Information and complaints
There are many agencies responsible for receiving and resolving complaints. These are operated by both the Commonwealth and Victorian governments, as well as private, independent, industry based dispute resolution schemes. To find an agency or dispute resolution scheme, refer to the section of this book relevant to your specific area of complaint.
The following list refers mainly to areas not mentioned in detail elsewhere in this book.
Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV)
Tel: 1300 558 181
Tel (Koori helpline): 1300 661 511
CAV has offices in metropolitan and regional Victoria; see their website for office contact details.
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)
55 King Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel: 1300 018 228
Business Licensing Authority (BLA)
Level 17, 121 Exhibition Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel: 1300 135 452
Written correspondence and applications to:
Registrar, Business Licensing Authority,
Box 322B, GPO Melbourne Vic 3001
The BLA’s services include:
• applications for business licences and registrations;
• lodgment of annual returns for motor car traders, second-hand dealers, pawnbrokers and travel agents;
• payment of annual fees;
• update of business licence or registration details.
The following contacts list covers complaint-handling bodies for industries not mentioned in detail in this book. It also provides some supplementary contacts in areas that are covered elsewhere in this book.
Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria (DSCV)
Level 4, 456 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel: 1300 372 888
The DSCV has offices in metropolitan and regional Victoria; see their website for details.
Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria (EWOV)
Level 6, 111 Bourke Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel: 1800 500 509
The EWOV investigates and facilitates the resolution of disputes by consumers against electricity, gas and water providers. The EWOV provides a free and independent service. An online complaint form is available on the website.
Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)
717 Bourke Street, Docklands Vic 3008
Tel: 1800 367 287
The FOS investigates and facilitates the resolution of complaints and disputes by consumers against participating financial service providers.
The FOS members provide financial services that include banking (including credit unions), credit, loans, general insurance, life insurance, insurance broking, financial planning, investments, stockbroking, managed funds and pooled superannuation trusts.
The FOS provides a free and independent service. An online dispute form is available on the FOS website.
Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO)
Tel: 1800 138 422
The CIO provides a free and independent dispute resolution service that resolves disputes between consumers and member credit providers. Many of the member credit providers are non-bank mortgage providers. Complaints can also be made online.
Food Safety Unit
Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services
50 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne Vic 3001
Tel: 1300 364 352
If you have safety or contamination concerns about a food product or business, or wish to report a case of illness caused by food, contact the Environmental Health Officer at the local council in the area where the food was purchased. If the local council is unable to assist, contact the Food Safety Unit, above.
Australian Government Department of Human Services
Tel: 13 20 11
Complaints about the administrative actions of Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme should be directed to Medicare Australia via the complaints line. Complaints can also be directed to the Commonwealth Ombudsman (www.ombudsman.gov.au) (see Taking a problem to an ombudsman).
Victorian Health Complaints Commissioner
Level 26, 570 Bourke Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel: 1300 582 113
The Victorian Health Complaints Commissioner investigates and facilitates the resolution of complaints against health service providers, including individual practitioners, public and private hospitals, health clinics, dentists, doctors and specialists (see Health and the law).
Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)
Level 8, 111 Bourke Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel: 1300 419 495
AHPRA is the national agency responsible for the registration and accreditation of health professionals in Australia, including doctors, nurses and midwives, chiropractors, dentists, optometrists, osteopaths, pharmacists, physiotherapists, podiatrists and psychologists.
Private Health Insurance Ombudsman (PHIO)
Level 6, 34 Queen Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel: 1300 362 072
The PHIO is a Commonwealth statutory body that provides private health insurance fund members with an independent service for the resolution of health insurance problems and enquiries.
Local Government Inspectorate
Level 27, 1 Spring Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel (complaints): 1800 469 359
Tel (admin): 7017 8212
Investigates complaints about possible breaches by local councils of the Local Government Act 1989 (Vic).
Public Transport Ombudsman Victoria
Tel: 1800 466 865
The Public Transport Ombudsman investigates and facilitates the resolution of complaints by consumers against public transport operators relating to matters such as the failure to provide services, fares and ticketing, the conduct of staff members and the use of public transport land or premises. It provides an independent and free service.
Level 2, 570 Bourke Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel: 9613 6222; 1800 806 314
The Victorian Ombudsman investigates complaints by individuals about administrative actions taken by Victorian Government departments, statutory authorities and local government. The ombudsman can also investigate the actions of authorised officers (usually ticket inspectors), who exercise statutory powers. It provides a free, independent service. (See Taking a problem to an ombudsman.)
Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV)
Tel: 1300 558 181
CAV has a dedicated service for advice, information, complaints and dispute resolution regarding the conduct of real estate agents. A complaint form can be downloaded from the website.
Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT)
Level 7, 120 Collins Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel: 1300 884 114
The SCT is an independent tribunal that deals with complaints about superannuation funds, annuities and retirement savings accounts through conciliation and formal review processes. An online complaint form is available on the website.
Tax Practitioners Board
Tel: 1300 362 829
The Tax Practitioners Board is a Commonwealth Government statutory authority entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring the maintenance of proper standards in the tax agent profession. Complaints against tax agents should be made in writing and should include all details of the dispute.
Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
Tel: 1800 062 058
The Commonwealth Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman investigates and facilitates the resolution of complaints and disputes by consumers and small businesses against telecommunications service providers, including landline, mobile phone and internet services. It provides an independent and free service.
Consumer Affairs Victoria: see above
Motor Car Traders’ Guarantee Fund
179 Queen Street, Melbourne Vic 3001
Tel: 1300 558 181
Through this fund, consumers can be financially compensated for a loss suffered as a result of a motor car trader failing to comply with the Motor Car Traders Act 1989 (Vic) (e.g. a trader has not transferred clear title to a car, or complied with the warranty, or provided a roadworthy certificate).
Tel: 13 11 71
Written complaints to:
Director Customer Services, VicRoads Head Office,
60 Denmark Street, Kew Vic 3101
Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC)
Level 7, 464 St Kilda Road, Melbourne Vic 3004
Tel: 9829 1111
VACC is a Victorian motor industry association. It deals with consumer and industry issues, conducts and publishes automotive industry research, advocates to government and other agencies, and supports its members (automotive repair, service and retail businesses).