Harvey Norman, Apple among most complained-about businesses

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Harvey Norman, Apple among most complained-about businesses

NSW Fair Trading has released its first consumer complaints rankings, featuring well-known technology names like Apple, Harvey Norman and The Good Guys.

The list released this week shows businesses that were the subject of 10 or more complaints to the government watchdog during the month of July.

National electronics reseller chain Harvey Norman was number two on the list with 29 complaints, seven of which were on hardware items like PCs, tablets and peripherals.

Harvey Norman was beaten only by real estate agent LJ Hooker on the complaints ladder.

"This register empowers consumers to make informed decisions, and provides an incentive for traders to improve their business practices and accept full accountability for the goods and services they provide," NSW Fair Trading commissioner Rod Stowe said.

Retail website Zoxoro.com.au was number five with 23 complaints, mobile phone online store Android Enjoyed was number eight with 18 complaints - with smartphones accounting for 14 of those records.

Reseller chain The Good Guys, a potential acquisition target for JB Hi-Fi, came number 10 with 16 complaints. Apple followed at 11th spot with 13 complaints.

Another retail online store, Valuebasket.com - which was inaccessible at the time of writing - ranked number 14 with 11 complaints. A Facebook page called 'Valuebasket Annoyed Customers' was active until November 2013.

According to the NSW Fair Trading office, several business have engaged with the department and initiated measures to reduce the number of complaints and avoid appearing on the list.

"The register encourages the marketplace to regulate itself, and publishing monthly allows businesses the chance to improve their complaint handling procedures," said Stowe.

According to the department, a "large business" has already hired new staff to handle complaints and already saw a significant reduction in the amount of complaints.

Stowe defended the decision to use the companies' trading names on the register. "This is the name these traders use when promoting their businesses to the public and this is the name consumers identify with when making a transaction."

The full list with the top 20 companies can be accessed here.

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