Two Stanly County stores pay more than $30K in fines for overcharging

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Standards Division has collected fines from 37 stores in 22 counties, including Stanly, because of excessive price-scanner errors.

More than $30,000 in fines were paid in Stanly.

“Our Standards Division closely watches stores to ensure that consumers are protected,” Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said. “This is an important function to make sure North Carolinians are being charged the prices they see on shelves. While our work will continue, it is important for consumers to check their receipts regularly and notify store managers if they see a discrepancy.”

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 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 reinspection.

Civil penalties recorded in the first quarter of 2023 included two stores in Stanly County.

Dollar General at 1920 B U.S. 52 North in Albemarle paid $1,845 in penalties.

An initial inspection in January found an error rate of 24% based on 12 overcharges in a 50-item lot.

A follow-up inspection in February found an error rate of 6% based on 18 overcharges in a 300-item lot.

The store will be reinspected.

Family Dollar at 103 North Main St., Norwood, paid $28,675 in penalties.

An initial inspection in January 2022 found an error rate of 16% based on eight overcharges in a 50-item lot.

A follow-up inspection in February 2022 found an error rate of 13.33% based on 40 overcharges in a 300-item lot.

A follow-up inspection in April 2022 found an error rate of 11.33% based on 34 overcharges in a 300-item lot.

A follow-up inspection in July 2022 found an error rate of 4.33% based on 13 overcharges in a 300-item lot.

A follow-up inspection in September 2022 found an error rate of 2.67% based on eight overcharges in a 300-item lot.

A follow-up inspection in November 2022 found an error rate of 6% based on 18 overcharges in a 300-item lot.

A follow-up inspection in January found an error rate of 4.67% based on 14 overcharges in a 300-item lot.

A follow-up inspection in April found an error rate of 3.33% based on 10 overcharges in a 300-item lot.

The store will be reinspected.