When we look at a complaint, we can consider what compensation may be appropriate to resolve the complaint. It is important to realise that not every complaint will result in compensation.

Here are some examples of when we would consider compensation for loss suffered by a consumer:

  • Significantly delayed or cancelled public transport services
  • A significant breach of privacy
  • The provision of inaccurate advice and poor staff behaviour
  • A failure or lack of operator policies or procedures
  • In limited circumstances, claims from businesses for loss of profits.

We do not consider compensation for the following types of claims:

  • The costs associated with making the complaint
  • Claims for exemplary or punitive damages
  • Claims for injury to feelings or pain and suffered, except in some limited privacy related complaints
  • Claims more appropriately handled by another body such as the TAC, or a court or tribunal due to the complexity or value of the claim

Personal injury

In some circumstances, we can consider claims for loss caused by personal injury.

Claims for costs associated with personal injury can be very complex and involve amounts of money greater than the Ombudsman’s binding decision monetary limits ($5,000 or $10,000 with the consent of the operator). We will only consider claims for actual costs incurred or loss suffered and not future or ongoing loss.

We will carefully review your claim to ensure we are the most appropriate body to handle your complaint. We may refer you to the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), as no fault compensation may be payable if the injury was as a result of a transport accident involving a public transport service.

What you need to tell us

To help us investigate your complaint, you need to give us:

  • A detailed explanation of your claim, including all relevant dates, times and locations and a description of people involved (where relevant) in case we need to view CCTV footage of the incident.
  • A timeline of events can be useful to help us understand the background of your complaint.
  • If available, copies of any supporting information you have, such as receipts, tickets, photos, witness statements, medical reports and other correspondence.
  • What you are seeking to resolve your complaint, including the amount of the claim. You may need to provide supporting documentation such as receipts and information about insurance payments or other rebates.

How we approach your complaint

We will consider all the information provided by you and the operator when we assess your claim for compensation. This includes:

  • Investigating the link between the operator’s actions and the loss you are claiming
  • Looking at whether there are any laws or codes that exempt the operator from liability, or limit their liability
  • Whether reasonable steps were taken by either party to reduce the loss
  • Whether we have been provided with sufficient information to the support the amount of the claim.

If following our investigation we think payment of compensation is appropriate, we will work with you and the operator to reach a fair and reasonable outcome.


Aside from compensation, there are a number of other outcomes that could be appropriate to resolve your complaint. They include:

  • A detailed explanation
  • An apology
  • Refunds or goodwill payments
  • Changes to operator policies and procedures
  • Operator staff training or counselling

If an agreed outcome cannot be reached, we will look at whether further investigation of the complaint is warranted. We will speak to you about your options at that time.