Complaints register

When we receive 10 or more complaints against a company in a month, we list them on our Complaints Register. Use it to help you make informed decisions about where to shop.

As the NSW regulator responsible for protecting consumer rights, we receive around 45,000 online complaint forms and 40,000 phone enquiries annually.

The Complaints Register lists businesses that have had 10 or more complaints lodged with NSW Fair Trading against them in one calendar month.  It helps consumers make informed purchasing decisions and aims to create a fairer marketplace where information about businesses is easily available.

The Complaints Register also lists:

  • the location of the business being complained about
  • a general description of the product/service or transaction being complained about
  • a general description of the issue the complaint relates to.

The Complaints Register allows the ability to view complaints data over 24 months.

Franchises are grouped according to brand and then location. This helps the public in identifying the business. Most franchise holders will have policies set by head office so it is appropriate that they are grouped together by brand.

The Complaints Register only includes complaints that have been made to Fair Trading. So if someone has complained directly to a business, that will not be handled by us and therefore won’t appear on the register.

The Complaints Register only includes complaints that meet the definition of a complaint, have been made by a real person and relate to a real interaction with a business.  This reduces the risk of false claims being made for the purpose of damaging a business’s reputation. We may request supporting information to determine if the matter relates to a real interaction.

The Complaints Register guidelines provides further information about what is classed as a complaint, how Fair Trading deals with complaints, and the limitations of the complaints data.

Any business that is listed on the register will be contacted by us and provided with a case manager to work with the business to improve their processes so hopefully they do not appear on the register again.

Information about businesses who have been on the register remains publicly accessible on the complaints register for two years from original publication date. After that date, historical information can be found on the Data NSW website.

Media attention can impact the number of complaints that are made to us, so this may mean that larger, more well known businesses receive a larger number of complaints.

Section 86AA of the Fair Trading Act 1987 allows for the publication of information about businesses.

Further information

A complaint is an “expression of dissatisfaction made to or about an organisation, related to its products, services, staff or the handling of a complaint, where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected or legally required.” (AS/NZS 10002-2014)

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