Complaints & Feedback

1. Introduction

Target Collections Australia is committed to delivering quality services that are responsive to the needs of our community. This includes building an organisational culture that recognises the benefits of effective complaint handling, as well as the importance of receiving customer feedback to improve the work we do. Complaints are a valuable source of feedback and an important tool for business and staff development.

These Guidelines aim to help Target Collections appropriately respond to complaints and other feedback so that we can better identify the needs of our community and improve our overall performance.

The Operational Guidelines outline a set of basic procedures and principles in handling complaints and other feedback. While we value your feedback, it is considered that formal complaint processes should be a last resort, with issues and concerns being addressed directly with the appropriate Target Collections official wherever possible.

2. Definitions

The meaning of some terms used in the Operational Guidelines:

  • Code of Conduct Complaint A complaint about the conduct of a Target official that alleges a breach of Target’s Code of Conduct

  • Complainant Person, group, organisation or other entity making a complaint or providing feedback.

  • Natural Justice Concerns the basic or fundamental judicial rights extended to a person with rights at issue.

  • Pecuniary Interest Concerns an interest that a person has in a matter because of a reasonable likelihood or expectation of appreciable financial gain or loss to that person or another person with whom they are associated.

  • Procedural Fairness Is concerned with the procedures used by a decision- maker, rather than the actual outcome reached. It requires a fair and proper procedure be used when making a decision.

3. Objectives

The objective of Target Collection's Complaints and Other Feedback Policy and Operational Guidelines is to:

  • Improve the capacity of Target Collections to manage and resolve complaints and other feedback in a fair, efficient and consistent manner.

  • Increase community confidence in Target Collections' commitment to service delivery and effective complaint and other feedback handling.

  • Identify opportunities to improve Target Collections' performance through complaint and feedback information, as well as through any issues identified in the response to or investigation of the complaint or feedback matter.

4. Principles

Target Collections' Complaints and Other Feedback Policy is underpinned by the following principles:

  • Public access to information about making a complaint or providing other feedback will be through Target Collections' website,

  • Reasonable assistance will be available to complainants with special needs, including complainants who are unable to lodge a complaint in writing.

5. Responsiveness and Accountability

All complaints and other feedback will be registered and recorded in Target Collections' electronic data system, and distributed to relevant officers in Target Collections.

  • Complaints will be resolved in a timely manner, in the context of Target Collections' resource constraints.

  • Relevant parties to a complaint will receive information that explains how and why a decision was made. Information may include:

    • The results of any investigation
    • Any action already taken by Target Collections
    • Any action scheduled to be taken by Target Collections
    • Reasons for no action
    • Any further options available to the complainant if they are dissatisfied with the outcome
  • Where complaints do not progress to formal investigation, complainants will be provided with reasons in writing.

  • Where complaints progress to formal investigation and are complex or lengthy, relevant parties will receive regular progress reports wherever practicable or reasonable.

  • Where process or performance improvements are identified in the course of investigating or responding to a complaint, such feedback and recommendations will be provided to the Manager and/or Director of the relevant Target Collections Department, as appropriate.

  • Information on the complaint — including the date of the complaint, any action taken, the status, outcome and advice/information provided to the complainant — will be recorded by the relevant Target collections officer in Target Collections' electronic record keeping system.

  • All relevant documentation submitted as evidence in support of a complaint must also be registered by the relevant Target Collections officer in Target Collections' electronic record keeping system.

6. Privacy and Confidentiality

The privacy of the complainant and any Target Collections official named in a complaint will be maintained wherever possible, subject to any legal or legislative requirements, or overriding principles of natural justice and procedural fairness.

The principles of Target Collections' Confidentiality and Privacy Policy will be applied to the handling of all complaints and other feedback.

Any personal information you supply will only be used by Target Collections to investigate your complaint and to allow Target Collections to respond to you.

Your personal information will only be disclosed to those areas within Target Collections that may have information relevant to your complaint so that it can be managed fairly.

None of the information you provide to Target Collections will be disclosed outside of Target Collections without your permission, unless we are required by law to do so.

Wherever possible, and subject to any legal or legislative requirements, Target Collections will maintain confidentiality in complaint handling processes.

Target Collections asks complainants to maintain confidentiality in complaint processes.

7. Natural Justice and Procedural Fairness

The principles of natural justice and procedural fairness will be applied to the handling of all complaints and investigations.

  • The rules of natural justice and procedural fairness relate to the procedure adopted by a decision maker to enable a fair decision to be made. This includes the principle that a person against whom allegations are made should have:
    • Advance notice of the allegations and evidence
    • The opportunity to challenge allegations and evidence before decisions are reached
    • The right of appeal against any decision taken
    • Details of complaints or other feedback will be communicated promptly to the Target Collections official concerned, except in circumstances where confidentiality is required to protect the integrity of an internal or external investigation.

8. Trivial, Frivolous, Unreasonable, Baseless, Constant and/or Vexatious Complaints

Target Collections asks complainants to provide all relevant information to the complaint, and to be reasonable in their expectations.

Target Collections may refuse to investigate a complaint if it is considered to be trivial, frivolous, baseless, unreasonable or vexatious. This decision is at the discretion of the relevant Target Collections official but should be based on reasonable and supportable grounds.

Complaints or complainants may be determined to be unreasonable, and dealt with in accordance with Victorian Law.

Where Target Collections receives excessive correspondence from a complainant, Target Collections may request that the complaint be limited and refocused by the complainant.

Where correspondence or complaint is excessive, Target Collections will only address significant and serious issues, and may limit the number of issues that will be addressed in any given period from a complainant.

Where a person is making constant complaints to Target Collections, Target Collections may limit the times and days on which contact will be accepted from that complainant, or may require that contact only be in writing.

Where a person is raising the same issues with different Target Collections officers, Target Collections is entitled to nominate a particular Target Collections officer to deal with that complainant and will notify the complainant that no other Target Collections officer will respond to their complaints.

A complaint may be considered vexatious when it's purpose is to harass, annoy, delay or cause detriment. A complaint can also be considered vexatious where the complainant lacks reasonable grounds for lodging the complaint, or possesses insufficient direct interest in the issue complained about.

If a complaint is considered vexatious, Target Collections may choose to limit or cease correspondence with the complainant. Once this decision is made it will be communicated to the complainant in writing, but after initial advice to this effect, no further correspondence will be entered into on the matter by Target Collections.

Where it is clear that a complainant will not accept Target Colletions' decision on a matter, and that complainant continues to contact Target Collections, Target Collections may notify the complainant that no further complaints will be accepted or interviews granted concerning the matter, and that correspondence will be registered but not acknowledged or responded to unless the complainant provides significant new information relating to the complaint or raises new issues of complaint which, in Target Collections' opinion, warrant fresh action.

9. Anonymous Complaints

While Target Collections will maintain confidentiality in complaint processes, it will not investigate anonymous complaints.

10. Integrity, Dignity and Respect

Target Collections takes complaints seriously and will deal with them in a positive, expedient and confidential manner.

Target Collections officials will demonstrate fair and consistent decision-making, and complaints will be investigated without prejudice.

Target Collections treats complainants with courtesy and respect, and asks that complainants treat Target Collections officials with courtesy and respect.

Target Collections will not tolerate rude or aggressive behaviour towards Target Collections officials in complaint handling or other processes. In such circumstances, Target Collections officials are entitled to terminate phone calls or meetings as appropriate.

Wherever possible, Target Collections officials will provide the complainant with initial warning that their conduct is inappropriate and that the meeting or conversation will be terminated.

11. What is a Complaint?

For the purpose of this Policy, a complaint is identified as an expression of dissatisfaction about:

  • A service, procedure, practice or Target Collections policy

  • The conduct, lack of conduct, decision or omission of a Target Collections official that is not resolved at the point of service

Common categories of complaint include

  • Service delivery

  • Administrative decisions

  • Staff conduct

  • Policy and procedure

  • Privacy

Complaints must be about previously made decisions or actions of Target Collections or its officials, and you must indicate how this has adversely affected you.

12. Who Do I Make My Complaint to?

Wherever possible complaints to Target Collections should be resolved directly with the Target Collections official involved. This can be done verbally or in writing. The officer involved will attempt to resolve your complaint without referring it to another party. However they may record the details of your complaint or feedback for Target records.

If you wish to progress the matter further, a complaint should be made to the relevant Target Collections official identified below:

  • Complaints concerning the conduct of Target Collections staff should be made in writing to the Manager.

  • Complaints concerning the conduct of the Manager should be made in writing to the Director.

  • Complaints concerning any general Target Collections matters should be made in writing to the Public Officer.

13. What Do I Include in the Complaint?

Formal complaints must:

  • Be in writing

  • Be about a specific issue to do with the decision or action of Target Collections or its officials

  • Outline how that decision or action has adversely affected you

  • Include your contact details so that we can provide a response or seek further information

You can help us resolve your complaint more quickly by:

  • Treating our staff with courtesy and respect

  • Supplying as much relevant information as possible, as quickly as possible

  • Supplying the necessary details as accurately as possible

  • Including details of any letters that you have sent or received from Target Collections and the details of any phone calls or other discussions you have had with Target Collections officials about the issue

  • Telling us what you would like us to do to fix the problem

  • Keeping a copy of any letter, e-mail or fax you send

  • Not making baseless, trivial or vexatious complaints

14. Timeframes for Complaint Handling

Serious, Complex or Urgent Matters:

Serious, complex or urgent matters may require detailed or lengthy investigation. Complex complaints may involve multiple issues, parties or business units. In some instances, a formal investigation may be necessary.

Serious and urgent matters should be internally referred to the appropriate Target Collections official as soon as practicable but not more than three (3) working days after Target Collections' receipt of the written complaint.

Written response to or acknowledgement of the complaint to the complainant should occur no later than ten (10) working days after Target Collections' receipt of the written complaint.

Complaints should to be responded to and resolved as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.

Routine or Standard Matters:

Routine or standard matters are complaints that usually involve a single issue or concern. Standard complaints do not require the level of detailed investigation as in other complaints, and can often be resolved by reviewing an action or activity.

Routine matters should be internally referred to the appropriate Target Collections official as soon as practicable but not more than five (5) working days after Target Collections' receipt of the written complaint.

Written response to or acknowledgement of the complaint to the complainant should occur no later than twelve (12) working days after Target Collection' receipt of the written complaint.

Complaints are to be responded to and resolved as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.

Target Collections Australia Pty Ltd PO Box 13242