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How we can help

Bought faulty goods? Paid for something that never arrived? As a consumer, you have a right to complain.

Our role is to:

  • give information to consumers and businesses
  • help you to resolve disputes in the marketplace.

We can’t always act on every complaint. The more information you give us, the more quickly and accurately we can assess it.

This will result in a range of outcomes for your complaint. We might:

  • investigate your complaint
  • conciliate the issue between you and the business
  • return the complaint for you to self-resolve.

We also handle complaints:

  • from businesses about other businesses who might be breaking the law
  • about unsafe consumer products.

We will log every complaint in our records.

Conciliation

Conciliation is an informal way to resolve your complaint. We will act as an intermediary between you and the business. It’s free, and it can help you avoid legal action.

Conciliation doesn’t always work. If this is the case, we can suggest options for you. This might be:

  • taking your complaint to a tribunal or court
  • seeking your own legal advice.

What we cannot do

We can’t force a business to give you what you want. We can’t make judgments or orders on any matter. Only a tribunal or court has the power to do this.

We don’t have the authority to investigate some types of disputes. We can pass on your complaints to the relevant agencies.

The 5 step process

You must follow these steps to resolve your complaint.

  • Step 1 - Know your rights

    Consumer rights and responsibilities

    Know your legal rights are as a consumer. Businesses must meet certain standards when they trade with you.

  • Step 2 - Try to resolve your complaint first

    Talk to the business

    Find out how to complain over the phone, via email or in writing to a business. Download sample letters and get tips for achieving your desired outcome.

  • Step 3 - Refer your complaint to an industry association

    Use the contact list

    Many businesses belong to an industry association with its own complaint handling process. These may be able to directly help you.

    Find a list of organisations that can help in your dispute. Get details for general complaints, product safety, scams and industry-specific complaints.

  • Step 4 - Learn how we handle complaints

    Understand the complaint process

    Learn about our process for handling complaints. This can help you decide about the best way to make your complaint.

  • Step 5 - Make an official complaint to us

    Lodge your complaint

    Access our online complaint form and make your complaint.

    Or

    Lodge a product safety complaint

    Find out about making a complaint about an unsafe product. Get details of what you need to say and how to tell us.

Last updated
14 March 2018
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