Complaints and Feedback
We welcome feedback and will handle complaints in a fair and open way. Every reasonable effort will be made by Consumer Action (including its MoneyHelp service) to resolve the complaints it receives to the satisfaction of everyone involved.
If you make a complaint, you can expect that we will:
- treat you with respect
- tell you what to expect while your complaint is being looked into
- carry out the complaint handling process in a fair and open way
- provide reasons for decisions that are made
- protect your privacy
Our complaints policy
The Consumer Action Complaints policy outlines the principles for management of complaints and provides guidelines to help our employees in responding to complaints received. All employees of Consumer Action are required to handle complaints according to the principles and guidelines outlined in the policy.
Who can make a complaint?
Anyone can make a complaint to Consumer Action. You do not have to be receiving services from us to make a complaint and you may make a complaint on behalf of someone else.
Anonymous complaints will be accepted and investigated as far as possible.
Who do I make a complaint to?
Complaints can be directed to our CEO or any other staff member. The CEO will monitor the handling of the complaints and may ask the Director Legal Practice or Advice Services Manager to investigate and respond as appropriate.
How do I make a complaint?
Complaints can be made in a number of ways: in a letter, email, over the phone, in person or using the online contact form. We will help you if you need assistance in making a complaint. For example, we can organise an interpreter if you need one.
What happens once I make a complaint?
When you make a complaint we will explain:
- what will happen while the complaint is being dealt with
- who will deal with the complaint
- what will happen next, such as when you are likely to be contacted again.
You should not be made to feel that you cannot make a complaint, nor should making a complaint have any effect on the services you are receiving from Consumer Action, such as changes to your service or less communication with you.
If the complaint is simple then it may be resolved immediately. If our staff need to make further enquiries, it may take up to two weeks to resolve. Where the complaint is about a more difficult matter it may take longer to resolve.
Once the complaint is resolved as far as possible, you will be informed of the outcome.
You may wish to raise any ongoing problems or concerns at this time.
Sometimes it may not be possible for a complaint to be resolved completely. If this is the case, Consumer Action staff will work with you to look at other options to address your issues. Consumer Action staff may follow up with you afterwards to check that the outcome of the complaint handling process is meeting your needs.
What if I’m not happy with the outcome of the complaint?
If you are not happy with the outcome of the complaint, you can take your complaint to an external agency, where relevant. For example, if your complaint is in relation to our legal services, you can complain to the Legal Services Commissioner. Our staff will advise you of any external bodies to whom you can make a complaint.
- A complaint may be made in writing, by telephone or by email. Complaints should be directed to the CEO, via one of the following contact methods:
Postal: Level 6, 179 Queen Street MELBOURNE VIC 3000
Telephone: (03) 9670 5088
Website feedback form: http://consumeraction.org.au/about/contact/
- Written confirmation of complaints made in writing (including by email) will be sent within 5 days.
- The CEO will monitor the handling of the complaint, unless the complaint relates to the CEO, in which case, see paragraph 7 below.
- If the complaint relates to the Legal Practice operations, the Director – Legal Practice will investigate and respond to the complaint.
- If the complaint relates to the Financial Counselling practice (National Debt Helpline formerly MoneyHelp) operations, the Manager Advice Services will investigate and respond to the complaint.
- If the complaint relates to other aspects of our service, the CEO will investigate and respond to the complaint.
- If the complaint relates to other aspects of our service and involves the CEO the complaint will be directed to the Chair of Consumer Action’s Board.
- The complainant will be advised within 14 days of the outcome of the investigation, or of any additional time required to adequately investigate the complaint.
- In advising the complainant of the outcome of the complaint, advice will also be provided about:
- In the case of a complaint relating to Consumer Action’s Legal Practice, the complainant’s right to complain to the Legal Services Commissioner
- In the case of a complaint relating to other aspects of our service, any right the complainant has to complain to another body (for example, in relation to a funded project, the body that funded the project).
- A record of all feedback in relation to Consumer Action’s services, including complaints, will be maintained by the CEO.