When a consumer comes to TDR with a complaint, TDR will first ask whether the complaint has already been made to the scheme member involved.
If not TDR will ask the consumer to lodge a formal complaint with the scheme member. The scheme member must have been given an opportunity to resolve the issue before TDR becomes involved. This is defined as six weeks from the date of the complaint, or sooner if the situation has reached deadlock – a final offer has been made by the scheme member and it has not been accepted by the consumer.
Note –Once a scheme member has determined their position is final, they can suggest the consumer lodges their complaint with TDR. It is useful to provide consumers with a Deadlock Number for reference, at this point.
Once a complaint is received from a consumer, TDR will contact the scheme member to confirm the complaint is at the six week point, or at deadlock (as discussed above). If it is, TDR will then ask the consumer to provide their complaint in writing. The complaint will be forwarded to the scheme member to get the scheme member’s comments.
A Resolution Practitioner will be involved at this stage to assess the complaint for jurisdiction. The Resolution Practitioner can also dismiss the complaint at this stage if it deemed to be vexatious and/or trivial.
The Resolution Practitioner may then ask for any more information about the complaint from both the consumer and the scheme member. The information will be shared with all parties in the dispute. The Resolution Practitioner may provide a preliminary view about the dispute at this point.
In the next step TDR will ask all parties to provide their statements of position, which formally set out the positions of each party in the dispute. For the consumer this may be their original written complaint, plus any response to new information provided by the scheme member. The scheme member may also provide a response to any new information from the consumer.
TDR will then decide the best way to continue the process. This may involve mediation, where the parties are asked to find a solution they are both able to agree on.
If this is not successful a Resolution Practitioner will issue a final decision. If the consumer agrees with the final decision it becomes binding on the parties. If the consumer does not agree with the decision, the matter is closed, and cannot be raised with TDR again.
For more detailed information about the dispute resolution process, including timeframes, see the Customer Complaints Code, Annexure 1 – Dispute Resolution Process.
See the Costs section for details on how Scheme Members are charged through the dispute resolution process. The Scheme is free to Consumers.
The information about the dispute resolution process is provided to consumers.