Where to lodge a complaint

You may not always be able to resolve a dispute directly with the other party. In some cases you may need to make a formal complaint. A number of state, federal and legal ombudsman services provide avenues for lodging complaints and progressing disputes.

Most ombudsman services provide support for lodging complaints, offering easy-to-follow online and help desk service steps.

The complaints office or avenue you choose will depend on the nature of the complaint.

Disputes between businesses

Disputes between supplier or competition businesses - such as misleading or deceptive conduct – are handled by the Office of Fair Trading.

Disputes with suppliers

Disputes over the supply of goods and services are handled by the:

  • Office of Fair Trading – consumer protection and awareness services as well as services to regulate business conduct
  • Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) – consumer and trader disputes over contracts for the supply of goods and services such as:
    • repairing a defect in a motor vehicle
    • a claim by a consumer against a trader
    • a claim between suppliers and traders.

External disputes

Disputes that do not involve trading activities - such as with commercial or retail landlords, government departments, statutory authorities, regulatory regimes and financial institutions - are handled by various government agencies.

Some government agencies and industry organisations provide alternative dispute resolution services aimed at specific business sectors.

Australian airlines

Building and construction

Energy and water disputes

Finance, insurance and investment disputes

Franchise disputes

Legal disputes


Public agency disputes

Retail and wholesale disputes

Retail leasing disputes

Small business

Telecommunication disputes

Also consider...