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Material & Disbursement Services (MSD)


Effective Date: 07/01/1994

Last Modified Date: 11/21/2003

Returns to University Storerooms

Take or send the merchandise to the storeroom and explain the reason for the return. Credit will be given by the issuance of a Storeroom Requisition (Form P-108) marked as a Credit Memo, and will be deducted from the returning department's monthly billing.

Returns to Commercial Vendors


Contact the vendor to get permission to return the merchandise and to get any specific shipping instructions. Use a Purchasing Change Request (Form P-103) to notify Purchasing Services of the intended return, explaining the reason. Purchasing will notify Central Receiving to pick up the merchandise from the requesting department and ship it to the vendor.

Department Responsibilities

  1. Before submitting the Purchasing Change Request form:
    1. Obtain return authorization from the vendor to ensure that they will accept the returned package.
    2. Seal the package securely and put it in an easily accessible area, ready for pickup by Central Receiving.

  2. Processing the Purchasing Change Request form:
    1. Type the form, filling in the top portion using the original order information.
    2. In the description, include the following information:
      • Item(s) being returned (listed separately)
      • Reason for return (duplicate shipment, incorrect, damaged, etc.)
      • Return authorization number or name of the vendor representative who authorized return
      • Value of item(s) [if this is left off and the shipper loses the package, UNC might not be reimbursed for the full cost of the item(s)]
      • Pickup location, including room, building, and contact name
    3. Send the completed form to Disbursement Services for approval. Do not send the package; it will be picked up once the paperwork is completed.

Purchasing/Central Receiving Responsibilities

Items Purchased with a Purchase Order

  1. Purchasing creates a change order against the original PO via the Financial Records System (FRS).
  2. Purchasing produces pickup paperwork for Central Receiving to use, along with shipping label to be pasted on package.
  3. Central Receiving obtains the package from the department location and ships it to the vendor.

Items Purchased with a Check Request

Since Purchasing had no part in the original order process, it does not actually process these Change Request forms for Check Requests. Purchasing just forwards the form to Central Receiving, where the pickup is arranged as usual.

Note: if the item is being returned before the Check Request is ever submitted for payment, route the Purchasing Change Request form directly to Central Receiving, bypassing Disbursement Services.

Additional Information

See also:

MSD Policy 25, Return of Merchandise to Vendors

MSD Appendix 8, Purchasing Change Request (Form P-103)

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