Norwood store pays fines after price-scanner errors

Published 5:15 pm Friday, August 5, 2022

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A store in Norwood has paid nearly $9,000 in fines following an inspection by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Standards Division.

The division announced Wednesday it has collected fines from 61 stores in Alamance, Brunswick, Carteret, Catawba, Columbus, Forsyth, Franklin, Granville, Guilford, Harnett, Iredell, Johnston, Jones, Mecklenburg, Moore, Nash, Orange, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Randolph, Rockingham, Rowan, Scotland, Stanly, Union, Vance, Wake, Watauga, Wayne and Yadkin counties because of excessive price-scanner errors.

Family Dollar, at 103 North Main St., Norwood, paid $8,960 in fines. An initial inspection in January found a 16-percent error rate based on eight overcharges in a 50-item lot. Subsequent inspections in February and March found 13.33-percent and 11.33-percent error rates, respectively. The store will be reinspected.

“Our Standards Division continues to see a significant increase in stores with price scanner errors, as many stores continue to deal with staffing shortages. Overcharges cost consumers so we remain vigilant in inspecting stores in order to protect consumers,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “It is always a good practice for consumers to check their receipts as well as the price on the shelf to make sure that they are paying the correct amount and alert managers if they are not correct.”

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. 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 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.