Where to go for consumer help

  • The first step is to contact the business itself to resolve the issue. Often a phone call or visit can fix the issue.
  • If the business doesn’t fix your problem, there are other agencies that can help.
  • Sometimes another regulator or ombudsman scheme may be more appropriate than the ACCC, depending on your issue.

What the ACCC does

  • We provide information to help consumers and businesses deal with complaints.
  • We gather information about consumer and fair trading problems from the reports we receive and from other sources. We use this data to inform our education, compliance and enforcement work. Find out more in our Compliance and Enforcement Policy.
  • We focus our work on issues that can result in widespread harm.

What the ACCC can't do

  • We don’t resolve individual complaints.
  • We don't provide legal advice on your rights and obligations under the law.
  • We don’t make formal decisions on whether a person or business has breached the law as only the courts can do this.

If you have a product safety problem, see our Product Safety website. 

If you have lost money to a scam or given out your personal details to a scammer, see our Scamwatch website.

If there is a problem with a product or service, the first step is to contact the business itself.

If the problem isn’t fixed there are other steps you can take. This includes to contact agencies and services that provide consumer advice, dispute resolution, and small claims legal advice and support.

Other consumer protection agencies

If you have tried to resolve your problem with a business, contact your local state and territory consumer protection agency. They are sometimes called 'consumer affairs' or 'fair trading' agencies.

They can provide you with information about your rights and options. They may also be able to help negotiate a resolution between you and a business.

It may be better for you to contact consumer protection agencies other than the ACCC about some consumer issues. For example, most of these state and territory consumer protection agencies also deal with:

  • residential tenancy laws
  • regulations for retirement villages and other residential parks
  • fundraising regulations
  • regulations for licensed industries such as motor vehicle dealers or real estate agents
  • residential building and construction issues.

Australian Capital Territory

Access Canberra

New South Wales

NSW Fair Trading

Northern Territory

NT Consumer Affairs

Queensland

Office of Fair Trading Queensland

South Australia

SA Office of Consumer and Business Services (CBS)

Tasmania

Tasmania Consumer, Building and Occupational Services (CBOS)

Victoria

Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV)

Western Australia

WA Consumer Protection - Department Of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety

International consumer protection

The International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN) is an organisation composed of consumer protection authorities from over 60 countries. ICPEN's website provides useful information on how you can resolve cross-border disputes.

ICPEN also maintains the eConsumer.gov website where you can report international scams and other consumer complaints.

The US Federal Trade Commission maintains a list of consumer protection and competition authorities worldwide.

Other consumer regulators, industry ombudsmen and dispute resolution

There are other consumer regulators for specific industries. Some of these regulators can also assist with complaints.

Some industries have a national ombudsman that provides dispute resolution. Examples are the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman and the Australian Financial Complaints Authority. Other industries, such as energy, have industry ombudsmen and dispute resolution offices in each state and territory.

Aged care

Aged Care Complaints Commissioner

Building

Australian Building and Construction Commission

Queensland Building and Construction Commission

Charities

Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

Disability

National

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission

National Disability Insurance Agency

Australian Human Rights Commission

Australian Capital Territory

ACT Human Rights Commission

New South Wales

Ombudsman New South Wales

Northern Territory

Health and Community Services Complaints Commission

South Australia

Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner

Tasmania

Health Complaints Commissioner Tasmania

Victoria

Disability Services Commissioner

Western Australia

Health and Disability Services Complaints Office

Education

Higher education

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency

Vocational education

Australian Skills Quality Authority

International students dealing with private education providers in Australia

Commonwealth Ombudsman

Energy and water

Australian Energy Regulator

State and territory energy ombudsmen

Financial products and services

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) enforces consumer credit laws and consumer protection laws in relation to financial products and services. ASIC does not resolve individual disputes but can give you information about your rights and next steps. ASIC also uses the information from reports to inform its education, compliance and enforcement work.

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority is the dispute resolution scheme for financial products and services. It considers complaints about credit, finance and loans, insurance, banking deposits and payments, investments and financial advice, and superannuation.

Small business - national

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman

ASBFEO dispute assistance

Small business – state and territory

New South Wales

Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner

South Australia

Office of the South Australian Small Business Commissioner

Victoria

Victorian Small Business Commission

Western Australia

Western Australian Small Business Commissioner

Postal services

The Commonwealth Ombudsman can investigate complaints about Australia Post and StarTrack.

Privacy

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

Private Health Insurance

Commonwealth Ombudsman

Telecommunications

The Telecommunications ombudsman handles complaints about telecommunications providers, where you have already tried to resolve the issue with the provider first.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority handles complaints about specific telecommunications issues it regulates, such as spam, online gambling and complaints about TV and radio broadcasting standards.

Therapeutic Goods

The Therapeutic Goods Administration regulates the supply, import, export, manufacturing and advertising of therapeutic goods, medical devices and medicines.

State and territory small claims tribunals

Each state has a small claims court or tribunal that hears cases about consumer issues.

You may be entitled to take your complaint to your local state and territory small claims tribunal. Your local tribunal can advise you on their dispute resolution processes and how to lodge a claim.

There is usually a fee involved for taking an issue to a small claims tribunal. Your local tribunal can advise you on the relevant fee that would apply to your situation.

Australian Capital Territory

ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal

New South Wales

New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal

Northern Territory

Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal

Queensland

Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal

South Australia

South Australia Magistrates Court

Tasmania

Magistrates Court of Tasmania

Victoria

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal

Western Australia

Magistrates Court of Western Australia

Seek legal advice

You can get independent legal advice in your state or territory about what options are available.

State/territory Services that provide legal advice Services that provide consumer law advice
ACT

Community Legal Centres ACT

Legal Aid ACT

Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT

Consumer Law Centre ACT
New South Wales

Community Legal Centres NSW

Legal Aid NSW

Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT

 
Northern Territory

Community legal services NT

North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency

 
Queensland

Community Legal Centres QLD

Legal Aid QLD

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service Queensland

 
South Australia

Community Legal Centres SA

Legal Services Commission SA

Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement

Legal Services Commission SA
Tasmania

Community Legal Centres Tas

Legal Aid Tas

Tasmanian Aboriginal Legal Service

 
Victoria

Community Legal Centres Victoria

Legal Aid Vic

Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service

Consumer Action Law Centre
Western Australia

Community Legal Centres WA

Legal Aid WA

Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia

Consumer Credit Legal Service

See also

Report an issue to the ACCC

Contacting a business to fix a problem

Consumer rights and guarantees

Repair, replace, refund, cancel