Updated: 30 October 2023

AFCA Investment and Advice Ombudsman Nicolas Crowhurst explains why even the best professionals receive complaints from time to time, and what advisers can do next if they receive a complaint.  

Why do clients complain about good advisers?

Even the best professional will receive a complaint from time to time. Some are unsubstantiated, and some are valid. Both are opportunities which can benefit your business through responding to valuable feedback of either a problem, or the perception of a problem.

At the most basic level, clients complain when there has been a breakdown in communication which leads to a mismatch in the expectations of the client and the adviser. When things don’t go the way the client expects, a fundamental trust is broken about a sensitive issue, money, which is something a lot of people have a hard time talking about.

That’s when the emotional reaction sets in and people get upset. When people are emotional, they are incapable of properly processing logical arguments. Before you can convince the client with rational and logical explanations, you need first to reduce the emotion in the discussion – both theirs and your own.

Read the full article on AdviserVoice.


Published: 21 June 2021


Media enquiries media@afca.org.au

About AFCA

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is a non-government ombudsman service providing free, fair and independent help with financial disputes. It is a one-stop-shop for consumers and small businesses who have a dispute with their financial firm, over things such as banking, credit, insurance, advice, investments or superannuation. Where an agreement cannot be reached between parties, AFCA can issue decisions that are binding on financial firms.

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