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In every small business, problems can arise from time to time between businesses, their customers, suppliers, partners and employees. Most can be resolved quickly and efficiently with a common sense approach.
To maximise the chances of a successful dispute resolution with a customer you need to:
- listen to your customers (put yourself in their position)
- ask for documentary evidence to verify the facts
- understand your legal obligations – consult relevant laws and regulations
- negotiate face to face in a calm and professional manner
- if you reach a stalemate, refer back to your state fair trading agency.
Each fair trading agency can provide information to suppliers, retailers and consumers to help resolve marketplace disputes. If you’re unable to reach agreement, lodging a complaint through them is the next step – they can act as an informal negotiator. When a dispute is unable to be resolved, you can either seek legal advice or lodge a claim with the Small Claims Tribunal.
What to do…
- Read the Legal issues guide for small business .
- Find out about dispute resolution in your state or territory.
- Read about Resolving franchising disputes in the workplace.
- See our Franchising topic for more information on Resolving franchising disputes.
- Contact the ACCC small business helpline on 1300 302 021.