Application process - consumer and trader disputes

Application process for lodging consumer and trader disputes with QCAT.

Before you make an application regarding a consumer and trader dispute, please ensure that it is classed as a consumer and trader dispute as per QCAT's definition.

Completing an application form

To make an application in relation to a consumer or trader dispute, please complete and lodge Form 1 - Application for a minor civil dispute - consumer (PDF, 624.9 KB).

When lodging a dispute against a trader or company, it is important the application form has their correct business details including their full name and address. This ensures the right organisation is nominated as a party to the matter.

You can contact the Australian Securities and Investments Commission for business name and company information. A search fee may be charged.

What happens next?

Once your application and forms are received, we will review the information provided after which we will return to you copies of your application and forms stamped with the QCAT seal (official stamp of the tribunal; documents that are filed are stamped with the tribunal’s seal).

You must then deliver (serve) a copy of the stamped documents to the other party. You may serve by post or use the services of a Magistrates Court bailiff, commercial agent or process server to serve the documents on your behalf.

All parties will then receive a notice to attend mediation including the date, time and location of the mediation. The aim of mediation is to support all parties in reaching an agreement.

If no agreement is reached at mediation, generally the matter will proceed to a hearing and a final decision will be made.

Please note: If your application concerns an amount up to $1500, your dispute will be listed for hearing without being referred for mediation first unless the tribunal orders otherwise. For more information, please see QCAT Practice Direction No 4 of 2011 - Arrangements for the mediation and determination of minor civil disputes. (PDF, 1.6 MB).


The other party may make an application for the same dispute - called a counter-application. For example, you may claim they sold you a damaged product and they may claim that the product when sold to you was clearly marked as being slightly damaged.

To make a counter-application against the original application, please complete and lodge Form 8 - Minor civil dispute - counter application (PDF, 590.3 KB).