Service Charter

Our Service Charter sets out the role of the ACCC and standard of service you can expect to receive from us.

Role of the ACCC

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is an independent Commonwealth statutory authority. We are Australia’s competition and consumer regulator. We promote competition and fair trading and regulate national infrastructure to make markets work for everyone.

We make markets work by:

  • protecting consumers and ensuring fair markets by enforcing the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and the Australian Consumer Law
  • collecting information from consumers and businesses to help us understand what issues cause the most harm to Australian businesses and consumers and where best to use our resources
  • reviewing and assessing company mergers and asset acquisitions, authorisation and notification applications in Australia
  • promoting competition in the communication, bulk water, postal, and transport industries.

We encourage you to report any behaviour or business practice that is concerning to you.

As well as capturing the information, we also guide consumers and small businesses to find:

  • information about their rights and obligations, and what to do when something goes wrong,
  • services or agencies who can assist them more directly.

We do not act on behalf of consumers or businesses to resolve their individual disputes with businesses or organisations. Only a court can make determinations on whether a breach of the legislation has occurred; we can’t provide businesses or consumers with legal advice.

Information on the corporate priorities and strategies of the ACCC can be obtained from our Corporate Plan.

The AER

The Australian Energy (AER) is the national energy market regulator and an independent statutory authority funded by the Commonwealth. The AER has an independent Board, with its staff, resources and facilities provided by the ACCC. For more information on the role of the AER and its functions please see www.aer.gov.au.

Purpose of our Service Charter

This Service Charter sets out the standard of service you can expect to receive from the ACCC.

Our Service Charter also sets out:

  • what you should do if you wish to report information about a business or market issue
  • what you should do if you wish to make a complaint about your dealings with us
  • what we ask of you.

We will handle comments, complaints or enquiries made via the ACCC social media such as Twitter and Facebook in accordance with a separate social media policy, not the Service Charter. Any complaints or enquiries made via social media will be used to inform our compliance and enforcement activities.

Contacting the ACCC about problems within a market or with a trader

You can contact the ACCC by:

  • submitting a report or enquiry form using the ACCC’s website

  • writing to one of the ACCC's offices

  • calling our Infocentre on 1300 302 502, open from 8:30am to 5.30pm AEST. A translation service is available on this number by calling the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450.

Callers who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment can contact the ACCC through the National Relay Service on 1333 677 and ask for 1300 302 502. Voice-only users please phone 1300 555 727 and ask for 1300 302 502.

To enable us to provide you with a high level of service when you contact us, we ask that you:

  • consider the information provided on what we can and can’t do for consumers and businesses
  • consider accessing information and publications on our website before contacting us
  • give us accurate and complete information and where possible supporting documentation
  • respond to us within agreed timeframes
  • please treat our staff with courtesy and respect.

Sharing information with us helps us to target our resources

We encourage you to share information with us about market issues or problems with a trader. Please understand it is not our role to act on behalf of consumers or businesses to resolve their individual disputes with businesses or organisations, although our web site includes some useful information to help you resolve these disputes.

Your information helps us build our intelligence about business practices and individual traders and to understand what issues cause the most harm to Australians. This helps us to make strategic decisions about where best to use our resources and ensure that we direct them to matters that are likely to provide the greatest overall benefit for competition and consumers.  

I would like my report to remain confidential

We respect your right to privacy and confidentiality in making a report to us. If you give us information, we will use that information in accordance with the law and the ACCC/AER Information Policy.

Our service level goals

When you contact us about your rights or obligations we have two key service level goals.

Where you telephone the ACCC’s Infocentre with a report or inquiry we aspire to answer 60% of telephone calls within 60 seconds.

If you contact us via letter or webform we aim to respond to you within 15 business days from receipt. We receive a lot of contact from people simply providing us with information. In those circumstances, we will record your information but we may not provide a response.

We will provide you with a courteous, professional and quality service. Our staff will be respectful in their interactions with you and act in a fair and transparent manner. They will also identify themselves when you contact the ACCC and speak to you in plain English.

Complaints about the ACCC

We welcome your feedback, compliments or suggestions on your experience in dealing with the ACCC. If you are dissatisfied with our conduct or if we have not met the standards outlined in this Service Charter, we recommend you:

  • try to resolve the issue with the staff member directly. If this is not possible, please ask to speak with their supervisor or manager
  • if you are not satisfied, you are able to have your complaint escalated to an ACCC general manager or executive general manager for a more detailed response or reconsideration of the initial assessment
  • if you remain dissatisfied after taking these steps, please write to: ACCC Chief Operating Officer Rayne de Gruchy at GPO Box 3131, Canberra ACT 2601
  • Finally, if you are not satisfied with the response provided by the COO, you can contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman on 1300 362 072. For more information on the role of the Commonwealth Ombudsman please visit www.ombudsman.gov.au.

FOI requests

Freedom of information requests to the ACCC should be directed to our Freedom of Information Officer.

ACCC Freedom of Information Officer
GPO Box 3131
Canberra ACT 2601
foi@accc.gov.au

Further information on the ACCC and AER’s freedom of information processes can be found at foi.accc.gov.au

Contact us

Contact the ACCC

More information

What we can & can't do for consumers
What we can & can't do for small business