Local store pays fine for price scanning errors

Published 5:03 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Standards Division has collected fines from 14 stores across the state for price scanning errors.

One of the stores was in Hertford County.

Family Dollar at 1216 East Memorial Drive, Ahoskie paid $45,000 in penalties for 10 failed inspections.

An initial inspection in August 2022 found an error rate of 24% based on 12 overcharges in a 50-item lot. Follow-up inspections in September 2022, October 2022, December 2022, February 2023, April 2023, June 2023, August 2023, October 2023 and January 2024 found error rates ranging from 33% to 8% based on overcharges in 300-item lots.

The store passed its most recent inspection in March.

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-%-or-less error rate. Additional penalties may be assessed if a store fails a re-inspection.

“Many of the stores facing fines in the first quarter of 2024 had multiple failed inspections and a high rate of overcharging errors,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Overcharges cost consumers so we remain vigilant in inspecting stores to save people money. 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% 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.