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Scams

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Unethical Vendors!
There continues to be a number of unethical companies who have found Greek Houses an easy target for soliciting their products and/or services through fraud and deception. The reason for the continued success of these unethical vendors is their understanding of the turnover of house officers (mainly in fraternities). They are aware of the lack in communication as it pertains to, a house managers general procedures (or more likely, lack of) in procuring their house supplies, whether it be cleaning chemicals, urinal blocks, toilet rim cages, light bulbs & fluorescent tubes, stationery, copier toner, etc. These companies are well aware of the lack of records and breakdown in communications during the change of officers. They prey on the new House Manager, Treasurer or House Director by misleading them about 'alleged' past business transactions.

A number of approaches may be used to solicit the order, but the bottom line is always the same: a new officer ends up dealing with merchandise being delivered to them which was never ordered, may or may not have been received but billed for, is generally over-priced and of inferior quality. They must then attempt to communicate with rude and obnoxious sales people who make their living through intimidation and deceit. They end up angry, confused, and misinformed...and...unfortunately...they many times end up paying the invoice to avoid further confrontation and embarrassment. Then, what's even worse...having succeeded, they run the same scam again the next term! This problem is not unique to your campus or to your house. These low-lifes are preying on Greek Houses all over the country. They continue their illicit practices because no one stops them.

We at IFC Supply are aware of these problems first hand since our field reps personally visit over a thousand houses a year going back to 1975. We've seen and heard your complaints and have helped many of you by giving helpful advice on how to get out of these unfortunate situations. IFC Supply has provided a number of options that we hope will help you out of a current "scam" as well as deal with it properly so it won't happen to you again and again. It is our intent to let you know that when it comes to buying supplies and/or services, BUY WHAT YOUR HOUSE NEEDS, JUST BE CAREFUL WHO YOU BUY FROM! IFC Supply has provided you with many creditable sources (Associate Memberships, etc.) via our web site and our products and services printed catalog/CD. All this is provided so that you can have complete confidence in who we are.

Handling a "Scam"
IFC Supply, as a concerned "legitimate" vendor, wants you to know your rights when your house finds itself involved in receipt of a product or service which you believe wasn't truly authorized and ordered. We has provided the following precautions and procedures compiled by Tom Schneider, former Executive Director and Staff Attorney for the Alpha Tau Omega National Fraternity.

Steps to Avoid Problems:

  1. Authorize only two officers (House Manager and/or Treasurer) to order and sign for supplies.
  2. Only buy from companies you know and trust. (i.e., IFC Supply!)
  3. Be certain that you get the name of the company and the person with whom you are dealing, the phone number and location of their office, as well as specific information on the products or services that you are considering purchasing.
  4. Verify any claims of previous business dealings with past officers.
  5. Confirm product packaging and volume for each item to be ordered (i.e., quantity per case, unit price, etc.).
  6. Consider the quality of the product versus the cost...will it save you money in the long run.
  7. If you don't want to hear from a company again, demand that the solicitor put your chapter on the "no-call list' (Under Federal law, the company must honor your demand if you use these magic words: "no-call list.")
Procedures After You've Been Scammed:
  1. Make absolutely certain that your chapter did not order the supplies! Check with whoever talked to the solicitor. If you did place an order, you are obligated to either pay for the goods or ship them back within the time limit stated on the invoice (assuming you received what you ordered at the price you were quoted and that the goods are in good condition).
  2. Don't open the box. Store it in a safe place. (If you use any supplies you weaken your position and credibility substantially).
  3. If you have all the goods in storage, write a letter to the company, sending it certified mail/return receipt requested. (SEE LETTER BELOW)
  4. Keep all evidence in a file: letters, return receipts, invoice, collection notices, phone logs and notes. These will be important to the Attorney General of the state where the company is based (and/or your state Attorney General).
Sample Letter:
Dear Sirs:

We received a box of merchandise from your company on (date) which we did not order. You may contact (name) at the chapter at (phone number) within ten days to reclaim them at your expense. If you have not made arrangements by then, we will charge you a $5.00 per day storage fee. You may then reclaim them after paying us the storage fee. If you still do not reclaim them after a few days, we will assume you sent them to us as a free gift.

Do not solicit our chapter again. Put us on your "no call" list. Under the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 USC Section 227, et.seq, you are obligated by law to not solicit us now that we've given you this notice.

If we encounter further problems with your company, we will also file a complaint with the (state where company is located) Attorney General's office.


Attorney General's Offices:

California State Attorney General's Office

Florida State Attorney General's Office

Illinois State Attorney General's Office

Indiana State Attorney General's Office

New Jersey State Attorney General's Office

Pennsylvania State Attorney General's Office


 
 
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