Dublin store fined for over-charging

By: W. Curt Vincent - cvincent@civitasmedia.com

DUBLIN — The Dollar General Store on N.C. 87 recently paid $502.50 in fines to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Standards Division because of excessive price-scanner errors.

“We want consumers to be confident that the price on the shelf matches the price that’s scanned at the register,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Stores have a responsibility to make sure their pricing is accurate, and most stores pass inspection. Ones that don’t are fined until they come into compliance. Consumers who would like to file a complaint about a store can call the Standards Division at 919-707-3225.”

An initial inspection of the store in July found an error rate of 6 percent, based on three overcharges in a 50-item lot. A second inspection is September found a 2.67 percent error rate, based on eight overcharges in a 300-item lot. The store passed inspection in November with a 1.33 percent error rate, based on four overcharges in a 300-item lot.

The department conducts periodic, unannounced inspections of a business’ price-scanner system 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 at a later date. Undercharges are also reported, but do not count against a store.

Penalties are assessed if a store fails the 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 the store fails a re-inspection.

W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.

W. Curt Vincent