Summit County Fiscal Office

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Home News Weights and Measures Tips for Consumers

Weights and Measures Tips for Consumers

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The National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) announces Weights and Measures Week on March 1-7, 2013. This week acknowledges the public servants who work vigorously to protect us as consumers. In Summit County, the Weights and Measures Division falls under the Summit County Fiscal Office. Fiscal Officer Kristen M. Scalise CPA, CFE is a strong consumer regulator.

Everything you buy is sold by weight, measure or count. The Summit County Weights and Measures Division uses highly accurate equipment to inspect scales, meters, scanning equipment and packaged products in stores and supermarkets. Packages must meet or exceed the criteria set by the National Conference on Weights and Measures. Those that fail are ordered off sale.

The Summit County Weights and Measures Division also performs Fuel Quality Testing. Summit County is currently the only county in Ohio to test for fuel quality. Testing includes octane levels, water and sediment to ensure there is no contamination. It also examines spill rims to be certain they are free of dirt and debris.

According to NCWM, the date for Weights and Measures Week commemorates the signing of the first United States weights and measures law by John Adams on March 2, 1799. Since then, there have been advancements from mechanical devices to highly sophisticated, software-based weighing and measuring instruments. Today’s inspectors represent a new generation of trained professionals with expertise ranging from software security to motor fuel chemistry.

“Protecting consumers and assuring fairness in the marketplace are among the top priorities of my Weights and Measures Division. I challenge citizens to use Weights and Measures Week as a tool to become better informed consumers”, said Fiscal Officer Scalise.

Here are several tips to assist consumers with making good decisions in the marketplace:

    Package labels give the consumers helpful information. The amount of product and net contents must appear on the label.
    Pay for the product, not the packaging materials. Whether it's salad from a deli or meat from a butcher, pay only for the amount of product inside the package.
    Make sure you have been charged the correct amount and take your receipt with you.
    Stores often display prices on the shelf rather than on the item and use electronic scanners to register the price at the checkout counter. The scanner reads the bar code on the product or tag and then computes the price. Watch the checkout display and be sure to check your receipt before you leave the store. Speak up if the prices don't match.
    Minimize the chance of overcharges happening to you by always checking for the Weights and Measures seal. This indicates that the scale has been tested and sealed. Make sure the scale is on zero prior to the weighing. There should not be anything on the scale or touching or obstructing the pan of the scale. Speak up if the scale indicates a weight when there is nothing on it. Ask to have the scale zeroed out.



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