Top 10 NSW consumer complaints

THE list of the Top 10 consumer complaints made in NSW last year has just been released.

Residential building work topped the list with 2754 complaints, followed closely by whitegoods with 2707.

“Fair Trading received a total of 41,811 complaints in 2010, compared to 39,970 in 2009 which is an increase of 4.6 per cent,” said NSW Fair Trading Minister Virginia Judge.

“The good news is that the majority of complaints are resolved quickly, after Fair Trading intervention.

“More than 3500 complaints were referred to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT) and more than 4000 were examined by Fair Trading investigators.

“A small number of complaints (648) were withdrawn and in 190 cases, the trader was in liquidation.”

“It is important for consumers to know their entitlements when it comes to refunds, returns and consumer guarantees,” Ms Judge said.

“Every consumer should feel confident they are getting what they pay for.”

Ms Judge said the new Australian Consumer Law, which commenced on January 1, had created a clearer set of statutory consumer guarantees so consumers better understand their rights.

She encouraged consumers to use the following tips to prevent problems in the marketplace:

  • Know your rights and responsibilities
  • Keep your receipts as proof of purchase
  • Keep all documents, such as warranty information, repair or service information and instructions
  • First always try and negotiate with the seller, in person and/or in writing
  • Contact the seller regarding any concerns as soon as possible
  • Remain calm, cool-headed and polite
  • Be reasonable
  • If you encounter difficulties with a salesperson, ask to speak to someone more senior such as the store manager
  • Remind them of your statutory rights
  • If you encounter any difficulties in negotiating with the seller contact Fair Trading on 13 32 20 for help and advice.


  1. Residential building work, including major renovations
  2. Household electrical and whitegoods
  3. Automotive – used cars and motorcycles
  4. Goods, including furniture, furnishings and manchester
  5. Automotive repairs and servicing
  6. Travel and tourism
  7. Goods, including clothing, footwear and accessories
  8. Computer technology and hardware
  9. Professional services
  10. Automotive – new cars and motorcycles

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