Inspection numbers Show WI Consumers Got Fair Deal in 2012 - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Inspection numbers show WI consumers got fair deal in 2012

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MADISON – We all know the old expression: "money comes and money goes." If it is a given that money is going to "go," then you should at least have some reassurance that you are getting your money's worth for your purchases.

That is where the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection's (DATCP) Weights and Measures team steps in. The team is responsible for regularly monitoring the accuracy of gas pumps, price scanners, scales and package weights statewide. The team's inspectors recently finished compiling the data from last year, and the findings are good: by a wide margin, Wisconsin consumers are getting what they paid for at stores and at the gas pumps.

"Weights and measures inspections are fundamental to ensuring that consumers can be confident in their dealings with Wisconsin businesses," said Sandy Chalmers, Division Administrator for Trade and Consumer Protection. "When you see the DATCP Weights and Measures seal at the gas pump, retail scale or check register, you know that the device has passed inspection and that you can trust the integrity of the transaction," said Chalmers.

State weights and measures inspectors conducted 229,958 inspections at 6,946 business locations in 2012, including:

                               Number of inspections   Consumer Confidence   Total           

Gasoline Pumps               31,643                                 99.5%              97.8%

Price Scanners                35,384                                 98.7%              97.5%

Retail Scales                    8,370                                   99.8%              96.4%

Package Weight              152,627                               97.1%               96.6%

*    Percent of time a consumer would be charged accurately or undercharged
**  Includes all overcharges and undercharges
 
"The Weights and Measures team tested a record number of gas pumps in 2012, and we are pleased to report that 99.5% of the time consumers either received the correct amount of gas at the pump or were even undercharged," said Chalmers.

Gas pumps that do not dispense accurately are rejected and ordered corrected by DATCP. When corrections have been made by the pumps' owner, DATCP inspectors make a second visit to ensure that these corrections have resulted in accurate gasoline delivery. 

In 2012, nine companies paid civil forfeiture settlements totaling $189,280 as a result of weights and measures inspections into the following issues: 

„h John P. Rassbach, d/b/a Rassbach Oil Company

$109,396 restitution

False quantities, home heating fuel

„h Kraft Foods Group, Inc.

$36,908

False quantities, Oscar Mayer products

„h North Country Business Products, Inc.

$15,006

Misrepresenting weights and measures device is correct, failure to seal

„h Gas Distribution Systems, Inc., d/b/a Gasco

$13,902

False quantities, LPG cylinders

„h Mark Rhode and Rhode's Towing & Repair, Inc.

$5,220

Altering a Department license certificate

„h Morton Salt, Inc.

$4,974

False quantities, ice melt salt

„h Milton Propane, Inc.

$1,670

False quantities, LPG cylinders

„h Uni-Pump, Inc.

$1,204

Failure to seal a Weights & Measures device/diversion of flow deterrents missing

„h Jaco Leasing Company, Inc.

$1,000

Using an altered Department license certificate

For additional information or to file a complaint, visit the Consumer Protection Bureau at datcp.wisconsin.gov, send an e-mail to datcphotline@wisconsin.gov or call the Consumer Protection Hotline toll-free at 1-800-422-7128.

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