Free Consumer Help Services

telephonist-1935-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.

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)

Airline customer advocate

Banking and Insurance

Financial Ombudsman Service

Credit and Investments Ombudsman

Building

The Building Commission (Victoria only)

Queensland Building and Construction Commission

Complaintline (National)

Disability

ACT – ACT Human Rights Commission

NSW – Ombudsman New South Wales

NT – Health and Community Services Complaints Commission

SA – Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner

TAS – Health Complaints Commissioner Tasmania

VIC – Disability Services Commissioner

WA – Health and Disability Services Complaints Office

Energy, Gas and Water

State and territory energy ombudsmen

Small Business

Australian Small Business Commissioner

ASBFEO Dispute Support (Aust. wide for small business and family enterprises)

Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner

Office of the South Australian Small Business Commissioner

Office of the Victorian Small Business Commissioner

Western Australian Small Business Commissioner

Issues related to privacy

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

Telecommunications (For complaints about telephone and internet services)

Telecommunications ombudsman

The ACCC

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.

Legal advice

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.