ACCC & Consumer Complaints Website

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image22257014A concerned broker wrote to me as follows, in the hope of warning others of the problems that he has faced with one of his clients.

Dear Allan,

I refer to our recent discussion. This is the hyper link to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (“ACCC”) website where a complaint about any product can be lodged by a member of the public.

http://www.productsafety.gov.au/content/maintain/create/index.phtml?contentTypeName=ossComplaint&informationSpaceItemId=tag.OssPublicContent&inPop=1&returnUrl=.&type=Other

The website does give advice on the correct procedures to make a complaint, but this is appears to be only advisory.

It would appear from my client’s experience the ACCC then follow up these complaints as a trigger for an ACCC audit.

In my client’s case no complaint was made directly by the customer,  (no Product Liability Claim was known or lodged) and the ACCC was unable to give any details of the actual complaint due to Privacy concerns.

I do not know what measures the ACCC take to weed out vexatious or even malicious reports, because no evidence of which actual product (or even the product line that was of concern was given). The date of the occurrence was not given nor was a sample of the defective product produced as customer claimed to have thrown the product in the bin.

Without knowing what the product was, the type of fault, the circumstances or use of the product at the time of the alleged failure,  the date the product was manufactured or purchased, it is impossible to respond to any accusation. 

Of course Insurance protections are Management Liability & Product Recall unless you can advise more!

Regards

David [surname and email provided]

I can understand the business owners and their broker’s frustration. How can anyone respond to a complaint and if the complaint is real, remedy the problem moving forward as a prudent risk management measure and replace or reimburse the customer,  if you do not have any facts on which to identify the product or the failure.

As I understand it, the owner of the business has not had any other complaint, hence, is still none the wiser but is having difficulty complying with the ACCC’s request for positive action.

On the face of the facts presented, it appears the business owner here is faced with a real Catch 22 situation.

If any other reader has had a similar experience with this sort of thing please let me know.

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