Non-Profit Complaint Resolution

What to Do When You’ve Been “Had”

The work of non-profit organizations is vital to our communities, whether they are faith-based, churches, libraries, museums, senior centers, and the many others. The point is that our communities would lose the vibrant flavor that binds the people together. Many hours of dedication, sweat and love go into making a non-profit work. The last thing you want is to spend any amount of that time dealing with scams and fraudulent business practices. Non-profit organizations and small businesses are often targeted for these scams because they have a smaller infrastructure and often a less organized system of checks and balances.

The Ohio Attorney General’s office has come up with a Help Center specifically for non-profits to file complaints when they find themselves “taken advantage of.” They promise to do their best to help achieve a fair response and resolution to your complaint and problem, such as, recovering funds, securing the product or service you were seeking, or reaching a mutually agreeable resolution with the other party.

You can contact Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray’s office by phone: 1.800.282.0515 or online at: http://www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/Nonprofits.

Here are some common scams to keep an eye and ear open for:

A caller contacts a nonprofit claiming to be from Yellow Pages or some other advertising agency. The invoice is sent without an agreement, and the advertisement is not published in the circulation expected.

A caller contacts a nonprofit and asks for the model number of its printer or copier for verification purposes. Low quality toner cartridges and other materials are sent with an invoice and without an agreement. This starts a difficult process of trying to return the products and get out of the payment.

You can ward off these unwanted attacks by assigning one staff member to handle all the sales calls and purchasing of office supplies. Never give out office information unless you know exactly to whom you are talking. Document, document, document. If you do agree to purchase something over the phone, write down all the information you can: sales associate’s name and ID #, company phone number, cost of products, invoice number, estimated date of arrival, time of call, etc.

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