The establishment of a Retail Ombudsman to resolve consumer disputes

2**BREAKING** New polling has shown that Australians are ready for a Retail Ombudsman. Six in ten people (60%) would use a Retail Ombudsman to resolve their problems with Australians businesses, including tradies and online shops.

Australians need a Retail Ombudsman, based on the model already operating in the United Kingdom, to hear complaints between consumers and retailers relating to goods or services purchased either in stores or online. The UK model is funded by retailers who ‘opt-in’ and pay for membership according to the size of their business, with a no-cost entry to small businesses.

The service is free for consumers to use, and the ombudsman’s decisions only bind member retailers, who are contractually obligated to comply. Ombudsman schemes generally provide for better outcomes for both consumers and traders, compared to cumbersome state-based civil tribunals. Not only can a binding decision be made, but systemic issues can be identified and tackled, and determinations can be published to aid transparency.

Policy contact: Zac Gillam: 03 9670 5088 – zac@consumeraction.org.au

Media contact: Jonathan Brown: 0413 299 567 – media@consumeraction.org.au

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