If a consumer has a complaint against a professional from the property, motor and debt collection industries, they should first try to resolve the complaint directly with the professional.
If the consumer has lost money because of something the professional did or failed to do, they can lodge a claim for compensation with the Office of Fair Trading, which manages a claim fund in relation to:
- real estate agents
- resident letting agents
- auctioneers and chattel auctioneers
- motor dealers that sell used vehicles on consignment
- debt collectors and process servers.
The types of claims covered by the claim fund include (among other things):
- making a false or misrepresentative claim
- not returning a deposit if the consumer cancels during a cooling-off period or if the professional did not fulfil their obligations
- not guaranteeing clear title on a vehicle sold
- not forwarding residential bond money to the Residential Tenancies Authority.
The Office of Fair Trading will deal with simple or straightforward claims, and will refer more complex claims to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT). Certain types of claims must go straight to QCAT, including where a motor dealer does not honour the statutory warranty on a used vehicle.