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May 30, 2010 4:04 PM by Chris Welty

Off Kilter Scales & Gas Pumps Could Cost Both Consumers & Sellers Money

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Ever stop to think about how much
difference a slightly off-kilter scale or gas pump could cost you
and other customers?
Nationally, the stakes could be a staggering $7 trillion - for
both customers and sellers. That estimate comes from the National
Institute of Standards and Technology, which is the country's lead
standards-setting organization.
Earlier this year, more than a dozen states uncovered a pattern
of overweighing by fish packers who added the weight of glaze ice
to the labeled weight of fish. That meant consumers ended up paying
several dollars more than they should for a pound of fish. Federal
officials have threatened action and dealers in at least one state,
Ohio, have been fined.
There's no proof such scams are related to the recession. But
authorities say unscrupulous businesses are more likely to cheat
when states cut back on enforcement.

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