/For providers/How to resolve complaints and concerns

How to resolve complaints and concerns

Managing complaints

Step 1—Receive the complaint

Acknowledge you have received the complaint. Inform the consumer of your complaints process and agree on the next steps.

Step 2—Identify and assess the issues

Attempt to reach a clear understanding of the consumer’s issue(s) and concern(s), and the outcome(s) they are seeking and establish the facts.

Step 3—Try to reach a solution and keep accurate records

Engage with the consumer to attempt to reach a potential solution(s) and be open to negotiation. Keep accurate records of any conversations and correspondence, as well as any steps taken to finalise the complaint.


  • Try to understand how the situation is impacting the consumer and respond with empathy.
  • Maintain regular communication throughout the process.
  • Allow the consumer to have a support person.
  • Use simple language.
  • Remember to refer to any relevant policies, guidelines, codes of conduct, or legal/regulatory obligations.
  • Aim to finalise complaints within 2 to 3 weeks.

Other resources

Having policies for dealing with consumer complaints is good practice. For more information on this and related matters, view the Commonwealth Ombudsman's Better Practice Guides.