Where to go for consumer help

  • The first step is to ask the business itself to resolve the issue.
  • If the business doesn’t fix your problem, there are other agencies that can help.

What the ACCC does

  • We provide information about consumer rights, to help consumers and businesses deal with complaints.
  • We gather data about consumer problems and investigate issues that result in widespread harm, in our priority areas.

What the ACCC can't do

  • We don’t resolve individual complaints.

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 contacting agencies and services that provide consumer advice, dispute resolution, and small claims legal advice and support.

You can also report the issue to the ACCC. We accept reports where people consider a business is doing something they shouldn’t do. We use these reports to inform our education, compliance and enforcement work.

State and territory consumer protection agencies

If your issue is not resolved by a business and you have written a complaint letter, contact your local state and territory consumer protection agency. They are sometimes called 'consumer affairs' or 'fair trading' and 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.

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.

Industry ombudsmen and dispute resolution

Some industries have a national ombudsman, such as the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman and the Financial Industry Ombudsman. Other industries, such as energy, have industry ombudsmen and dispute resolution offices in each state and territory.

Aged care

Aged Care Complaints Commissioner

Banking and insurance

Australian Financial Complaints Authority

Building

Australian Building and Construction Commission

Queensland Building and Construction Commission

Disability

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

Energy and water

State and territory energy ombudsmen

Franchising

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman

Horticulture

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman

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

Privacy

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

Telecommunications

Telecommunications ombudsman

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.

As a guide, the fee for taking an issue to a small claims tribunal usually ranges from $50 to $100, depending on your state or territory and the case being heard.

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
Consumer Law Centre ACT
New South Wales

Community Legal Centres NSW

Legal Aid NSW
 
Northern Territory Community legal services NT  
Queensland

Community Legal Centres QLD

Legal Aid QLD
 
South Australia

Community Legal Centres SA

Legal Services Commission SA
Legal Services Commission SA
Tasmania

Community Legal Centres Tas

Legal Aid Tas
 
Victoria

Community Legal Centres Victoria

Legal Aid Vic
Consumer Action Law Centre
Western Australia

Community Legal Centres WA

Legal Aid WA
Consumer Credit Legal Service

See also

Contacting a business to fix a problem

Consumer rights and guarantees

Repair, replace, refund, cancel