Every resident and every visitor of California is afforded consumer protection services by County Sealers of Weights and Measures [Sealer] who not only protects the buyer, we also protect the seller. If you think about it, retailers themselves are also consumers because they too purchase raw or finished goods at wholesale and turn around and sell them in retail. Even our own federal and state governments are consumers dependent upon the protections and assurances provided by Weights and Measures officials.
In 2011 the Gross Domestic Product [GDP] value in California was $1.89 trillion, placing California as the 8th largest economy in the world; Italy is number 7. The National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) recently estimated that half of the GDP is within the influence of Weights and Measures. Therefore, $945 billion of California’s GDP is under the protection of all 58 County Sealers of Weights and Measures.
All devices that are used to determine weight, measure, or count, in the presence of a buyer, are subject to verification of accuracy by Inspectors. Whenever the buyer cannot be present during the determining of weight, measure, or count regulations are in place to provide adequate package labeling. All packaged commodities, with the exception of illegal drugs, are subject to verification of labeling and quantity accuracy by Inspectors.
Transactions at the checkout stand are tested by various means including undercover purchases and routine price accuracy inspections. Consumer complaints of being overcharged are investigated. Advertisements are inspected to verify items advertised are indeed available and offered in the store at the advertised price. We even verify appropriate CRV is charged and also state sales tax.
Not only is fuel quantity assured, the quality is also periodically tested to determine compliance with state and federal standards.
When consumers contact their local Sealer when they think they have been shorted or overcharged, we conduct an investigation. Weights and Measures Inspectors have even weighed packages of live honey bees in order to determine a beekeeper received the quantity he paid for.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Division of Measurement Standards [DMS] has determined the cost of providing consumer protection to everyone living or visiting this state to be one penny (1₵) per person per day, or $3.65 per person per year. Not a bad investment in comparison to the approximately $2.6 billion in average daily GDP in California.