Local stores pay fines for scan errors
Published 5:05 pm Tuesday, February 14, 2023
RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Standards Division has collected fines from 52 stores in 33 counties because of excessive price-scanner errors.
“Our Standards Division continues to see about a quarter of all price scanner inspections fail and many stores are failing multiple inspections,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Overcharges cost consumers so we remain vigilant in inspecting stores in order to protect consumers. Remember it is always a good practice to check your receipt as well as the price on the shelf to make sure you are paying the correct amount and alert managers if the prices don’t match.”
The department conducts periodic, unannounced inspections of price-scanner systems in businesses 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 later. Undercharges are also reported, but do not count against a store.
Penalties are assessed if a store fails a 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 error rate. Additional penalties may be assessed if a store fails a reinspection.
Following are civil penalties recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022 at three stores located in the Roanoke-Chowan area:
Family Dollar at 114 South Commerce St., Aulander paid $10,000 in fines. An initial inspection in August 2022 found an error rate of 14 percent based on seven overcharges in a 50-item lot. The store has failed follow-up inspections in September and November and will be reinspected.
Family Dollar at 1307 South St., Windsor has paid $10,000 in fines. An initial inspection in August 2022 found an error rate of 32 percent based on 16 overcharges in a 50-item lot. The store has failed follow-up inspections in September and November and will be reinspected.
Family Dollar at 1216 East Memorial Drive, Ahoskie paid $10,000 in fines. An initial inspection in August found an error rate of 24 percent based on 12 overcharges in a 50-item lot. The failed two follow-up inspections in September and October. The store also failed a December inspection with an error rate of 31.67 percent based on 95 overcharges in a 300-item lot and was assessed an additional $5,000 fine.
Consumers who would like to file a complaint about scanner errors they encounter, can call the Standards Division at 984-236-4750.