Interview Questions: Product Substitution

Questions that might reveal product substitution include:

  • Do you know or suspect, or have you heard, that any contractor might be substituting inferior quality or unapproved products?
  • Have you observed or heard about any unusual or generic packaging of products?
  • Are there any indications of apparently used or reconditioned products being furnished as new?
  • Have instances of “inadvertent” product substitution by a contractor been detected?
  • Are certain contractors involved in an unusually high rate of returns, complaints of sub-par performance, or test failures?
  • Do the contract terms or standard procedures allow product substitution for any reason?  If so, why, when and how?
  • Are required product compliance certificates signed and issued for all contractors?
  • Are products thoroughly tested to ensure compliance with contract specifications?
  • Are controls and procedures to detect product substitution in place and enforced?