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Rod SmithThe past couple of months have not been easy. Moreover, we’re having to operate a little differently, but I know UNC is capable of adapting to change and doing great things.

Unfortunately, and during times like these, scams abound — so please ensure you don’t fall victim to transactions that look too good to be true.  I know of two individuals outside of our University that shared their experiences of being scammed.  Examples are below: 

Toilet PaperIn Picture A, the person purchased bathroom tissue at $9.00 for four rolls.  The center of the rolls were standard size as stated, but the most important part – the paper tissue (the product) was about a quarter of the actual size of a standard roll of bathroom tissue.

Hand SanitizerIn Picture B, the product cost was around $5.  As you can see, the product was about an 1/8 of a regular 8-ounce bottle and about four times the normal cost.

I want to encourage managers to ensure you and your staff know exactly what you are purchasing and/or authorizing to be purchased.  Please take time to understand what products are needed and determine first if they are necessary before ordering.  Also, let these examples be a reminder to all that for any products or services that are authorized, managers should always know exactly what is being purchased and why.  This is especially important in relation to contracts.  If specific items are described and are necessary, we must ensure that those goods were received and that subpar products were not substituted.

Lastly – since we’re discussing services and purchases, I want to take the opportunity to discuss warranties.  Upon reviewing the purchasing card reports, I noticed there were several transactions noted as “Warranty Purchases.” Many of the products we purchase have warranties and/or product guarantees. If your department is purchasing extended warranties when you are using the P-card, please have a product and warranty tracking system in place.  If nothing is currently in place, please be sure to establish one and review the transactions to determine the warranty’s details. This should include: the expiration of the warranty, what the warranty covers, what documentation must be kept to ensure the warranty, and information on replacements, etc.  If these warranties are being purchased, we must make certain they’re being utilized if a product fails. This way, we can justify the purchase.

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