Rowan has one store on list of 70 in state that pay fines for price scanning errors

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 15, 2022

RALEIGH — The Dollar General at 335 North Salisbury Ave. in Spencer paid $1,960 in fines as the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Standards Division reported collecting fines from 70 stores in 38 counties because of excessive price-scanner errors.

An inspection in October found an error rate of 2.67 percent based on eight overcharges in a 300-item lot at the Rowan County store, which also failed three additional inspections this year and paid additional fines. The store in Spencer 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 in a news release. “During the holidays especially every penny counts, and we want consumers to pay attention during check out. Over the last year we have seen about 26 percent of price scanner inspections fail. 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. The most recent fines came from the third quarter.