Developing a complaints handling policy

A complaints handling policy gives you and your customers a clear and considered process for managing and resolving customer complaints.

Developing your own policy will help you operate with confidence when customer complaints arise. Your complaints handling policy is also an opportunity to describe to your customers:

  • your clear, prompt process for handling complaints
  • your welcome approach to all customer feedback
  • your positive attitude to discussion and continuous improvement.

What to include in a complaints handling policy

Make sure your complaints handling policy tells your customers how much you value their feedback. Your policy should also state your commitment to resolving complaints quickly, fairly, efficiently and courteously. It should also:

  • explain the steps you would like customers to take when making complaints
  • identify the steps you will take in discussing, considering, addressing and resolving complaints
  • indicate some of the solutions you offer to resolve complaints
  • inform your customers about ongoing improvements to your business.

Think carefully about your personal business ethics and legal trading obligations before you start developing your own customer complaints policy.

Legal considerations

Consider your legal, ethical and personal business commitments and develop a list of requirements and principles that will help you develop your policy.

Find out all you can about your business rights and responsibilities. It's important to understand your obligations under the laws and legislation governing business trading in Australia.

Australian Consumer Law (ACL)

Australian Consumer Law (ACL) is a single, Australia-wide law that governs and protects fair trading practices, introduced on 1 January 2011. ACL is a sub-section of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, and is administered and enforced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Queensland Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

Competition and Consumer Act

The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 sets out terms for fair and competitive business trading - including returns, refunds and warranties - and defines consumer and business rights and responsibilities.

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