excessive price-scanner errors.

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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