Two local stores pay fines for price scanning errors

Published 11:59 am Thursday, January 4, 2024

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RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Standards Division has collected fines from 18 stores in 12 counties because of excessive price-scanner errors.

Two of the stores are located in Hertford County.

“Our Standards Division remained diligent in its effort to protect consumers across our state in 2023,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Inspectors continued to find significant numbers of price scanner errors at stores across the state, which serves as a reminder that consumers should check their receipts and notify store managers if they see an error.”

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% 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.

Consumers who would like to file a complaint about scanner errors they encounter, can call the Standards Division at 984-236-4750.

Penalties are assessed if a store fails a follow-up inspection. In addition to the penalties paid, the store will be subject to reinspection every 60 days from the last inspection until it meets the 2%-or-less error rate. Additional penalties may be assessed if a store fails reinspection.

Following are civil penalties recorded in the fourth quarter of 2023 against two stores in Hertford County:

Family Dollar at 1216 East Memorial Drive, Ahoskie paid $15,000 in penalties. The store failed eight inspections between August 2022 and August 2023. A follow-up inspection in October found an error rate of 14.67% based on 44 overcharges in a 300-item lot. The store paid $15,000 in penalties in October. It still has a balance of $5,000 due from the failed inspection in October.

Family Dollar at 849 West Main St., Murfreesboro paid $5,000 in penalties. The store failed inspections in June and July. A follow-up inspection in October found an error rate of 14.67% based on 44 overcharges in a 300-item lot. The store passed a follow-up inspection in September and paid its penalty in October.