Consumer claims

NCAT can decide consumer complaints up to the value of $100,000 about the supply of goods or services in NSW.

Consumer claims are managed through NCAT's Consumer and Commercial Division.

NCAT also deals with applications for the determination of a consumer guarantee direction issued by NSW Fair Trading.

How to apply

You can apply online for a consumer claim application.


Download and complete an application form. Lodge your application at any NCAT Registry or Service NSW service centre.


Fees are payable for consumer claim applications. View our fees and charges.

Time limits

You must apply to NCAT within 3 years of when the cause of action accrued (the problem with the goods or services). The goods or services must have been supplied to you within 10 years. 

If you apply outside of the time limit, you can request a time extension as part of your application. NCAT will not always agree to a request for a time extension.

Attach a company ​or business name extract​

When applying to NCAT about a business or company, you must attach a recent ASIC company or business name extract​ with your application.

A consumer claim must be against a supplier carrying on a business and not a private person. 

What happens next

Consumer claim applications are generally listed for conciliation and hearing. Check the notice of hearing from NCAT and follow the instructions provided.

Read the hearing preparation checklist to prepare for your hearing. 

Orders NCAT can make

NCAT can make the following orders about a consumer claim under Part 6A of the Fair Trading Act 1987:

  • An order for money to be paid
  • An order that money owed does not have to be paid
  • An order for goods or services to be provided
  • An order to fix or replace faulty goods
  • An order for a refund and the goods to be returned.

Sea and air carriage claims or travel claims

NCAT generally cannot hear air and sea carriage or travel claims against the operator. These matters must be heard in a Federal Court or State Court with federal jurisdiction.

NCAT can hear consumer claims against a travel agent.

Sea carriage claims

NCAT does not have jurisdiction to hear claims concerning sea (tidal waters) carriage or travel on a ship. NCAT is able to hear claims for inland waterway carriage in Australia (river cruises) and some overseas inland waterway carriage where the contract has a connection with NSW (except where the river is treated as international waters).

Air carriage claims

Air carriage and travel disputes with the operator that concern liability and damages cannot be heard by NCAT. You should refer to the conditions of carriage with the ticket. NCAT is able to determine some consumer claims where the dispute concerns the specific contract between the consumer and operator (e.g. consumer purchased a certain class of seat and was provided with less without compensation).

The Airline Customer Advocate may be able to assist where the dispute concerns their members. For more information visit the Airline Customer Advocate website or telephone 1800 813 129.


The following legislation applies to consumer claims.


Organisations that can help

NCAT cannot provide legal advice. Find out how we can and cannot assist. Below are some organisations that can provide help or advice about your case.

Last updated:

11 Aug 2023

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