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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

North Carolina Stores Repeatedly Failing Price-Scan Inspections

While on Twitter last night, I ran across a tweet from my local county Twitter Page that mentioned how stores have repeatedly failed price-scan inspections!

Photo found in Google Search
I'm not sure how other states are doing with their stores passing the price-scan inspections that are held periodicity through unannounced visits, but North Carolina seems not to be doing very well.
My county is not one that is listed of counties that have stores who have paid fines but it's still very surprising!

The counties mentioned are Charlotte, Smithfield, Delco, Elkin, Vanceboro, and Winston-Salem in North Carolina.
I live in Asheville, Buncombe County, apparently we are doing just fine.

What is a Price-Scan Inspection?

The state agency's Standards Division periodicity shows up at businesses to inspect their price-scanner system to make sure the prices that are being rang up match the prices advertised. If a store has more than a 2% error rate on overcharged then the inspectors discuss the findings with Store Managers along with doing a follow-up inspection at a later date.

If a store fails the follow-up inspection then the store may be charged a penalty. In addition to the penalties, the store will be re-inspected every 60 days until the store meets the 2% or less rate of overcharges. Additional penalties will be issues if the store fails the re-inspections.

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“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.”

Below are a few stores that paid civil penalties after failed inspections between December 2012 and March 2013 according to The Buncombe Free Press:
  • Walgreens at 5040 Beatties Ford Road in Charlotte paid $1,745 in fines for excessive price-scanner errors after three failed inspections from October 2012 to January 2013, with rates of 8, 4, and 2.33 percent respectively. The store faces another inspection.
  • Dollar General at 60-5 Cronley Drive in Delco paid $2,955 in fines after five failed inspections. The store had an error rate of 6 percent in April 2012, 4.67 percent in May, 3 percent in August, 2.33 percent in October, and 3.67 percent in December. The store passed a sixth inspection.
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts at 1557 N. Bridge St. in Elkin paid $555 after a first inspection in November found an error rate of 14 percent and a second in January found a 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 after four failed inspections. The first inspection in July found an error rate of 8 percent; August found  the rate at 4.33 percent. The rate was 2.67 in November and 3.67 in February. The store faces another inspection.
  • Dollar General at 240 N.C. Hwy. 43 in Vanceboro paid $900 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 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.

Undercharges were also recorded but do not count against the store. The money that is collected from civil penalties is distributed through out the school system.

Of course undercharges are no counted against stores, who is going to complain about spending less that they thought they were? I do like the face that the penalties paid are going to a good cause and not in the pockets of the politicians. Schools need all the help they can get and I personally don't believe that the North Carolina Lottery is helping out enough.

This information truly blows my mind! I never thought that the price-scanners would be ringing my items up wrong. I check my receipt when I think my total was too high but that rarely happens unless I go over board and don't realize it. Maybe I should start checking my receipts more often!

Do you check your receipts after your shopping trips?

You can find my source for the above information HERE.
All opinions made are my own and may differ from your own.
I did NOT get paid in anyway for this post.

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