Are you unhappy or disappointed about something we have done?
At Westlawn, we take pride in our customer relationships and our prompt and efficient service to our customers.
If something has happened or not happened that is of concern to you, please allow us the opportunity to rectify the problem and put things right.
Please tell us of your concerns and we will investigate and consult with you to find a resolution. The information contained here is designed to ensure you are aware of our commitment to a fair and efficient resolution of your complaint and to ensure you are aware of the steps you need to take.
How to resolve your dispute
If you are in a branch you can tell the Branch Manager in person or you can fill in the attached form: Complaint Resolution.
- The form may be handed in at the branch or posted “Reply Paid” to:
- PO Box 78 Grafton NSW 2460
- faxed to (02) 6642 0475
- or via email to: email@example.com
All complaints should be addressed to the “Dispute Resolution Officer”.
If you desire to raise your complaint over the telephone, please call us on (02) 6642 0400.
What happens first?
We encourage you to resolve any complaints or disputes directly with your local Westlawn Branch Manager.
If they cannot resolve your complaint within a 24 hour period he/she will refer the complaint to our dedicated Dispute Resolution Officer at Grafton. If you are unhappy with the resolution offered by the local Branch Manager, you may also refer the complaint directly to the Dispute Resolution Officer in Grafton utilising the details provided above in “How to resolve your dispute”.
What happens next?
Our Dispute Resolution Officer will acknowledge the receipt of your complaint. This will be done by either:
as soon as we can, but usually within 24 hours of receipt of your complaint.
How long will it take to resolve your complaint?
Our aim is to resolve complaints as quickly as possible. How long we take to resolve your complaint will depend on the nature of the complaint and the particular service or product the complaint refers to.
General disputes are to be resolved within 45 days. But if the nature of the complaint refers particularly to notices of default you have received or you wish to make arrangements for the terms of your contract to be altered under “hardship” applications, the complaint will be resolved within 21 days.
Assessment of your complaint
To resolve any issues we will use all relevant information provided and apply common sense taking into account:
- The law
- Our internal and external dispute resolution guidelines in line with industry standards
- What is fair and commercially sensitive considering the circumstances.
What happens if your dispute is unresolved?
If an issue has not been resolved to your satisfaction, you can lodge a complaint with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, or AFCA. AFCA provides fair and independent financial services complaint resolution that is free to consumers.
You can contact them by:
- Mail at GPO Box 3, Melbourne VIC 3001
- Phone at 1800 931 678 (free call)
- Website www.afca.org.au
- Email via firstname.lastname@example.org
The costs in lodging a complaint
There are no costs associated with the lodging of a complaint with either Westlawn Finance Limited or AFCA. Should you elect to take your complaint to Court, you may incur legal costs. There is no need to obtain legal advice but you may do so if you wish.
AFCA Investigation and Finding
AFCA investigation is handled by a Case Manager who will contact you should further information be required. If the dispute is not resolved during the investigation process, the Case Manager will provide a “Finding” suggesting how the dispute may be resolved. The Finding will explain the reasons for the Case Manager’s conclusions.
What to do on receipt of a Finding
You may accept or reject the Finding. If you and Westlawn Finance Limited accept the Finding, the case is resolved and AFCA will close their file.
What to do if you reject the Finding
If you reject the Finding then you will need to write to AFCA and tell them why. For example you may have further compelling information about the dispute.
Your case may then be referred to a Referee who will make a formal determination about how the dispute should be resolved.
What to do on receipt of Referee’s determination
You may accept or reject the Referee’s determination. However, if you reject the determination AFCA will not be in a position to consider the matter any further and they will close their file. Any determination is binding on Westlawn Finance Limited if you accept it.
Use of information
The information you provide will be covered by the identical confidentiality and privacy issues contained in your Privacy & Confidentiality Policy. A copy of this policy will be provided to you on request. You may request us to keep part or all of the information you provide as confidential. If this is the case you should be aware that we cannot pass this information on to other parties involved in dispute resolution.
If English is not your first language, Westlawn Finance Limited may arrange for your correspondence to be translated free of charge. There will always be delays as we arrange and wait for any translation.
Lodgement of complaint by a third party
Another party may lodge a complaint on your behalf. You will need to provide us with written authorisation to this situation so that we do not breach your privacy when we discuss the complaint with that party.
Are there any time limitations on lodging a complaint?
There are no time limitations. However the sooner you inform us of any problems the easier it will be to resolve them. This is especially the case with default notices and hardship applications.