The Bureau of Weights and Measures (W&M) employs both Deputy County Sealers and Scanner Accuracy Examiners who ensure that equity prevails in the marketplace.
Deputy County Sealers inspect, test, and certify the accuracy of all commercial weighing and measuring devices, including scales and gasoline and other fuel pumps or meters in use in Erie County. Packages are checked to ensure they contain the stated weight of the product. Deputies enforce applicable laws, rules, regulations, and ordinances under the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Law. In addition, devices are regularly inspected for illegal credit card skimmers.
Scanner Accuracy Examiners enforce Erie County Local Law 7 (1997) by conducting inspections at retail establishments to ensure that the customer knows the price they should be paying and that they pay that price. Both Scanner Accuracy and Item Pricing inspections are performed. Examiners enforce price adjustments and special payment (if applicable) to customers who have been overcharged.
Device inspection and Waiver application fees help defray the Bureau’s operating cost to taxpayers. W&M receives revenue from civil penalties assessed for violations of New York State Agriculture and Markets Law and Erie County Local Law 7 (1997).
Consumers and businesses both benefit and can help their local weights and measures officials enforce the law and help to keep a fair marketplace. Knowing what to look for will help you determine if the equipment has been deemed to be functioning accurately or if you are entitled to the special payment in the case of an overcharge.
Look for blue or gold vinyl stickers...
W&M officials test weighing and measuring devices such as gasoline pumps and scales annually. Once a device tests accurately, a seal is applied to prevent tampering. A vinyl sticker, with the month and year of the inspection, punched out, is put on the equipment in a visible location so consumers can tell that the unit was tested and found to be accurate. If you do not see a vinyl sticker as per the photos above, ask the store manager. If vinyl stickers are missing, contact your weights and measures office by calling 716-825-1310 or file a complaint here.
Look for the Consumer Rights Notice…
Stores that have been granted a Waiver from Item Pricing are required to make special payment (Super Refund) to customers who have been overcharged. These stores will have a Consumer Rights Notice, pictured above, posted at their entrance. The poster instructs consumers on what to do if they have been overcharged. If you do not see this notice posted at a store, you may call your weights and measures office at 716-825-1310 or email Paula.Trimper@erie.gov to inquire whether or not a Super Refund is due.
Check your receipt…
Your receipt is proof of the price you paid. By comparing what you were charged for any commodity to the lowest posted price, you can determine whether or not you were charged correctly. Retain the receipt to present in case you suspect you were overcharged. Bring your concerns to the establishment first to allow them the chance to make the correction. If you are not satisfied with the result, contact your Weights and Measures Office by calling 716-825-1310 or submit your complaint here.