Complaints about the use of your name and or service address
Licensed information brokers must provide complaint handling processes and investigate and determine whether the Code of Conduct has been breached by one of their data customers, e.g a real estate agent. If you consider that your name and or service address has been used for direct marketing in breach of the Code of Conduct, you can lodge a complaint. If you know which information broker has provided your name or service address then you must raise your concerns with them in the first instance. Contact details for the licensed information brokers are listed on the Code of Conduct website.
If you do not know which broker has provided the information, you can write to or email the Code Oversight Committee about your complaint. The Committee’s postal and email addresses are below.
Your complaint should include:
- Your name and contact details
- A summary of your complaint
- Copies of any marketing material sent to you
- Details about any action already taken
- Advice about the outcome you are seeking
- Your consent to being identified in the investigation of your complaint
If your complaint cannot be satisfactorily resolved by the information broker, it may be referred to the Code Oversight Committee for consideration.
When does direct marketing breach the Code of Conduct?
Details about the physical address of a property or transaction details, e.g. the sale price, are not ‘personal identification information’ and the use of this type of data is not regulated by the Code of Conduct. If your name and or service address has been obtained from a non-QVAS source, by for example from a real estate agent when you have registered with them for an open inspection of a house for sale, or from a competition you have entered and given your contact details, or from a Council’s rates records, the Code of Conduct does not apply.
However if an investigation of your complaint reveals that your name and or service address has been obtained from QVAS and used for unsolicited direct marketing, a breach of the Code of Conduct will be found. Such conduct would also be contrary to the data user’s contract with the information broker who supplies them with data because those contracts are required to stipulate that QVAS name and service address data cannot be used for unsolicited direct marketing.
Penalties for breaches
Data users who breach the Code of Conduct can be penalised by way of sanctions. A range of sanctions are set out in the Code. First time or minor breaches usually result in a formal warning. More serious breaches may warrant the data user being listed on the Register of Excluded Parties which prevents that data user accessing QVAS name and address data for a specified period from any licensed information broker.
Are there complaints that cannot be investigated?
There are some restrictions on the types of complaints that can be investigated by an information broker or the Code Oversight Committee. These are outlined in the Code of Conduct, which is available on the website or by contacting the Committee. If your complaint cannot be investigated you will be told why not.
Cost of lodging a dispute?
There is no charge to consumers for the handling of a complaint. This applies in cases where the complaint is handled internally with a Code Subscriber or the Committee.
By mail: The Chair, Code Oversight Committee, PO Box 379, Fortitude Valley, Qld 4006