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NC Commissioner Troxler: Standards Inspectors Still Finding Scanner Errors

The department’s Standards Division inspectors are hard at work every day checking items that are involved in trade to ensure their accuracy. Most consumers come in contact with these items on a regular basis. A couple of examples are price scanners at check-out and gas pumps, but there are more things inspectors check as well. Inspectors continue to find stores with excessive price scanners, so consumers are advised to watch closely to be sure items are ringing up.

  • Happy New Year to you and your listeners. Was it me, or was 2022 a fast year?
  • Back in April we talked about the fact our Standards Division inspectors were finding more price scanner errors than normal during routine inspections.
  • We guess that was likely due to staffing shortages, but I reminded consumers then that they also need to be diligent in checking their receipts at check-out to be sure the price matches the advertised price.
  • We recently released a quarterly report and our inspectors continue to find excessive price scanner errors.
  • We had 70 stores pay fines in the third quarter. Those stores were in 38 counties from the mountains to the coast.
  • We inspect and fine stores until they bring the scanner errors down to 2 percent or less – the allowable limit.
  • Some may question why we continue to fine stores, but it is important to remember that if stores are overcharging, it’s the customers who are paying for that.  That could mean money out of your pocket if you are not paying attention.
  • Fines that are collected, go to the county school systems where the fine occurred. We do not keep the money.
  • If you find that something has rung up incorrectly, it is important to bring that to the attention of a manager. They should be able to fix the error to ensure others are not overcharged.
  • I am sharing this message again because of some of the high error-rate counts inspectors are finding and the continued regularity of the findings.
  • Last year, we saw 26 percent of price scanners inspections fail, which is unusual.
  • In addition, a few of the stores had error rates from 24 to 34 percent. In several of those cases, that was after the stores had failed three or four previous inspections.
  • We are continuing to check and work to bring stores into compliance. I would encourage consumers to watch what rings up at the cash register and let management know when an error is found.
  • You can also contact our Standards Division at 984-236-4750 to report overcharges.