Defective work and disputes

Handling customer complaints

Dealing with a complaint is never easy, but if viewed positively, it can be seen as a way to avoid a repeat of the problem.

It’s never a good idea to ignore the complaint. You'll quickly reach a resolution if you try and understand the customer's point of view.

Don’t be afraid of complaints. For each customer whose complaint you handle well, most will remain loyal and recommend you to other potential customers.

Tips to avoid complaints

  • record complaints – even if they are verbal
  • act promptly
  • do what you say you’re going to do
  • don’t make unrealistic promises.

Guide to resolving complaints

  1. Deal with the complaint immediately. Get to the heart of the matter quickly, and you’re more likely to satisfy the customer. Ignoring it will not solve the problem.

  2. Stay calm. The customer must be dissatisfied for some reason, even if you think they are wrong. The matter will only get worse if you respond aggressively.

  3. Identify the problem. Listen to what the customer says and make sure you understand. Ask what they expect you to do, and write it down in as much detail as possible.

  4. Decide what can be done. Even if you believe the complaint is unjustified, it may be worthwhile trying to make the customer happy to keep their business. All it may require is a simple explanation. Sometimes it is worth ‘walking the extra mile’, and doing more than you feel you need to, or are obliged to, for the customer.

  5. Arrange a second opinion to confirm your view. In some instances this second opinion may show up things you hadn’t noticed.

  6. Keep records. Writing everything down reduces the chance of misunderstanding. Many contractual disputes arise because nothing is in writing, or the details are ambiguous.

  7. Fix the problem. Tell the customer what solution you can offer and make sure they understand. If they accept the solution, act straight away and resolve the matter quickly and efficiently.

Our role in complaints

Once a homeowner or a body corporate lodges a defective work complaint, we may provide a dispute resolution service between licensees and homeowners. We also offer an Early Dispute Resolution (EDR) service if you are still under contract.