Hard-to-contact companies

Hi Community Members - have you ever had an issue with a business and found them almost (or completely) impossible to contact? Or when you do finally get through with a phone call, email or message, they don’t respond?

We’re looking for the hardest-to-contact companies - leave your nominations below!


There have been some complaints about this issue on the site in the past. One such topic is linked below

Services Australia is one of my top nominations for hard to contact, their phone contact system at the moment is like getting into the CHOICE site while it was having issues the other day (or I would rather walk over broken glass in bare feet than have to try to phone them to try and get through so I often now just don’t bother trying)…but Services Australia is like it every day.


Citibank - one phone number for everything except credit cards and personal loans, and only one snail mail address for everything. Getting put through to the correct area was arduous and it was not possible to send information directly to any one or any area.

I’ll second that. I think that long ago Services Australia (and their progenitors) took on a Faulty Towers-esque modus operandi and forgot their mission to provide a service to clients; preferring to force clients to fit in with Services Australia. And, they make limited allownace for disabled clients, who are a large segment of their clientèle.

Let’s not forget about the IT behemoths: Facebook, Google, eBay, etc. and their plethora of offshoots. They only respond if you are:
a) a very senior pollitician,
b) very rich and likely to be able to afford to sue, and
c) a celebrity who could hurt their bottom line by moving lots of users away.


Latitude Financial.
It is my belief they specifically train their support people not to understand anything.
One complaint I made to them resulted in a string of 44 emails before I finally gave up. The relentless lack of understanding and parroting one of many canned answers - some not even remotely related to the topic - was a thing to behold.


Every business advertising on the internet should be forced to display an ABN or equivalent so we can track them via the government. Unless the company is well known to me i will only make payments via paypal as i can beat them up if all else fails.


The local bank branch.
I suspect there is more than one brand that falls into the difficult to contact directly bucket. I’ll nominate ANZ because in one instance last year it was 2+ business days before they answered the message left to arrange an appointment.

P.S. I use the word ‘local’ somewhat frivolously. It’s a 30 minute drive to the nearest large town (pop 100k) with a branch.

@grahroll has already mentioned CentreLink. My partner would second that nomination. Is turning up at the door to join the queue to make an appointment and then leave to come back another day another way to make it hard. The online and phone in prompts appear to do everything possible to divert one by making the customer solve their own problem.


A little OT from contacting a company noting many fraudlent companies have live phone systems to answer calls to their Australian numbers regardless of where they are located.

There are many instances of fraudulent appropriation of ABNs as well as company addresses. Forcing them to be posted would be no more than a feel good exercise with indeterminate consequences. Anyone with a device can discover live ABNs and corporate information to steal and use.

Two related topics on the Community, one scamming

and another that seems to be a ‘real’ company that just doesn’t care.


I agree with the comments about Services Australia. I would nominate my local public hospital where you can get through but its very hard to find someone who knows whats going on or you just get left on hold forever. However I would like to nominate Holman (makers of misters etc.) who did answer my call quickly and dealt with my online order on the spot. Excellent job.


Another hard to contact by phone is any local AusPost branch. There is a national 13 XXXX number and then you have to explain your request/issue. Often they don’t put you through to the local office and they carry out the conversation for you. If they do put you through you often have to repeat why you are contacting, but this being put through is a very rare bird indeed.


You can call them directly. Click the one you want to get the phone number.


It’s the 13 XXXX variant of the number to call many of them. There is no direct PO local number for a huge lot of them. Maybe the ones that have a direct number may be a co-hosted agency e.g. where they are located in a newsagency. All Ipswich as an example are 13 13 18, Sherwood is 13 13 18, Oxley is co-hosted and has a direct number Corinda is 13 13 18, Darra is 13 13 18. If you call the 13 76 78 number or the 13 13 18 number or some of the other 13 XXXX numbers they hold they are the ones who will do the conversation and often do not put you through and they do cover all Auspost locales, just I guess for some you can get lucky and have a direct number.

For the others that don’t have that local number, and they seem the vast majority, it is a difficult service.


EXCELLENT!! will get thinking. Have had that issue on several occasions in the last year.

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Fetch TV is another company which is difficult to contact.


For some years I had a boxed, unused Revlon hair dryer I’d bought as an emergency at Harvey Norman. About this time last year deciding to give it a whirl, I took the mauve, soft looking dryer from its box and plastic wrapping and grabbed the handle. Not only was the handle sticky, the total surface was strangely sticky. I repackaged it and disposed of it ‘thoughtfully’. Concerned about toxicity, I found a Revlon customer service site and penned a message - I them know the appliance details and that the material used was breaking down strangely. Last week, yes, almost a year later, I receive an email from Revlon telling me it was well out of warranty - Tell me something I don’t know, Revlon - and that I should return it to where I purchased it four or five years ago. Their email was a No-reply address. I did permit myself to shake my head and frown a little.


Qatar Airways. You can call to make changes to a booking or enquire about a flight. Anything else they can only do the same thing you can do - send an email to customer service which is likely to be ignored. Offices at the airports are not allowed to speak to the public, apparently. I’m still trying to get EU flight compensation for a delayed flight last October. I think any company operating with an ABN in Australia should be required to provide adequate phone-based customer service that is able to attend to problems. Online enquiries can just go into the abyss and you have no idea if they are received, ignored or in progress.


I found Vodafone difficult. My mother in law needed a new SIM for a new phone after 3g closed. Her phone hadn’t been working for 3 months .She doesn’t have email or use the internet. It was easier to get a new Sim from another company than try to get one from Vodafone. After that we had to prove we were who we said we were to close the Vodafone account. That took a number of weeks. I found that most of her bill was for paper based fees. On her last invoice were charges for activity after 3g was closed ie when she had no connection.
The other company I deal with is called Skedda. It’s based in the US. It doesn’t have any direct way of canceling your account. You have to go through a bot.


I tried to log into a website “locatephone.com” to try and trace my mobile phone. I had to 50c to even complete the form and then sign up to pay monthly.

After filling in the form I had to wait for an email to come to confirm my email address. BUT nothing came. Then I tried to cancel it and I could not find where. I had to make a long distance phone call (within Australia) to talk to them and request my 50c be refunded. They refused. I am a pensioner and 50c means a lot to me and seeing it was there web site that was not working properly I requested for my account to be cancelled, which they did but would not refund my 50c. I wonder how many other 50c they keep from people when the website is not working properly. This is a rip off. I can’t recommend them if you lose your mobile phone.




Looking at their website and reviews, it does look dodgy. They claim to be able to find a mobile but don’t really say how. Some of the information on their website suggests they send a text message to the lost phone, with a unique code for the person who has found the phone to enter the details into their website so the phone can be reunited with their owner. Strange as a phone’s owner could send a text message asking for someone who found the phone to make contact, without the need to pay anything or commit to a subscription.

There are apps which can be used to track phones, but the apps need to be installed on all phones to allow this to occur.