CHOICE membership

Would you like to be able to access a national complaints register?

Great news this week with NSW Fair Trading launching a public complaints register.

The register currently has 20 companies on it, with LJ Hooker topping the list with 31 complaints followed by Harvey Norman with 29, AirAsia with 25 and Ray White with 23. Only companies that receive 10 or more complaints in a month are added to the register.

We think the value of this data to shine a light on systemic problems is already clear. For example, with 59 complaints in the top 20 regarding tenancy and bonds, it looks like NSW renters may be getting a raw deal from real estate agents

The register is currently state-wide in NSW but would you like to see other consumer regulators to follow suit?

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I’d love to see this in Victoria.

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A national register would be a great idea, as many companies are national.

I think that it would be a powerful tool in ‘encouraging’ businesses to do the right thing because most (but not all) do not want an easily visible spotlight shining on their poor business practices.

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Yes another option to assist consumer’s and expose dodgy businesses

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Absolutely! Please Queensland follow suit.

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Yes, absolutely. In Victoria and, even better, nationally. Would make consumers more aware and businesses more careful in their dealings!

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Of course. Yes please!

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Every State and Territory should have one plus one for Federal goverment please so we can make them listen. Maybe! Worth a try.

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Yes it would be a great idea.

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Yes, definitely! Harvey Norman and Australia Post would top my list.

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It would make sense, as forewarned is forearmed.

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I’m fairly certain that a National Online register would be of great benefit to all Australians.

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Seeing the recurrent mentions of Harvey Norman, some years ago I bought some IT stuff from a Harvey Norman store, which turned out to be faulty.

I tried returning it to another Harvey Norman store, thinking Harvey Norman is Harvey Norman…

Apparently not according to the retailer. I was told that a Harvey Norman store is made up of individual businesses under one roof. So in this case, the IT store was unique and separate to all the other areas selling product in that store, separate from Harvey Norman, and as this was their only store it was separate from all other IT stores within the Harvey Norman system. So NO REFUND. Told me I had to go back to the store I bought the product from.

I have had warnings along similar lines when buying other items from Harvey Norman stores, that I had to come back to the place of purchase.

I disagree in that they advertise and are known as one entity, not as individual stores. What do you think?

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I’m sorry to hear about your treatment by Harvey Norman.

Strictly speaking, you do have to go back to the franchisee you dealt with originally. This because Harvey Norman franchisees are all separate legal entities.

Personally, I think this is confusing for consumers because businesses like Harvey Norman trade on being a large, national retailers. However, in cases such as yours, the “supplier” for the purposes of the Australian Consumer Law would most likely be the specific franchisee. That said, if Harvey Norman really wanted to put their customers first they would have a national policy to allow people to exercise their consumers rights through any franchisee.

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A complaints register is such a good idea. Dak-Wal Buiding in Toronto is top of my list. Made a mess of my insurance repairs. I would love to put them in the register and yes, I have a pending complaint with fair trading unfortunately for this company.

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A national complaints register would be a great idea. I’d like to see this concept extended to feedback on medical specialists, surgeons and hospitals so consumers (patients) can be better informed - or warned, as the case may be.

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It’s a great idea but would be even better if there was som esort of follow up mechanism for those companies with large numbers of complaints

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Great idea, but how does it sit in relation to the topic about Thermomix being able to suppress safety reports? Thermomix gags safety regulator

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Hi @bronwastaken - great question. It’s sort of a linked issue. We want those mandatory safety reports to be published. Consumers have a right to know when others have been harmed by a product. The Policy & Campaigns Team at CHOICE is lobbying for this data and general data about complaints to be made public across Australia.

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Yes I would like to be able to access a national complaints register.

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