It's hard to be a smart consumer today. You think about the products you buy and the amount you can spend. Can I afford this? Is this the best buy? Am I getting my money's worth? Almost everything we buy is sold either by weight, volume, length, count or measure. Think of examples -- a dozen eggs, a gallon of milk, a liter of wine, a yard of cloth, a pound of hamburger, or a cord of firewood. Read a consumer alert on buying firewood.
Without standard measurements, it would be difficult to do simple things like use cookbooks or buy carpeting, laundry detergent and fabric. You don't carry a scale or measuring tape with you to check the weight or measure of everything you buy. How do you know you're getting what you pay for?
For hundreds of years, your local weights and measures officials have been working behind the scenes to protect consumers, businesses, and manufacturers from unfair practices. In Westchester County, the Weights & Measures Division is within the Department of Consumer Protection.
Inspectors from the division use highly accurate equipment to inspect scales, meters, scanning equipment and packaged products at supermarkets. They also inspect weighing and measuring equipment and packages at warehouses, packaging plants, feed mills, shipping companies, lumberyards and gasoline stations. They act as a third party to help maintain fairness and keep the marketplace in balance. In addition, the county equipment is regularly checked out by the state to make sure that the county scales are accurate.
Consumers and businesses both benefit and can help their local weights and measures officials enforce the law and help to keep a fair marketplace.
Look for seals
Weights and measures officials test weighing devices such as gasoline pumps and scales. A seal is usually put on to show that the equipment was tested and found correct.
The seal may vary from state to state, but always look for a seal. If you do not see one, ask the store manager. Contact your weights and measures office if seals are missing.
Do Your Part
If you have a problem with a weights or measures issue:
- Talk with the store manager or owner
- Give the manager or owner a chance to correct the problem
Or, contact Weights and Measures at (914) 995-2179.