For Immediate Release - March 04, 2008

Consumer Affairs, Division of Standards Recognize National Weights and Measures Week

Boston - Monday, March 4, 2008 - The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation and Division of Standards today joined the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) in recognizing National Weights and Measures Week. Running from March 1 st to March 7 th, the theme of this year's National Weights and Measures Week is "Weights and Measures: Balancing the Marketplace."

The goal of Weights and Measures Week is to build awareness among consumers and businesses of their role in commerce and to recognize the important community service performed by standards officials.

Massachusetts, like many other states, partners with the NCWM to create fair and equitable national standards. State weights and measures officials ensure that these standards are met by conducting inspections of weighing and measuring devices at various establishments. Officials also help ensure that products and services sold by weight or measure comply with state laws by conducting random price verification net weight inspections.

The Division of Standards checks the accuracy of all types of commercial weighing and measuring devices, price scanners and the net contents on retail and wholesale packages to ensure that the packages meet or exceed the stated net quantity on the package. The Division's staff conducted more than 14,000 inspections in 2007.

Consumers have an important role to play by observing basic practices when making a purchase involving weights and measures. The Division of Standards advises consumers to:

  1. Check that pumps and scales are on zero prior to the start of the transaction;
  2. Note that all packaged commodities should clearly state the net quantity (ounces, pounds, quarts, liters, etc.) on the package; and
  3. Pay attention to the price of items being scanned to ensure pricing accuracy.

If you note a problem, first talk with the store personnel and give them the chance to correct the problem. If the problem is not explained or corrected to your satisfaction, you should immediately contact the Division of Standards and provide a detailed explanation of the issue. Following completion of an inspection, the Division will provide a report of their findings upon request.

For more information or to register a weights and measures complaint, consumers can contact the Division of Standards at (617) 727-3480.