How many times have you want to get a refund or tried and been turned away? We can often feel like our complaint falls on deaf ears, but even if you don’t like to ask for a refund, you always deserve your money’s worth; every penny counts these days so it’s definitely worthwhile to speak up.
Thankfully, Australia has tough consumer laws that protect everyday Aussies from being ripped-off and out of pocket.
These are the essential tips to get your money back, every time.
How to complain:
Make sure you’re armed with your receipt or have evidence of the purchase (bank statements can help too) and go directly to the store you bought from. Know your desired outcome: refund, exchange, compensation, and apology or a combination of these. Nine times out of ten the manager should help you on the spot but if you don’t get the assistant you need, you can refer it to the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) who can attempt to resolve the issue on their end.
TIP: For more serious problems, legal advice can be sought if the ACCC cannot assist – you can get independent legal advice about what options are available at your local community legal centre or legal aid office (if you don’t have a solicitor).
We’ve all been there – there’s hardly any staff on and the shop’s packed. You always order the same meal but this time it’s completely wrong. You were treated rudely and unenthusiastically in your favourite restaurant. You can’t wait to try a new menu item, take a bite and it’s cold or taste’s horrible. All of these scenarios are seriously unpleasant and can really make or break your experience with even your favourite haunt. We all make mistakes but when it’s a $35 meal you’re paying for, it shouldn’t be brushed off!
How to complain:
Simply ask to speak to the manager on duty and explain the situation calmly*. Remember to tell them exactly what you’re expecting otherwise you could end up disappointed again – a refund, a new meal or a combination of both. Once, I complained about service using a contact form and the hotel manager issued me a written apology and a voucher worth twice what I paid. If you don’t want to feel the same way again or have someone else get the same experience, some constructive feedback is the only way a restaurant can improve.
TIP: *Try not to get angry, especially if it was a misunderstanding or an accident, as this lets the business have a chance to rectify the issue for you quickly – name-calling and carrying on will only delay this process!
1. Always have a receipt, especially for expensive products. Create a folder and make it a habit to pop any dockets in there
2. Write a letter if it’s serious
3. Don’t be afraid to seek assistant or counsel
4. Get what you paid for
Have you ever had bad service that was rectified by a company? Share your stories below.