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Dealing with a complaint against a trader

Consumer advice

Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading (CAFT) provides information to consumers, tenants, landlords and traders on a range of issues. We can provide general information on your rights and obligations as well as assistance to help you resolve a dispute or problem. CAFT will generally only become involved in a dispute after you have attempted to resolve the issue yourself.

Here are some steps to follow:

  • Contact the trader - You need to contact the trader yourself.  You can go back into the store, phone, write a letter or send an email.  The purchase method may determine how you can contact the trader (eg online purchases).
  • Speak with a manager or an authorised person - you need to speak with someone who is authorised to make a decision about your situation so ask to speak with the manager or address correspondence to the manager.  If they are unavailable, ask to make a time to see them.
  • Keep information - keep a copy of all correspondence relating to the problem (eg, receipts, quotes, letters, emails). Make notes of direct conversations with a trader or representative.
  • Negotiate - some complaints may only be resolved by negotiation and compromise from all parties concerned. What you are expecting to get and what is offered may differ.

Sample letter to use when writing to a trader

If you are unsuccessful in resolving your complaint, you can contact us for more information or assistance.

Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading does not provide legal advice.  If you require legal advice you can contact the Legal Aid Commission, a Community Legal Centre or a legal professional in your area.