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Consumer complaints: What to do and when

March 06, 2019

If the complaint is about defective work, then consumers should contact their contractor before making a complaint to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC). It is expected that contractors will engage with the consumer regarding the allegation that has been made. This can include going on-site and investigating the alleged defective work. In many circumstances, it is difficult to tell whose fault the defective work may be without a site visit. Further, any type of engagement with the client that resolves the issue is a benefit to the builder as it does not involve the QBCC. The QBCC has the power to issue directions to rectify which shows up on a contractor’s licence history.

Besides worrying about the statutory authority, reputational issues are a consideration that businesses should be aware of. Social media keyboard warriors have the potential to tarnish a business’ reputation. It is difficult to contain negative perceptions once they arise but you do have an opportunity to mitigate such perceptions if you engage with a consumer straight away.

If you disagree with a consumer complaint, it is best to outline your reasons for doing so. Should the consumer continue the matter further with a court or complaint to the statutory authority, it is a benefit to the contractor to be able to demonstrate they have investigated the allegations and, for detailed reasons, found that it was not their responsibility.

It is recommended that a procedure is developed to assist your business and staff deal with complaints from consumers.

Contact HIA Workplace services if you have any concerns via enquiry@hia.com.au