What we do
NSW Fair Trading is responsible for the administration of consumer protection laws in NSW. We aim to achieve fairness for all in the marketplace by undertaking a range of activities including:
- giving consumers and traders information about their rights and responsibilities and Fair Trading services
- helping to resolve consumer complaints and disputes
- licensing businesses, contractors, tradespeople and property professionals
- registering associations and co-operatives
- conducting compliance, inspection and testing programs
- developing and enforcing laws to safeguard consumer rights and inform business and traders on fair and ethical practices
- safeguarding rental bonds.
We’re committed to our regional communities – with 18 Fair Trading Centres providing services in regional NSW. These centres work with their local community providing information and assistance on consumer issues, motor vehicles, home building and renovation, alternatives to high-cost credit, property and tenancy, plus co-operatives, associations and business licensing.
Service delivery is extended to more regional and remote areas through a range of regional access programs, outreach and community education activities. Go to the free community talks page for more information on these services
What you can expect
In every contact you have with Fair Trading you can expect us to:
- treat you fairly, with respect and courtesy
- provide you with accurate and consistent information and options
- provide a timely and reliable service that meets our service standards
- make it easy to access our services
- treat your information lawfully
- provide you with the facts and reasons for our decisions and respond to your request for a review.
We will treat you fairly, with respect and courtesy
We will do this by:
- providing our names and appropriate contact details whether you contact us by phone or in writing
- being polite, responsive, helpful and sensitive to your rights and needs
- ensuring that decisions and actions are reasonable, fair and appropriate to the circumstances, based on consideration of all the relevant facts and supported by legislation, policies and procedures
- behaving with honesty and integrity
- ensuring our service delivery is sensitive to customers from our culturally and linguistically diverse community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds
- being responsive in meeting the agreed timeframes and following up on queries
- keeping you informed as your matter progresses
- apologising when we get it wrong.
We will provide you with accurate and consistent information and options
To ensure that you have accurate and consistent information we will:
- endeavour to maintain accurate and up to date website information
- provide educational material and publications that are easy to read, accurate and available in a number of community languages where appropriate
- explain the Fair Trading services that best meet your individual needs
- give you information in an appropriate format that is easy to understand, clear, accurate, current and complete
- explain what you should know and what you need to do, as well as letting you know what we cannot do for you where appropriate
- put you in touch with the appropriate organisation to assist you where we are unable to provide the service you need.
We will provide a timely and reliable service that meets our service standards
We aim to:
- answer your general telephone enquiries during the call or if that’s not possible to return telephone calls as soon as possible and no later than in 5 working days
- minimise the time you wait for services and answer your general enquiries at the time you approach us – or where this is not possible we will advise you how and when a response will be available
- respond to your general correspondence within 30 working days of receipt or if this is not possible we will provide an interim response advising of the likely length of the delay (responses will include the name and contact details of the staff member responsible for your matter)
- acknowledge online enquiries and consumer complaints within 24 hours where an email address is provided
- process applications and provide services in accordance with our published guarantees of service
- consult widely, where possible, when developing consumer policy to ensure a range of views are considered and provide a reasonable time for comment on proposals.
We will make it easy to access our services
We will do this by providing:
- access to the Fair Trading website 24 hours 7 days per week and increasing access to Fair Trading services on the internet
- telephone access on 13 32 20 for the cost of a local call from anywhere in NSW
- Access to Service NSW centres to lodge complaints and submit forms in person, or through access points in rural and remote New South Wales
- a TTY (Teletypewriter) service for hearing impaired customers: 1300 723 404
- a telephone interpreter service for our culturally and linguistically diverse community. You may telephone 13 14 50 and ask for an interpreter in your language to assist you with your enquiry
- outreach services and conducting community education and information programs for the business sector, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, seniors, youth, the indigenous community and the general public.
We will treat your information lawfully
The way we collect, store, use, access, correct and disclose your personal information is regulated by law. Details of Fair Trading’s obligations under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 and the Government Information Public Access (GIPA) Act 2009 are explained on our website and in separate publications. Go to our privacy page to find out more.
If you think that your privacy or the confidentiality of your information has been breached your first step should be to try and resolve it with the person you have been dealing with (or phone the number you have been given). If you are not satisfied, talk to the officer’s manager or you can make a complaint.
We will provide you with the facts and reasons for our decisions and respond to your request for a review
We will provide you with the facts and reasons for the decisions we make. We will refer to the source of information relevant to the decision and will explain your right to object, request a review or appeal. We will also let you know the period of time you have to exercise these rights.
If you have a question, or you would like us to review our decision then:
- in the first instance contact the person handling your matter. The contact details will appear on the top right-hand corner of the correspondence you have received. You may ask to speak to the manager responsible for that work area
- you may lodge a complaint in person at any Service NSW Centre, by phone, mail or email which we will manage in a timely, consistent and objective manner. We will respond to your complaint within 15 working days from receipt.
You may also be able to apply for a review of the decision through the Administrative Decisions Tribunal at www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/adt or (02) 9223 4677 or the Ombudsman at www.ombo.nsw.gov.au or 02 9286 1000.
What you should not expect
We are unable to:
- provide you with legal advice. We may assist with the general interpretation of Fair Trading laws but if you need specific legal advice you must speak to your own legal advisor
- recommend or endorse a business or trader
- comment on the reputation of a particular trader or business. We are able to tell you if a business is listed as a known scam or is the subject of a public warning. We may also provide registration and licence status details. Conduct details are available through the public registers of home building and property services licences.
You can help us
We can provide you with a better, faster, more accurate service if you:
- give your name, contact details and any reference or licence numbers when you contact us (reference numbers are included in any letters we send you)
- tell us promptly of any change to your name, contact details or circumstances
- make sure that any forms you submit are fully completed and signed by the legally appropriate person and don’t forget any supporting documents and fees
- respond on time to our requests for information or quickly let us know if you can’t reply by the time specified
- provide us with all relevant information in your possession
- treat our staff with courtesy, consideration and respect
- behave with honesty and integrity in all your contacts with us.
We welcome your feedback – whether compliments, suggestions or complaints. What you tell us can help us improve our services or correct a problem we may not have been aware of. We also seek customer feedback through regular surveys and research, by speaking with community organisations, industry and consumer groups and other government agencies to monitor how well we are doing. You can provide feedback in any way that suits you – phone 9619 8671, email, letter, or by using the convenient customer feedback form.
If you are unhappy with the way we have treated you, our Complaints about our service page provides a system to make sure your complaint is handled quickly and courteously. Go to the complaints about our service page or phone 9619 8671 for more information.
We also welcome any comments you have in regard to this Service Charter and our compliance with it. If you would like to provide feedback on this Charter please write to – Commissioner, NSW Fair Trading, PO Box 972, Parramatta NSW 2124