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What is the Role of the ACCC if you have a complaint?

A question we're often asked and I thought it might be worth reposting what the ACCC themselves state:

Role of the ACCC

The ACCC is responsible for regulating compliance with the Code and can take enforcement action to enforce the Code, where appropriate.

When the ACCC receives a complaint about an alleged breach of the Code it undertakes a preliminary assessment of the complaint. An initial confidential discussion with the complainant may be necessary as part of this assessment.

Where the complaint is assessed as substantive, it is progressed to an ACCC enforcement officer. At this stage further information and evidence will be sought from both parties.

The ACCC decides which action, if any, to take in response to a complaint in line with its Compliance and Enforcement policy. Ensuring compliance with the Code is a current priority for the ACCC.

While there are no financial penalties for a breach of the Code, other remedies are available (including court-ordered injunctions, compensation to persons who have suffered loss or damage caused by the conduct and contract variations). Conduct that breaches the Code could also breach the unconscionable conduct provisions of the Australian Consumer Law, which carries penalties of up to $1.1 million per contravention.

The ACCC will be conducting audits of retailers and wholesalers to ensure that they are complying with the Code (see: Industry code audits).

The ACCC cannot provide legal advice on the Code or provide dispute resolution services.

Visit their website at here

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