Complaints Policy

The Commission's Complaints Policy explains what you should do if you wish to complain about the way the Commerce Commission has handled an investigation or matter that you are interested in.

To report a concern about a business or other party, please go to our Reporting a business or person page.

How to make a complaint about the Commerce Commission

Please use the report form on our website to register your complaint. In the business field please enter "Commerce Commission". If you do not know whether your complaint relates to our Wellington or Auckland office, please put “Wellington” in the location field.

It will help us deal quickly with your complaint if you set out your concern as fully as possible.

What is a complaint?

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with the way in which we have gone about our work, including:

  • a decision we have reached
  • the way you or others have been treated by the Commission
  • our actions or inactions on a matter
  • any other matter about the way in which we go about our duties, powers and functions.

Please note that where a complaint concerns the decisions you think we should make on a current investigation or other matter, or the process you think we ought to follow, we may decide to note that as a submission or other comment in the ongoing matter, rather than treat it as a complaint about the Commission.

What happens when I make a complaint?

If you make a complaint, it will be read, logged and assigned to a manager to answer.

The manager will make contact with you, and in some cases may seek further information from you. The manager can consult with the staff who are handling or have handled the relevant file or matter, if that will help the manager to respond.

We will answer your complaint as promptly as we can. We aim to respond to your complaint within 20 working days of receiving it. In some cases, a full response will not be possible within this timeframe, and we will indicate our likely timing for a full response.

We will apply the complaints principles (below) in responding to all complaints.

Complaints principles

There are five complaints principles that we apply to responding to complaints about the Commerce Commission, and each is briefly discussed

Accessibility

  • We will make it easy for you to complain.
  • We will acknowledge your complaint, and address it as promptly as possible.

Fairness

  • We aim to deal with your complaint fairly and properly.
  • Complaints are dealt with in an even-handed, objective way, and our complaint-handling process is fair and reasonable.
  • We will take all complaints seriously and deal with them in a manner consistent with the Ombudsman’s Effective complaint handling guide.

Responsiveness

  •  We will communicate expected timeframes for dealing with your complaint.
  •  We want to resolve any problems that you identify and will consider what changes, if any, we need to make to the way we go about our work.

Efficiency

  • We will consider your complaint as efficiently as possible, assigning appropriate staff within the organisation. 
  • Sometimes we will not be able to deal with your complaint with urgency, because of competing work priorities.
  • Unreasonable complainant conduct cannot be allowed to become an undue burden. See the content below on repeated and vexatious complaints.

Confidentiality

  • Personal information relating to complaints will be treated as confidential information. We will consult with you if any person seeks access to identifying personal information about your complaint.

Possible decisions on complaints

Because the nature of complaints can vary greatly, a wide range of possible decisions can be made. The most common possible responses are summarised here.

Complaint is upheld and corrective action is taken

  • We want to resolve any problems that you identify and will consider what changes, if any, we need to make to the way we go about our work.
  • If we agree with you that we have not met our own high standards of performance, we will advise you of that and we will make changes aimed at ensuring that we do not repeat this.

Complaint is rejected, no further action

  • If your complaint is, in our view, unfounded, we will give you brief reasons for why we have formed that view. 
  • Having done so, we will not normally engage in further correspondence on the same issues. Please see the content below on if you are dissatisfied with the Commission’s response.

Repeated and vexatious complaints

The Commission is under no obligation to respond to complaints which are repeated or vexatious, including those complaints that:

  • have an improper purpose or effect, such as harassment of staff
  • are repetitive of complaints that have been asked and answered
  • are burdensome in number and/or nature from the same complainant or associated complainants, or
  • are frivolous or trivial.

If we take the view that your complaint is repeated or vexatious, we will advise you of that view and in some cases that we will not be corresponding further with you on the matter. Please see the content below on if you are dissatisfied with the Commission’s response.

If you are dissatisfied with the Commission’s response

If you are dissatisfied with the response you receive to any complaint, you can ask us to reconsider. Please correspond with the person who communicated to you the Commission’s response.

You also have the right to raise your concerns with the New Zealand Ombudsman:

Office of the Ombudsman
Free phone: 0800 802 602
www.ombudsman.parliament.nz
info@ombudsman.parliament.nz
PO Box 10152
Wellington 6143

The Ombudsman can consider complaints about the administrative acts and decisions of state sector agencies. The Ombudsman will ask if you have first tried to resolve the matter with us directly, and will also consider whether you have any other remedy available. The Ombudsman may look into your complaint and make a recommendation to us regarding the concern you have raised.