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Before you make a complaint

You should attempt to resolve your complaint with the organisation directly before you complain to us.

All organisations should have a designated Privacy Officer who can receive your complaint and help you resolve it.

When you complain to an organisation, give them time to respond and remember to keep a copy of what you sent them. It’s best if you can outline:

  • how you believe your privacy has been breached;
  • the effect the breach has had on you; and
  • what you would like the organisation to do in response to your complaint.

If you’re having trouble making a complaint to an organisation, or if you’re not sure where to direct your complaint, contact us.

Some useful tips for making a complaint to an organisation

It is often more effective to write rather than call, especially if your complaint is complex and you need to provide copies of documents. Even if you feel angry or frustrated, staying calm and focusing on the main problem will help you to get your point across.

If you do call the organisation, ask for the name of the person you speak with and their position. Keep a note of the conversation and the date and time of your call.

Whether you write or call, you should stick to the main facts and provide as much detail as needed to understand and resolve the problem, but no more.

Tell the organisation what you want them to do to resolve the problem, but be open to alternative solutions too. Sometimes an organisation might come up with a solution that you hadn’t thought of.

Be calm and polite. Becoming abusive or blaming an individual often encourages people to defend their actions and may prevent them from seeing the issue from your perspective.

If your request is reasonable and realistic, you are more likely to be satisfied with the agency’s response. For more information about identifying realistic outcomes in privacy complaints, see our guide.

If you are unhappy with the outcome of this process or if you experience an undue delay in obtaining a response, you can bring your complaint to us.

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