Norwood store pays fines for price scanning errors

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Standards Division has collected fines from 14 stores in Alamance, Forsyth, Hertford, Mecklenburg, Stanly, Wake, Wilkes and Union counties for price scanning errors.

“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.

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.

Family Dollar, at 103 N. Main St., Norwood, paid $43,530 in penalties for 11 failed inspections.

An initial inspection in January 2022 found an error rate of 16% based on eight overcharges in a 50-item lot. Follow-up inspections in January 2022, April 2022, July 2022, September 2022, November 2022, January 2023, April 2023, June 2023, August 2023 and October 2023 found error rates ranging from 13.33% to 3% for overcharges in 300-item lots.

The store passed inspection in December 2023.