Make a complaint

What to do if things go wrong

If you feel like you've been treated unfairly, don't be afraid to speak out.

How to make a complaint

Step 1: Contact the business with your complaint

Smart tip

Keep notes of all conversations you have with the business. Put them in a safe place - you might need them later.

Tell them:

  • What product or service you bought
  • What went wrong with the product or service
  • How you would like the business to fix the problem

Case study: Dani's bank charged her twice

Dani checked her bank statement and noticed she was charged two lots of fees for one transaction. She rang the bank and explained her problem. The bank said sorry for charging her twice and gave her a credit on her account.

Step 2: Take your complaint further

If you're not happy with their reply, tell the person you are dealing with that you would like to make a formal complaint.

To do this, write a letter to the business. Make sure the letter has:

  • Your name, address and the date at the top of the first page
  • The name and address of the business you are writing to
  • 'Complaint' as the heading
  • An explanation of what product or service you bought, what went wrong with them and how you would like the business to fix the problem
  • Copies of any relevant documents like receipts

Woman at a desk

Photocopy the letter and keep the copy with your other paperwork.

Here are some sample complaint letters you can use as a guide:

Step 3: Resolve your complaint

If you are unhappy about the business' response and your complaint is about a financial service or product like superannuation, bank accounts, insurance or credit, you can take your complaint to an external dispute resolution (EDR) scheme.

External dispute resolution schemes can help you resolve your complaint independently and for free in a simpler way than going to court. Ask the business you are dealing with which scheme they belong to.

Here are the three external dispute resolution schemes:

If your complaint is about something you've bought that's faulty, something you ordered that never arrived, or a door-to-door salesperson, complain to your state or territory fair trading office:

Get help with your complaint

Woman on computerFor help with making your complaint, you can contact ASIC's Indigenous Help Line on 1300 365 957 or the following Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumer organisations:

For more information and advice about making a complaint, see a financial counsellor or a financial capability worker.

If you're not happy with a product or service you've bought, don't be afraid to speak out.

Related links

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain images and voices of deceased people.

Last updated: 18 Jun 2018