CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — An uptick in scanner errors at stores across the state has led to hefty fines and fed-up customers.

Last month, Queen City News reported that the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Standards Division collected fines from nine Mecklenburg County businesses for overcharging customers.

While that number has since dropped, a new report reveals some locations still need to fix the problem.

“There is a pretty good possibility depending on the retailer that you are shopping at, that you are going to be paying more than you should be,” president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Piedmont and Western N.C. Tom Bartholomy said.

In the last year, the Better Business Bureau has had to approach more businesses accused of price scanning errors and overcharging customers.

“In the vast majority of cases, the business goes, ‘Yup, I am sorry. My bad.’ And takes care of it,” Bartholomy said.

Customers catch errors and file complaints with the Better Business Bureau in these instances.

On the state level, a group of Standards Division inspectors looks into businesses randomly and without notice.

“We try to get all grocery stores, large retail stores, and targets,” N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Standards Division Measurement Section Manager Chad Parker said.

This week, the department collected fines from four Mecklenburg County businesses for overcharging customers. Two businesses on the list are repeat offenders.

“That’s the ones that I really have the most problem with is the repeat offenders on this. Okay, you have been sanctioned, you have been complained about, you have been fined. How does it keep happening?” Bartholomy said.

According to the state, the Family Dollar on Statesville Road failed state inspections five times in 2022.

According to the report, the first inspections found a 40% error rate. Three more failed follow-up inspections happened between June and October.

In December, the location failed again, leading to a $15,000 fine on top of previous penalties.

The state has seen 26% of inspections fail in the last year. According to Parker, the failure rate was between three and four percent before the pandemic.

While the blame falls on corporations to charge customers correctly, Bartholomy said rising costs and worker shortages are playing a role.

“If the root cause is worker shortage, and they still have a worker shortage, and they are not doing what they can or should do to fill that gap, you are going to continue to see this,” he said.

Queen City News reached out to Dollar Tree, the parent company of Family Dollar, for a comment or interview regarding the failed inspections.

The company did not respond.