External Dispute Resolution (EDR) Policy
Dispute Resolution Complaints Policy
June 2021 v4 Internal Dispute Resolution Policy (IDR)
Purpose of policy.
This document outlines the policy and procedures for the treatment of complaints received by us. The use of internal and external dispute resolution will be explained in detail. It is anticipated that this document will specify the internal dispute resolution processes and procedure so that it will comply with the requirements of ASIC.
This document is drawn having in mind the provisions of Regulatory Guide 165 as issued by ASIC. The Regulatory Guide is available from the ASIC website.
This policy forms part of the Compliance Plan required by the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 and the conditions of the licence granted to by ASIC. It also forms part of the general operational requirements of the business.
Section 47 of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (“NCCP Act”) requires that the dispute resolution system must consist of:
Internal dispute resolution procedure that complies with standards made or approved by ASIC which cover disputes in relation to credit activities in which we or our representatives are engaged, and Membership of an EDR scheme approved by ASIC.
What are Internal Dispute Resolution procedures?
Internal Dispute Resolution (‘IDR’) is a facility or process for a consumer to lodge a complaint with an organization. The organization is given the opportunity of resolving the complaint, failing which it could be escalated to an External
Dispute Resolution organization (‘EDR’) (AFCA in the case of Jacaranda Finance). These procedures provide guidance on how to respond to a complaint and help clarify our responsibilities.
Who can make use of these IDR Procedures?
Any borrower who interacts with Allstate Home Loans may use the IDR process.
What is a dispute?
The National Consumer Credit Protection Act refers to the necessity for a credit provider to have processes for dealing with “disputes”. In RG 165 the words “complaint” and “dispute” are used interchangeably and for that reason for the purposes of this policy, we will take “dispute” and “complaint” as meaning the same thing.
To adopt the definition of “dispute” from The Australian Standard ISO 10002-2006, we define “dispute” as:
An expression of dissatisfaction made to us related to our products or services, or the complaints handling process itself, where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected. For the purposes of this document “dispute” also includes a “complaint”, and the terms are used interchangeably, although generally a “dispute” is considered to occur when a “complaint” from a customer has not been resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.
Fundamentals of IDR.
As IDR is generally a necessary first step in the dispute resolution process before going to EDR, the following are some fundamental points surrounding IDR:
Consumers have the right to be heard if they have a complaint. We as a lender are committed to a quick and fair response to our customer complaints. If we are unable to resolve a complaint within a reasonable period and to the satisfaction of the complainant, the matter will be referred to our External Dispute Resolution scheme – AFCA. If the complaint cannot be resolved within 21 days, the Complaints Contact Person (or their deputy) will advise the customer of their right to contact AFCA. Thereafter they will deal with the complaint through AFCA.
Investigating a complaint or dispute.
The following information will give an indication as to how we will deal with a complaint:
The Complaints Contact Person or their deputy will not investigate a borrowers complaint if the Complaints Contact Person or their deputy is directly involved in the subject matter of the complaint. The Complaints Contact Person or their deputy must have the complainants written authority to access any documentation necessary to properly investigate the complaint.
We will provide a toll-free local call facility for reporting of complaints or disputes, and our website will have the facility to record a complaint or dispute through it. Where the complaint or dispute is made orally, the staff member taking the complaint will fill out a complaint form on behalf of the complainant. If requested, staff will assist customers wishing to register a complaint or dispute.
All complaints and disputes will be dealt with in an equitable, objective and unbiased manner. We acknowledge that it is necessary to weigh the competing interests of, and be fair to, the complainant, our customers at large, and, in relevant cases, the staff member against whom the complaint was made.
Complaints contact person.
A Complaints Officer will be appointed. The Complaints Officer will have the responsibility to ensure that all complaints and disputes are dealt with in accordance with this policy. All complaints or disputes, whether settled or not, must be reviewed by the manager of the staff member who originally dealt with the complaint or dispute. The manager will make a determination as to whether the complaint or dispute is one that, if unresolved, should be referred to the Complaints Officer.
Name: Complaints Officer Email: email@example.com Phone:1300 363 101
Each staff member will have the responsibility of attempting to resolve all complaints or disputes as soon as they are made or registered. All staff will be provided with a copy of, or access to, this policy and it will be a condition precedent to the commencement of their employment that they are aware of the operation of the dispute resolution policy. In addition, staff will be trained in how to complete a complaint form, and how to recognize matters that need to be dealt with priority.
All complaints or disputes will be determined on the facts and, as a result, it is not possible to allocate specific remedies to specific disputes. However, in determining a dispute, the relevant staff member shall consider the following possible remedies, or any combination of them:
Apology (verbally, in writing, or both); Refund; Compensation (by credit to account, refund or gift); Staff training, and Review of internal procedures.
Where the remedy involves staff training or review of internal procedures, the Complaints Officer will ensure that proper procedures are undertaken accordingly.
Recording of complaints and disputes.
Although we aim to provide customers with the highest standards of products and service, there may be occasions when our service does not meet the expectations of our customers. If such an event occurs, we are committed to dealing with any complaint or dispute arising therefrom in an efficient and effective manner ensuring at all times that any complaint is recorded to assist customer service development and internal training.
Allstate Home Loans will keep and maintain a register of complaints they have received which records the date a complaint is made, the full details of the complainant, the full details of the complaint and the measures taken to resolve it, including the dates on which responses are made to the complainant and the outcome of the complaint. Management will review this record of complaints and disputes regularly so that systemic problems can be identified and, where necessary, remedied.
The officer responsible for ensuring that the Disputes Register is properly maintained is the Complaints Officer. The Register will contain records of all complaints and disputes including the following:
Index number of the complaint or dispute (by which the complaint will be identified);
Date the complaint or dispute was notified; Name of the complainant; Account/loan number; Details of the complaint or dispute; Category of dispute; Date of first response; Person responsible for management of the complaint or dispute; Action taken; Terms of resolution (if any), and Date resolved.
How a complaint or dispute can be lodged.
A complainant may make the complaint by any reasonable means – by letter, telephone, fax, email, SMS or in person – by either the complainant or the complainants authorized representative. We prefer complaints to be made in writing by email or through our website and encourage the use of those methods.
It is company policy that every endeavour will be made to immediately settle a complaint or dispute with a customer. Where the complaint or dispute cannot immediately be settled, we will:
Provide a written acknowledgement within 2 working days that the complaint or dispute has been received and the procedures which we will undertake to investigate and handle the complaint or dispute. Ensure that a substantive response is provided to the complainant within 21 days of receipt of the complaint.
A complaint or dispute must be dealt with within 21 days. As a result, the investigating officer should, within 14 days of the receipt of the complaint or dispute, the deal with the complaint or dispute. This will enable the investigating officer to have sufficient time to ensure that the result of the dispute is delivered to the complainant within 21 days. If it is not possible to make a decision within the 14day period, the investigating officer must write to the complainant advising that a further period is required, but such further period must not extend the period during which the decision must be made no more than 21 days from the date of lodgement of the complaint or dispute.
Once a complaint or dispute has been resolved.
Immediately on a complaint or dispute being resolved, the investigating officer must ensure that the agreed action is put into place. The investigating officer must advise the complainant in writing:
The of the outcome of the investigation; The reasons for the outcome including, where appropriate, reference to statutory or other provisions, and Details of what further steps the complainant can take in respect of the complaint including the contact details of AFCA and, where appropriate, the office of the Information Commissioner (encompassing the office of the Privacy Commissioner).
Fee’s for handling a complaint.
Allstate Home Loans will not charge any fee in respect of a complaint.
Notify us of the complaint.
We cannot deal with the complaint unless we know about it. Whilst we would prefer that you advise us by email or through our website, you can let us know any way you find convenient, whether by personally advising, telephoning us, writing a letter, sending a fax, e-mailing or lodging it on our website.
Generally, we will be in a position to deal with the matter immediately. If we are unable to do so immediately, the matter will be referred to a more senior person. It is our intention to deal with all matters of complaint as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
Complete complaint documentation.
Where the matter cannot be resolved to your satisfaction within 24 hours of you making a complaint, details of it will be recorded in our Complaints Register. If we do not have enough information, we will seek it from you. We may ask you to complete a complaint form, a copy of which is attached to this document. Where your complaint is made orally, the staff member will fill out the complaint form on your behalf.
We will notify you in writing within 2 business days of the receipt of your complaint. We will also notify you of the procedures we will undertake as a result of your complaint.
Your complaint will be investigated. The person with the ultimate responsibility for its investigation is our Complaints Officer who may be contacted using the following contact details:
Allstate Home Loans Attention: Complaints Officer G.P.O. Box 268, Brisbane, QLD, 4001 Telephone - 1800 101 368 between 8:30am and 5:00pm Queensland time, weekdays Online: www.allstatehomeloans.com.au Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
The matter will be resolved within 21 days of receiving your complaint. Referral to our External Dispute Resolution Scheme.
If you are not satisfied with the resolution proposed by us, you can take the matter further.
If the complaint relates to a financial service, you can refer it to our External Dispute Resolution Scheme. We are a member of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (“AFCA”), one of the schemes approved by ASIC.
The contact details for AFCA are as follows:
Australian Financial Complaints Authority Phone: 1800 931 678 Fax: 02 9273 8440 Mail: GPO Box 3, Melbourne, VIC 3001 Email: email@example.com
If the matter relates to privacy, you may take the matter up with the Privacy Commissioner.
The contact details for the Privacy Commissioner, in the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, are as follows:-
There is no charge to you (except for the provision of documents where you request them from us) for the use of this procedure. The services of AFCA and the Privacy Commissioner are made available at no charge to you.