Following a spike in consumer complaints since the pandemic, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has successfully clawed back more than $11.2 million for Queensland consumers in 2022, through refunds, repairs, replacements and other forms of compensation.
More than 19,300 complaints were finalised by the OFT last year. The highest number of consumer complaints continued to be for the personal and household goods industry—with the OFT finalising more than 6,200 complaints.
This category includes purchases of everyday items such as whitegoods, appliances, hardware, clothing and footwear, with these types of complaints soaring by more than 50 per cent since the COVID-19 pandemic.
These increases are not surprising, with surges in online sales and ongoing shipping delays affecting customers receiving these goods within the agreed timeframe, particularly when it comes to the supply of household goods.
The top 5 most complained about industries in Queensland in 2022:
- Personal and household goods (e.g. furniture, whitegoods, TVs, computers) – 6,256
- Personal and household services (e.g. repairs to whitegoods, removalists services, cleaning, gardening, etc) – 2,719
- Motor vehicle sales – 1,340
- Real estate agents (excl resident letting) – 1,101
- Motor vehicle service, repairs, parts – 1,036
For a regional breakdown of complaint numbers, industries complained about, and redress obtained, see OFT’s media statement here.
Queensland consumers who believe they have been treated unfairly and are unable to reach an outcome with a trader can lodge a complaint with the OFT at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling
13 QGOV (13 74 68).