CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The number of grocery stores overcharging for items has skyrocketed, state audits show, and officials believe staffing shortages could be to blame.
According to state records, seven Charlotte-area stores received fines for overcharging in the first quarter of 2022. They include four Walmart stores, in Belmont, North Charlotte, Matthews, and Indian Trail, two Dollar Generals, in Marshville and East Charlotte, and a Dollar Store in Northeast Charlotte.
“Normally we hand out nearly $40,000 to $50,000 in fines where stores have been overcharging, and this past year it was over half a million,” Chad Parker, the Standards Measurement Manager for the Department of Agriculture, said.
This map below shows 42 stores fined across North Carolina during the first quarter of 2022.
In February, WCNC Charlotte reported more than 20 stores across North Carolina faced state-levied fines for excessive price scanning errors.
The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services conducts periodic, unannounced inspections of price-scanning systems to ensure accuracy. There could be penalties involved if a store fails a follow-up inspection.
The goal of the inspections is to keep stores honest and accurate.
"Stores have had a very big problem keeping up with the price changes," Parker said.
Consumers who would like to file a complaint about scanner errors can call the Standards Division at 984-236-4750.
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