Inquiry into the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Fair Go for Consumers and Small Business) Bill 2024

We are strongly supportive of a designated complaints function as an important addition to the regulatory landscape in Australia, reflecting the value of intelligence and quality of decision making in the consumer sector.

The designated complaints function is a missing piece of the regulatory puzzle in addressing systemic and significant market issues. There are often limited levers that a regulator, government or decision-maker alone can pull to effectively address complex issues. We are likely to see this in the immediate future in relation to artificial intelligence use and misuse, sectors where there are power imbalances and monopolies like telecommunications, dark patterns, and other areas with major information asymmetries between businesses and consumer. In this context, the designated complaints power enlivens the ACCC’s ability to investigate and improve the system for all consumers, especially marginalised groups and people experiencing vulnerability.

In the context of limited public comment on ongoing regulatory actions, the mandated public reporting in response to designated complaints is powerful. It will enhance consumer confidence in a fair market and put businesses engaging in harmful practices on notice.

Read our full submission (PDF).

Joint submission CALC CHOICE ACCAN 0732024
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