Advertisement

Dollar General, Target face more fines for overcharging Charlotte-area customers

Check your store receipts, North Carolina officials say, as several more retailers in the Charlotte area have been fined nearly $39,000 for price scanning errors.

In total, 52 stores were fined in 33 counties for scanning errors in the fourth quarter of last year, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Standards Division said Monday.

Many stores are failing multiple inspections, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said in a statement.

Charlotte stores have been fined for overcharging. What to do if it happens to you

In the Charlotte area, four stores were in Mecklenburg County, two were in Union County and one each was in Catawba and Rowan counties.

The local stores that were fined include Dollar General, Family Dollar, Circle K, Target, Walmart and 7-Eleven.

Overcharges in retail stores

Periodic, unannounced inspections in retail stores check if shelf and register prices match. Here’s what they found in the Charlotte region in the latest round of checks:

Circle K at 3424 Matthews Mint Hill Road, Matthews, paid $3,155 in fines for two failed inspections in September and November. An initial inspection in August showed an error rate of 20% based on 10 overcharges in a 50-item lot.

Family Dollar at 7921 Old Statesville Road, Charlotte, paid $15,000 in fines. An initial inspection last March found an error rate of 40% based on 20 overcharges in a 50-item lot. The store also failed three follow-up inspections from June through October. The store also failed a December inspection with an error rate of 12.3% based on 37 overcharges in a 300-item lot and was assessed a $5,000 fine.

Dollar General at 10018 Albermarle Road, Charlotte, paid $5,000 in fines. An initial inspection last September found an error rate of 8% based on four overcharges in a 50-item lot. A follow-up inspection in November found an error rate of 16% based on 48 overcharges in a 300-item lot. The store will be reinspected.

Target at 8120 University City Blvd., Charlotte, paid $2,715 in fines. An initial inspection last September found an error rate of 10% based on five overcharges in a 50-item lot. A follow-up inspection in October found an error rate of 4.3% based on 13 overcharges in a 300-item lot. The store also failed inspection in December with an error rate of 4.67% based on 14 overcharges in a 300-item lot and was assessed an additional $2,960 fine. The store will be re-inspected.

Dollar General at 335 North Salisbury Ave. in Rowan County paid $8,675 in fines. An initial inspection from last March showed an error rate of 16% based on eight overcharges in a 50-item lot. The store failed three follow-up inspections and then passed inspection in December with an error rate of 1.3% based on four overcharges in a 300-item lot.

7-Eleven at 304 Unionville-Indian Trail Road, Indian Trail, paid $390 in fines. An initial inspection in September 2022 showed an error rate of 32% based on 16 overcharges in a 50-item lot. The store also failed an inspection in November with a 4% error rate based on four overcharges in a 100-item lot. The store will be reinspected.

Walmart Supercenter at 2520 Cuthbertson Road, Waxhaw, paid $1,830 in fines. An initial inspection from last August found an error rate of 8% based on four overcharges in a 50-item lot. A follow-up inspection in September found an error rate of 3.33% based on 10 overcharges in a 300-item lot. The store passed inspection in November.

Dollar General at 3131 South N.C. Hwy. 16, Newton, paid $2,040 in penalties for a failed inspection. An initial inspection last September found an error rate of 18% based on nine overcharges in a 50-item lot. A follow-up inspection in October found an error rate of 9.67% based on 29 overcharges in a 300-item lot. The store passed inspection in December with no errors.

Increase in store inspection failures

The state agency has said it’s been seeing a “significant increase” in price scanner errors with about 26% of stores statewide failing inspections, The Charlotte Observer previously reported.

Several local stores were fined last year, totaling over $145,000, The Charlotte Observer previously reported.

In December, 17 stores in the Charlotte region including Walmart, Dollar General, Family Dollar, Circle K and Sam’s Mart were fined over $40,000.

In August, eight stores in Mecklenburg County — four Walmarts, three Dollar Generals and one Target — were fined a total of $63,505.

In April, several area Walmart and Dollar General stores were fined a combined $42,165 for overcharges.

How inspections work in NC

Stores are fined for failing to meet the 2% or less price scanning error rate, according to the state agency.

If a store has more than a 2% error rate on overcharges, inspectors talk with the store manager and make a follow-up inspection.

Stores are penalized if they fail the follow-up inspection. Stores are re-inspected every 60 days until meeting the 2%-or-less error rate and could face additional fines.

Undercharges are also reported but don’t count against a store.

What to do if you find a price scan error?

Customers who see price scanner errors on their receipts may file a complaint with the Standards Division. Call 984-236-4750.