The Arizona Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures Services Division conducts regular inspections of businesses licensed in the State of Arizona.
The Division is tasked by ARS Title 3, Chapter 19 to conduct annual inspections on various measuring devices throughout the state, including but not limited to fuel dispensers, scales and timing devices. Investigators throughout the state use highly accurate field standards and equipment to inspect and test commercial scales, meters, scanning equipment, and packaged products. Investigators also inspect or audit pricing and proper packaging at retail stores, and audit fuel quality to ensure compliance with federal and state standards as statutorily mandated. In nearly every instance, investigators act as a third party to help maintain fairness and keep the marketplace in balance.
To get a summary of completed inspections, please complete a Public Document Request or contact the Division at (602) 542-4373. You may also view up to date inspection results with our Inspection Search Page.
Gas Pump Inspections
Arizona consumers utilize an estimated 2.9 billion gallons of gasoline and 0.9 billion gallons of diesel fuel each year (10.4 million gallons of fuel each day) at approximately 2,000 service stations via some 12,000 individual gas pumps. This portion of the compliance program is among the most critical functions of the agency.
Field investigators examine dispensers via unannounced inspections of service stations, some scheduled by the Division, others when there is a complaint filed. In addition to verifying accurate measurement, the Division reviews the equipment for safety, conducts fuel quality analysis, confirms proper octane and ethanol levels, audits recordkeeping, checks for illegal credit card skimming devices in the pump, proper consumer labeling, and monitors the underground storage tanks for water and environmental compliance.
Price Verification (Scanning)
Nearly all businesses use a Universal Price Code (“UPC”) scanning systems as opposed to traditional cash registers, and those devices are subject to inspection to ensure accuracy. The UPC on the product or tag is often used in conjunction with the store's electronic scanners to read the price at the checkout counter. The corresponding price is loaded into the store computer and sometimes this preloaded price does not match the price posted on or near the item.
Testing is performed by randomly selecting items in the store, recording the advertised price and then verifying the noted price matches the scanned price at the register. A passing score is 98% or above, meaning that only one of the 50 items selected is allowed to overcharge incorrectly on the scanner. The Division has found that most stores undercharge customers twice as often as they overcharge them; the Division conducts inspections to determine if retail sites are in compliance. As mentioned, the inspection includes testing the device for accuracy but Division investigators also ensure the device complies with federal and state pricing guidelines.
According ARS § 3-3431, a "person shall not misrepresent the price of any commodity or service sold or offered, exposed or advertised for sale by weight, measure or count or represent the price in any manner calculated or tending to mislead or in any way to deceive a person". Therefore retailers are required to price items for sale and the Division conducts regular inspections to ensure items are priced correctly in accordance with this law.
Large Capacity Scales
These devices include scales used for weighing the trucking industry, gravel, minerals, vehicles, recycled materials, etc. Inspections are conducted at auction yards, ranches, ports of entry, mine sites, construction sites, gravel pits, and railroad yards. The inspections require specialized equipment and 25,000 lbs. of weight to complete the individual testing, thus comparatively few large scale inspections are completed each year, nevertheless, ensuring accuracy of large scales is vital.
Small Capacity Scales
Scales are inspected to ensure that they are accurate for the services in which they are used, that they are installed properly, and positioned so that customers can see the display. Investigators have inspected jewelry stores, pawn shops, supermarkets, deli, bakery and various other industries small scales for compliance.