Handling complaints

A system to deal with complaints or possible contraventions of the Fair Trading Act should be part of any compliance programme.

In general, businesses should:

  • establish the facts of any complaint quickly. ┬áIf it is clear that a consumer has been misled, it may be prudent to honour the offer as understood by the consumer.
  • take customer complaints seriously. Many complaints to the Commission are made because the business concerned has taken a casual attitude to a complaint.

Complaints provide valuable information to businesses that can be used to improve systems and customers service.

Complaints handling register

The sample complaints handling register provides a template for businesses to use for collecting and recording information about customer complaints relating to the Fair Trading Act. Recording all complaints should assist businesses in providing quality customer service and enable easier production of management reports on complaint statistics and trend analysis. The register is designed for Fair Trading Act complaints but could easily be modified to register all complaints and customer feedback, both external and internal.

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