To help us deal with a complaint submitted by a fee-charging representative on behalf of a complainant, we ask the service to provide the following information at the time of making a complaint to AFCA:
While we will request contact information for a fee-charging representative, we also require contact details of the complainant in case we need to contact them directly. We cannot accept a complaint from a fee-charging representative if they only provide their own contact information.
Specific details of the key issues in the complaint, along with all relevant supporting documentation, will be required. It is not sufficient to use a generic template of allegations without providing specific details relating to the complainant.
For example, if a representative is claiming their client changed their address and the financial firm failed to send a default notice to the new address, the representative should provide us with details of when the complainant notified the firm of their change of address, how they contacted the firm and, if relevant, who they spoke to and what was said. The representative should also provide any supporting documentation showing that their client changed their address; for example – copies of account statements from other financial firms or utility bills from around the same time.
We understand that complaints can evolve over time. That is, issues that were not apparent at the start of the complaint process come to light later on.
However, it is not acceptable that a fee-charging representative introduce further issues during the progression of the complaint when these were able to be identified earlier.
A fee-charging representative should be clear about the outcome sought in the particular circumstances of the complaint. This includes providing us with any calculations and reasons for the requested outcome.
Where available, the fee-charging service should provide AFCA with the name of the financial firm against which the complaint has been lodged along with relevant details of the financial product or service (for example, a policy or account number).
It is not always necessary for the complainant, or a representative, to have made a complaint to the financial firm before contacting AFCA. However, where a complaint was previously made, this is important information.