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If you have encountered a safety problem with a product, it is important to lodge a complaint with the business where you purchased or hired the product and, where possible, with the manufacturer.

By alerting a business to product safety problems and asking them to resolve your complaint  you are:

  • giving the business information that may help it identify a potential wider problem it needs to address
  • contributing to a system that helps minimise risks to other consumers
  • exercising your consumer protection rights.

On this page:

Making a complaint to the supplier

The steps below can help you feel confident in approaching businesses with a product safety complaint.

Call or visit the business

  • Phone or visit the business to explain your concerns and the outcome you want—for example a refund or exchange. 
  • Have copies of receipts or contracts handy in case you have to prove where you bought the goods or to refer to any conditions attached to the sale.
  • Be clear, persistent, calm and polite.
  • Make a note of all phone calls and visits with the business, including the name of the person you spoke to and the date.

If this step does not work, move on to the next step.

Write to the business

  • Make a written complaint to the business outlining your concerns.
  • Address your letter or email to the manager or the company's head office.
  • Explain what you are complaining about and the outcome you want—as in step 1.
  • Ask for a response from the business within two weeks—remember to date letters and include your contact details.
  • Include copies of supporting information, such as receipts or advertisements—keep originals and copies of any letters or emails you send.

For help in writing your letters, see Writing a complaint letter.

If contacting the business does not work, make a formal complaint to a consumer product safety regulator.

Making a complaint to a product safety regulator

When making a complaint to a product safety regulator, you can choose to submit your complaint to either the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission or your local (state/territory based) regulator. Your local regulator is the one in the state or territory where you live.

Reporting near misses and injuries

Making a complaint about an unsafe product to the supplier or to a regulator can help you to get a refund, repair or replacement of the product.

If the product has caused an injury or almost caused an injury, it is vital to report this to a product safety regulator. This enables us to investigate any trends in the marketplace and take any necessary actions to minimise risks for consumers.

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