Free Consumer Help Services
When you have a problem with a product or service
The first place to contact is the business itself. The owner, manager, or customer service contact is often able to fix the problem quickly. And if the owner seems reluctant, use your great negotiation skills or your best academy award performance to get the repair or replacement that you need. In the long run, this will save a lot of time.
State and territory consumer protection agency
Your local state & territory consumer protection agency (sometimes called ‘consumer affairs’ or ‘fair trading’) can provide you with information about your rights and options. They may also be able to help negotiate a resolution between you and the seller.
- ACT Fair Trading – Access Canberra
- NSW Fair Trading
- NT Consumer Affairs
- Office of Fair Trading Queensland
- SA Office of Consumer and Business Services (CBS)
- Tasmanian Consumer Affairs & Fair Trading
- Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV)
- WA Department of Commerce
Industry ombudsmen and dispute resolution
Some industries have Ombudsmen or commissions that can help you. An Ombudsman is an independent person who can investigate and resolve disputes you might have with government organisations or industries like for example, airlines. Ombudsman and commission services are free. You see all those taxes you pay do go somewhere constructive. Here’s a contact list of the most well known ones:
Airlines (When you’re having no luck with Jetstar, Virgin, QANTAS, or Tiger
However, remember you must have a genuine complaint that didn’t result from your own poor judgement or planning.
Banking and Insurance
Our banking industry has become much more accountable since the 2018 Royal Commission but remember, the same accountability should be applied to users of banking services.
Make sure your complaint is legitimate, and has not resulted from your own mistakes or financial misjudgements. Banks can’t simply be cash cows for endless compensation claims from customers who haven’t been financially prudent.
Energy, Gas and Water
Issues related to privacy
Telecommunications (For complaints about telephone and internet services)
Australian Consumer and Competition Commission provides information about your consumer rights and obligations, and possible courses of action you might take. You can also let them know about dodgy products. However, please note that they don’t resolve individual complaints.
State and territory small claims tribunals
You may be entitled to take your complaint to your local state & territory small claims tribunal. Your local tribunal can advise you on their dispute resolution processes and how to lodge a claim.
Consider getting independent legal advice about what options are available and suit your circumstances.
Community Legal Centres have free legal services, but please remember that they are targeted at people who are on low incomes, disadvantaged or have special needs.
Tenancy Advice and help
Click HERE for state by state contacts.