Our Process and How to Make a Complaint
You can make a complaint to us by completing our online complaint form, calling us or sending us details of your complaint via email or through the post.
When you contact us, we will ask you whether you have raised your complaint with the relevant public transport operator. If you have not, we will provide you with general advice and information on how to contact the operator. We cannot investigate your complaint until the operator has had an opportunity to resolve it. If you lodge a complaint with the operator and you are not satisfied with the response or you don’t receive a response within a reasonable time frame, please contact us again.
Your complaint needs to be about an issue that we have the power to investigate. We have the power to investigate a wide range of public transport issues including myki, service disruption and punctuality, customer service concerns, penalty fares and Authorised Officers. You can contact us and we will advise you whether we can deal with your complaint. If we can’t investigate your complaint, we will try to refer you to someone who can.
If you’d like to nominate someone to act on your behalf with our office, please let us know and complete our Authority to Act form. This form allows us to discuss your complaint with your authorised representative. An authorised representative can include a family member, friend, carer or advocate. You can access our Authority to Act form here.
What we need from you
It would help us understand and deal with your complaint, if you could provide us with:
- A detailed explanation of your complaint, including all relevant dates, times and locations. Where relevant, you may need to provide a description of the person or people involved so that we can identify them in closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage.
- Where relevant, copies of any supporting information you have, such as receipts, tickets, photographs, witness statements, medical reports and other correspondence.
- What you are seeking to resolve your complaint. If you want to claim financial compensation, you need to tell us how much you are seeking and provide information to support your calculations.
What we can and can’t do
We can look at complaints about most public transport issues. Your complaint needs to be about one of our members.
Your complaint must relate to something that happened on or after 18 April 2004, and be lodged with us within 6 months of the operator’s response. You can find out more about what issues we can investigate here.
If you contact us about an issue that is not within our jurisdiction, we will provide you with information and/or advice about your options, and refer you to the most appropriate organisation to handle your complaint.
If we form the view that your complaint is within our jurisdiction, or likely to be within our jurisdiction, there are a number of different steps that we may take:
- Referral to Member – if you have had no or minimal contact with the operator, or they are still looking at your complaint, we may refer you to the operator. We will provide you with the operator’s contact details for you to pursue your complaint. We will also suggest that you contact us again if this referral does not resolve your complaint.
- Referral for Internal Escalation (RFIE) – Depending on your complaint, we may make an assisted referral to the operator under our RFIE process. We will write to the operator and ask them to respond to you directly about your complaint. The operator is also required to provide us with a copy of their response. If this process does not resolve your complaint, you are encouraged to contact us again.
- Investigation – At any stage in the process, we may decide to investigate your complaint. We will refer your complaint to the operator and request information to assist our investigation. In the course of our investigation we will consider what a fair and reasonable outcome to the complaint would be. Ultimately the aim of our investigation is to assist you and the operator to reach an agreed outcome.
Outcomes we can achieve include:
- A detailed explanation
- An apology
- Refunds, compensation 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. If we decide there are no grounds for further investigation we will write to you with our reasons.
If agreement is not reached, and we believe that there should be a decision in your favour, the Ombudsman is able to make a decision that is binding on the operator. This decision can be up to the value of $5,000, or $10,000 with the agreement of the operator.