Accurate, More or Less? A Look at Wisconsin’s 2018 Weights and Measures Numbers

When you shop for a product at your local Wisconsin business, you expect to get the correct amount of product for your money and to be charged the correct price for the items. Keeping a fair marketplace takes a good faith effort from businesses to ensure that their scales, registers, and pumps are accurate and requires regular monitoring to ensure that businesses are held accountable for these responsibilities.

To this end, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) tests product scales, registers, gas pumps, and fuel quality at stores throughout the state every day. The final numbers are in for the department’s 2018 field inspections, and consumers faced a fair marketplace throughout Wisconsin yet again last year.

“Year after year, Wisconsin businesses show that they respect their customers and take their responsibilities seriously in keeping their measurement and sales devices accurate,” said Lara Sutherlin, administrator for the Division of Trade and Consumer Protection.

DATCP’s weights and measures team conducted 258,720 inspections at 6,580 business locations statewide in 2018. In line with results from recent years:

• Wisconsin gas pumps continued to provide the correct amount of fuel, or even over-deliver, in nearly 100% of our tests in 2018.

• Prices at the register were also accurate or in a consumer’s favor in nearly 99% of our tests.

• Tests on scales used to weigh products specifically sold by weight were accurate or measured in the customer’s favor almost 100% of the time.

• Products sold by weight were labeled accurately in almost 99% of tests.

Inspectors also tested 5,036 fuel samples for quality last year, and nearly 99% of the samples met required national standards.