Consumer complaints and queries
If your query and/or complaint relates to your rights as a consumer, you may need advice from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The website address is: www.accc.gov.au
It only takes one unhappy customer to steer more prospective customers away from a salon or business. A Customers may not always be right, but he or she will be a customer a salon or business will always want and need.
Know your rights as a Consumer
Under the Australian Consumer Law, products you buy from an Australian business are covered by ‘consumer guarantees’. Depending on the type of issue or problem (also known as a failure under the Australian Consumer Law), the store or seller may have to provide a ‘remedy’, such as:
• a refund
• a replacement
Speak with the business about your issue
Explain the issue you have with the product or service by approaching the business directly, either:
• in person
• over the phone
• by email or the contact media page of the business
Make sure you are talking to someone who has the authority to address your issue, such as the manager.
You can ask the business to either:
• refund your money
• repair your product
• replace your product
• fix the work or service provided.
Keep notes of your contact with the business, such as the:
• name of the person you spoke to
• date of your meeting or phone call
• content of your discussion.
Write a complaint letter or email to the business if issue is still not resolved
If speaking to the business directly has not resolved your issue, send them a complaint letter or email. Act quickly – delay can sometimes affect your rights. Putting your complaint in writing is useful because you will have a record:
• of discussions you had with the business
• to show a third party if you choose to take your complaint further
• to show that you made a reasonable attempt to resolve the issue yourself.
View the Consumer Affairs Victoria Example complaint letters and emails:
If your issue is with a franchise (chain store), write to the store you originally dealt with, and send a copy to its head office. Send your letter by registered post and keep a copy for yourself. If you do take your complaint further, you will need to show your letter (or email) to the third party.
There is no set ‘reasonable’ time in which a business must resolve an issue. You should allow enough time for the business to receive and reply to your letter, and to start making arrangements for a remedy. This could take anywhere from seven to 28 days.
Be persistent – write a reminder letter if the business does not reply.
Want to take your complaint further?
You can contact Consumer Affairs:
The HBIA’s CEO Sandra Campitelli speaking on Channel 9’s Mornings show…
With the growing consumer concern and rise in complaints received regarding services provided in salons Sandra Campitelli CEO HBIA was approached to give some advice regarding what consumers need to be looking for when going into a salon and what steps can be taken to prevent unwanted disasters from occurring.
It is becoming increasingly critical for salons to ensure they have the suitable qualifications and experience to ensure they can provide these services safely. It is also critical that a consultation process is adhered to for the sake of both the client and the salon. During a consultation the salon operator can learn exactly what the client is hoping to achieve and the operator can assess whether this is possible. The salon can also learn if the client has had these services before and have ever had any reactions etc. Importantly if the salon operator is at all uncomfortable or unsure what the client is seeking and whether it is suitable they should use their professional intuition and refuse to do the service. Salons who are members of the HBIA can be guided through this process.
For the client they can utilise the consultation to establish how the salon operates and are the staff professional and knowledgeable also is the salon clean and the client can seek clarification regarding qualifications and experience. It is also valuable to observe if the salon belongs to a professional industry body as generally those salons have a passion and desire regarding the work they do and really care about the industry. If the consumer is at all uncomfortable or unsure regarding that salon or operator providing the service they should go to another salon for advice and consultation.
As a result of the increase in consumers seeking advice regarding salon services and complaints the HBIA has launched a consumer page on the website with a check list of what to look for and what they can do if things go wrong.