Complaints Register Guidelines Review

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  • The Issue

    Consultation period: 27/04/2018 12:00 am to 25/05/2018 12:00 am

    NSW Fair Trading receives over 45,000 complaints from consumers each year about businesses across a large range of industries. The Complaints Register (the Register) is a published list of businesses that are the subject of 10 or more complaints to NSW Fair Trading in a calendar month. The Register has been published monthly since August 2016.

    The policy intent of the Register is to help consumers make informed decisions about where they shop and which traders they purchase goods and services from. In addition, it aims to help traders lift standards, shining a light on areas where customer service and complaint resolution processes could improve.

    The Complaints Register Guidelines were developed to support the design and administration of the Register. NSW Fair Trading is conducting a review of the Guidelines to get a greater understanding of the effectiveness of the Guidelines in supporting the operation of the Register.

    As part of the review process, an Issues Paper was released to facilitate public feedback about the Complaints Register Guidelines.

    As part of the consultation, we invited business owners and operators, industry bodies, consumer groups, consumers and all other interested parties to read the Complaints Register Guidelines Review Issues Paper and provide feedback.

    NSW Fair Trading will analyse all submissions and feedback received throughout the consultation process. This will be used to help identify any potential changes to the Guidelines. The findings will be included in a final report.

  • Milestones

    • 25 May 2018 (5pm) - submissions closed
  • Outcomes

    The NSW Fair Trading Complaints Register Guidelines Review Report is in the ‘Documents’ section.

    The review considered the design and administration of the Guidelines, what information could add value to the Guidelines and improve the operation of the Register, and changes to the structure of and information included in the Register.

    Excluded from the review was the existence of the Register itself, the legislation underpinning it, Fair Trading’s use of the definition of a complaint and Fair Trading’s compliance with the Guidelines since the Register was launched.

    Some of the methodology which informed the review’s findings and recommendations, included:

    • Public consultation around an Issues Paper
    • Online user survey
    • Web statistics
    • Analysis of complaints data
    • Consultation with other Australian consumer protection agencies
    • Desktop review of other agencies’ publication of identifiable complaint data in Australia and overseas, and a literature scan about the evidence of impact from such practices.

    The review found that, overall, the existing Guidelines are effective in governing the operation of the Register and, with the recommended improvements, will continue to be.

    View the submissions here

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