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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 197-B
Retail pricing accuracy
Agriculture & Markets (AGM) CHAPTER 69, ARTICLE 16
§ 197-b. Retail pricing accuracy. 1. Definitions. a. "Retail store"
shall mean a store that sells stock-keeping units directly to consumers
and charges or is liable for the collection of sales tax. For the
purposes of this section the term "retail store" shall include those
stores that use universal product code (UPC) scanners or price-look-up
(PLU) codes in checkout systems or use manual pricing of items.

b. "Pricing accuracy inspection" shall mean an inspection of a retail
store for the purpose of ensuring that customers are charged the correct
price for the items they purchase.

c. "Price charged" means the price a customer is charged for an item.
For prices determined by an automated checkout device, the price charged
means the price on the receipt issued to the consumer after the final
total has been determined, whether the item is scanned or actually
purchased, the device is computing or recording while in training mode,
or by using a hand-held device connected to a store's database.

d. "Stock-keeping unit" means each group of items offered for sale of
the same brand, quantity of contents, retail price, and having different
colors, flavors, or varieties.

e. "Retail price" means the lowest advertised, written, posted, or
marked price of a stock-keeping unit.

f. "Overcharge" means a price charged that is higher than the retail
price.

g. "Undercharge" means a price charged that is lower than the retail
price.

h. "Large overcharge" means an error of twenty-five cents on any
individual item up to two dollars and fifty cents and ten percent
thereafter.

2. Pricing requirements. A retail store shall:

a. Display the retail price of each stock-keeping unit offered for
sale, either on each unit or on easy to read shelf tags, or signs,
located directly above or below or immediately adjacent to every
stock-keeping unit or group of stock-keeping units of the same brand,
size and price.

b. Assure that the price charged after the final total has been
determined is equivalent to the retail price.

c. If a UPC scanner system is used to determine the price charged,
provide the appropriate inspection official access to the checkout
system in use at such retail store to verify the price charged for items
included in a pricing accuracy inspection. Access shall be provided to
the system either in normal operating mode, in training mode, or through
a hand-held or other device tied to the store's database.

d. Post, in a conspicuous place, the refund policy of such retail
store in the event of an overcharge.

3. Test procedures and accuracy requirements. a. The commissioner
shall, by regulation, adopt test procedures utilizing randomized
sampling techniques. Such procedures shall be consistent with the
examination procedure for price verification developed by the national
conference on weights and measures and published in the national
institute of standards and technology handbook one hundred thirty. For
purposes of this section, pricing accuracy inspections shall, to the
extent possible, be conducted at a time and in a manner that does not
interrupt the normal flow of retail business at the retail store.

b. A retail store at least three hundred square feet in size shall be
deemed in compliance if ninety-eight percent of the items in the sample
selected are accurately priced. For purposes of this section retail
stores that are less than three thousand square feet and employ a manual
pricing system shall be deemed in compliance if, effective June first,
two thousand seven through May thirty-first, two thousand eight, at
least ninety-six percent of the items in the sample selected are
accurately priced and beginning on June first, two thousand eight at
least ninety-eight percent of the items in the sample selected are
accurately priced.

c. In addition to establishing a standard frequency of inspection
consistent with the provisions of paragraph a of this subdivision, the
commissioner or a weights and measures official may conduct inspections
of individual items in response to consumer complaints or as a follow-up
on items ordered to be corrected in a previous inspection.

4. Enforcement procedures. a. The commissioner or a weights and
measures official shall advise the operator of the retail store of any
pricing error encountered in an inspection. If the correction cannot be
made immediately, then, the commissioner or a weights and measures
official shall issue a stop removal order for items subject to
overcharges and such stock-keeping units shall be removed from sale
until correction is made.

b. Upon finding a violation of this section, the commissioner or the
municipal director of weights and measures may impose civil penalties as
prescribed in section thirty-nine of this chapter. Such penalty shall
not exceed three hundred dollars per violation for violations assessed
during an initial inspection in a calendar year and shall not exceed six
hundred dollars per violation for violations assessed in a second or
subsequent inspection during a calendar year. In determining the amount
of any civil penalty imposed, the magnitude of the errors, corrective
action taken by the retail store, history of such prior conduct, or
other relevant information shall be considered. Penalties may only be
imposed for:

(1) Overcharges found in a sample selected using the procedures
adopted pursuant to subdivision three of this section, when overcharges
number more than two percent of the sample. Each such overcharge may be
considered a separate violation provided, however, that any overcharge
for a single stock-keeping unit that includes more than one item in such
unit shall count as a single violation and not as separate violations
for each item in the stock-keeping unit.

(2) A large overcharge found on an individual item.

(3) An overcharge verified in response to a consumer complaint.

(4) Overcharges found on follow-up inspections of items ordered
corrected.

(5) Failure to disclose the retail price of a stock-keeping unit
pursuant to paragraph a of subdivision two of this section.

(6) Failure to conspicuously post a refund policy pursuant to
paragraph d of subdivision two of this section.

5. Local pricing laws. Nothing in this section shall be construed to
prohibit a political subdivision of the state from continuing to
implement and enforce any local pricing law or regulation in effect
prior to the effective date of this section. Where a political
subdivision has a local pricing law in effect prior to the effective
date of this section, the provisions of this section shall have no force
and effect until such time as the political subdivision repeals its
local pricing law. Any political subdivision of the state not having any
local pricing law or regulation in effect prior to the effective date of
this section shall adopt and implement the pricing accuracy provisions
set forth in this section or by regulations adopted pursuant to this
section.