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Lodging a dispute


Authority to Act

When lodging disputes with us on behalf of a client, it is important to let us know that the consumer has authorised you to act on their behalf.

If you lodge the dispute online or use our PDF dispute form, please make sure you complete the section called ‘Contact Details – Representative’ and that you tick the boxes indicating you have the authority to act on behalf of the consumer. Click to enlarge the images below to see sample screen grabs of the online dispute form.

Extract from the online dispute form showing forms for representative's contact details. Extract from online dispute from showing the 'authority to act' tick boxes.



If you lodge a dispute using any other method, you must include a signed authorisation form.

Terms of Reference and Operational Guidelines

FOS has a set of rules, called the Terms of Reference, which outline the types of disputes we can consider. You will need to check that your dispute falls within the jurisdiction outlined in the Terms of Reference. As a consumer advocate it will save you time if you are familiar with the common types of disputes that we can and cannot consider. We recommend you use the following sections as starting reference points:

  • Section B: Jurisdiction of FOS
  • Section C: Dispute Resolution Processes
  • Section E: Legal Proceedings and Other Matters

The Operations Guidelines to our Terms of Reference provide more information on how we resolve disputes, and are intended to help you understand our Terms of Reference.

We also recommend you take our three online Terms of Reference eLearning sessions, which will help you learn more about some of the key aspects of the Terms of Reference and Operational Guidelines.

Getting the most out of working with FOS

There can be a lot to think about when preparing to lodge a dispute with FOS on behalf of a client. The following tips will help you to get the most out of working with us:

  • take the dispute to the financial services provider’s internal dispute resolution first
  • provide a good description of what the dispute is about
  • list the facts in chronological order
  • attach supporting documentation
  • articulate the remedy you are seeking and provide supporting calculations
  • put your argument forward in a factual, non-emotive way and where applicable, refer to supporting documentation
  • comply with our timeframes, or let your FOS caseworker know early if you need more time
  • consider whether telephone conciliation conference may assist in reaching a resolution and ask for one to be conducted if you think it can
  • make use of the FOS staff member who is handling the dispute – ring and ask questions.