NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – Two New Hanover County stores have been fined by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Standards Division because of excessive price-scanner errors.
During unannounced inspections of price-scanner systems at the Walmart on Sigmon Road in Wilmington and the Dollar General on Lake Park Boulevard, inspectors found the businesses had more than a 2-percent error rate on overcharges – the threshold for a more intensive follow-up investigation.
Specifically, an initial inspection of the Dollar General in June found a 14-percent error rate based on seven overcharges in a 50-item lot. A follow-up inspection in July found a 5-percent error rate based on 15 overcharges in a 300-item lot. A third inspection in September found a 6-percent error rate based on 18 overcharges in a 300-item lot. The store has paid $1,890 in fines and will be re-inspected.
At Walmart, inspectors in May found a 3-percent error rate based on three overcharges in a 100-item lot. A follow-up inspection in June found a 4.33-percent error rate based on 13 overcharges in a 300-item lot. A third inspection in August found a 7-percent error rate based on 21 overcharges in a 300-item lot. The store has paid $1,110 in fines and will be re-inspected.
“Our Standards Division inspectors work to protect consumers by comparing the price on the shelf and the price at the register to be sure they match,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Stores have a responsibility to make sure their pricing is accurate, and most stores pass inspection. Ones with errors face fines until they come into compliance.”
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 re-inspection.
Consumers who would like to file a complaint about scanner errors they encounter, can call the Standards Division at 919-707-3225.
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