Who to go to for help

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If you are unsure who to contact, view the table below to find the most appropriate organisation to handle your matter.

Aged care

Organisation

How they can help

Aged Care Complaints Commissioner

Handles aged care complaints including:

  • residential aged care services, including permanent and respite
  • Home Care Packages
  • Commonwealth Home Support Programme
  • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Programme.

Banking and finance

Organisation

How they can help

Financial Ombudsman Service

Handles complaints between consumers and member organisations on issues such as:

  • banking, credit and loans
  • general and life insurance
  • pooled superannuation trusts
  • timeshare
  • debt consolidation and refinancing.

Building

Organisation

How they can help

Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV)

An independent government agency that provides free services to help resolve residential domestic building disputes.

DBDRV can help resolve disputes concerning:

  • construction
  • alterations and renovations
  • extensions
  • associated building work such as garages, driveways, swimming pools and spas
  • demolition; and
  • some types of home repairs.

For more information, visit the DBDRV website.

Victorian Building Authority (VBA)

The VBA registers and regulates building practitioners (including registration and licensing for works over $10,000) and plumbers.

For more information, visit the VBA website.

Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA) 

The VMIA offers domestic building insurance (DBI) for builders in Victoria, which provides cover to homeowners for incomplete or defective building work.

Builders in Victoria must take out DBI, also known as builder’s warranty insurance, for work valued at more than $16,000.

For more information, visit the VMIA website.

 

Business

Organisation

How they can help

Consumer Affairs Victoria

We:

Australian Business Registrar

Australian Business Numbers (ABNs)

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

National agency for fair trading and competition matters, including:

  • price monitoring
  • franchising
  • product labelling
  • industry codes.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

Provides information about:

  • Australian companies
  • business names
  • financial services organisations
  • professionals who deal and advise in superannuation
  • investments
  • insurance
  • credit.

Office of the Victorian Small Business Commissioner

Handles disputes about commercial or retail leases and small businesses. For information and advice on running a business, visit Business Victoria's website.

Business licensing and registration

Organisation

How they can help

Consumer Affairs Victoria

Licence:

Register:

Victorian Building Authority

Register building practitioners and plumbers.

Energy Safe Victoria

Register Victorian electricians and gasfitters.

WorkSafe

Licence to perform high-risk work.

Clubs, not-for-profits and fundraisers

Organisation

How they can help

Consumer Affairs Victoria

We provide information and advice (including registration) about:

Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC)

The independent national regulator of charities:

  • registers organisations as charities and helps them meet their obligations
  • provides advice or acts on complaints about charities
  • maintains a free and public register on charities in Australia.

Employment

Organisation

How they can help

Fair Work Ombudsman

Handles workplace complaints and enforces compliance with Australia's workplace laws.

Fair Work Commission

The national workplace relations tribunal. Hears and makes rulings on a variety of disputes, including:

  • termination of employment
  • minimum wages
  • employment conditions.

Energy and water

Organisation

How they can help

Consumer Affairs Victoria

We can provide information and advice if the problem relates to:

Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria

Handles disputes about gas, electricity and water providers, including:

  • billing issues
  • disconnections and restrictions
  • incorrect installation of smart meters.

Energy Safe Victoria

Information and advice about Victorian gas and electrical safety matters and laws.

Financial counselling

Organisation

How they can help

National Debt Helpline

Provides confidential and free financial information and advice to help Victorians with debt problems, including difficulties paying:

  • household bills
  • rent
  • mortgage
  • credit card bills
  • fines.

MoneySmart

Provides free, independent guidance and budget tools to help you manage your money.

Fines

Organisation

How they can help

Civic Compliance Victoria

Processes fines issued by Victorian government agencies and authorities.

Food

Organisation

How they can help

Food Standards Australia New Zealand

Regulates and provides information and advice on safety standards for all foods produced and imported for sale in Australia and New Zealand.

Gambling and liquor

Organisation

How they can help

Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation

Responsibilities include:

  • administering Victorian liquor and gambling laws and licensing
  • service of alcohol requirements (RSA)
  • proof of age cards.

Health

Organisation

How they can help

Health Complaints Commissioner

Handles complaints about health service providers, including:

  • medical, hospital, nursing
  • dental
  • psychiatric
  • pharmaceutical
  • ambulance
  • community health
  • health education
  • drug rehabilitation
  • welfare and social work
  • therapeutic counselling.

Private Health Insurance Ombudsman

Handles disputes between private health insurance providers and:

  • health fund members
  • doctors and some dentists
  • hospitals
  • health funds.

Housing and property

Organisation

How they can help

Consumer Affairs Victoria

We provide information and advice about:

Foreign Investment Review Board

Provides information to foreign investors about buying property in Australia.

Legal

Organisation

How they can help

Consumer Action Law Centre

Community legal centre that provides free legal advice and representation to vulnerable and disadvantaged Victorian consumers on matters including:

  • banking and credit disputes
  • debt collection
  • public transport fines
  • insurance.

Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria

Free dispute resolution for a range of issues, including:

  • fencing
  • trees
  • noise
  • tenant vs tenant disputes
  • owners corporation vs neighbour disputes
  • animals.

Everyday Law

Includes legal information on a variety of topics, such as:

Federation of Community Legal Centres

Provides general legal information and advice at various Victorian locations.

Insurance Law Service

Free legal service to anyone in Australia for advice on insurance law and resolving disputes with an insurer.

Law Institute of Victoria

Does not provide legal advice but can refer you to the most appropriate solicitor for your problem. Also handles complaints about solicitors.

Victoria Legal Aid

Provides free legal assistance to Victorians who meet the eligibility criteria.

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)

Independent tribunal for Victoria that hears disputes and makes binding rulings.

Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner

Regulates the legal profession and handles complaints about lawyers.

Other

Organisation

How they can help

Victorian Ombudsman

Investigates complaints about any Victorian government department, public statutory body or municipality.

Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC)

Victoria's first anti-corruption body responsible for identifying and preventing serious corrupt conduct across the whole public sector, including members of Parliament, the judiciary and state and local government.

Post

Organisation

How they can help

Postal Industry Ombudsman (PIO)

Investigates complaints about Australia Post and other postal operators that are PIO members.

Privacy

Organisation

How they can help

Do Not Call Register

Secure database where you can list your home phone, mobile or fax numbers to avoid receiving unsolicited telemarketing calls and faxes.

Commissioner for Privacy and Data Protection

Oversees the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data held by the Victorian public sector and information privacy within the Victorian public sector.

Renting

Organisation

How they can help

Consumer Affairs Victoria

We provide information and advice to tenants, landlords and property managers about renting rights and responsibilities in a property (includes rooming houses), caravan park and residential park, such as:

Tenants Union of Victoria

Responsibilities include:

  • informing and educating tenants
  • improving the status and condition of tenants
  • representing and speaking for the collective interest of tenants in law and policy-making.

Housing for the Aged Action Group

Provides housing services and support for people 55 years and over.

State and Territory fair trading bodies

Organisation  State/Territory 
Access Canberra  Australian Capital Territory
Office of Fair Trading  New South Wales 
Consumer Affairs  Northern Territory
Office of Fair Trading  Queensland
Consumer and Business Services  South Australia 
Office of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading  Tasmania 
Department of Commerce  Western Australia 

Tax

Organisation

How they can help

Australian Taxation Office

Australia's main revenue collection agency. Also provides information on matters, such as:

  • income tax
  • tax returns
  • ABNs
  • goods and services tax (GST).

State Revenue Office

Victoria's major tax collection agency. Also provides information on matters, such as:

  • first home buyer grants
  • stamp duty
  • unclaimed monies
  • land tax.

Telecommunications

Organisation

How they can help

Consumer Affairs Victoria

We can provide information and advice if you have an issue with a product that you have purchased outright, or as part of a bundle. For example, if the mobile phone you received with your plan becomes faulty. We also have information about mobile phone contracts.

au Domain Authority

Provides information and handles complaints about domain names and the .au domain space.

Australian Communications and Media Authority

Handles complaints about spam and content broadcast on television, radio and the internet.

Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO)

Handles disputes between small businesses/residential consumers and their telephone, mobile or internet service provider (if the provider is a TIO member). See the list of TIO members.

Travel

Organisation

How they can help

Consumer Affairs Victoria

We can provide information and advice about your rights when:

  • booking online
  • booking with an agent
  • a flight is cancelled
  • you book and do not get what you paid for.

Airline Customer Advocate

Handles disputes between consumers and participating Australian domestic airlines: Jetstar, Qantas, Rex, Tiger Air and Virgin Australia.

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