Your rights

You have rights when dealing with businesses as a Centrepay customer.

Feedback and complaints

You can do all the following:

  • give us feedback about the Centrepay program
  • submit a complaint to us
  • make a complaint directly to a Centrepay business or any associated regulatory body
  • call us on your regular payment line to talk about your Centrepay deductions.

You should talk to the business about your concern first. If you can’t resolve it directly with the business, you can submit a complaint or feedback to us and we’ll investigate it. This may include compliance action against the business if it isn’t complying with the Centrepay framework. You can read about the Centrepay framework in the Centrepay for businesses section of our website.

If you aren’t happy with the outcome of your complaint, you can go to the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

Centrepay transaction fees

Centrepay is a free and voluntary bill paying service for Centrelink customers.

Businesses are charged a transaction fee for each deduction they receive. A business must not pass on its transaction fee, or any other costs related to the use of Centrepay, to you.

A business can only charge additional fees where it applies them to all other payment methods it offers, such as BPAY and direct debit.

If you think a business is charging you for the use of Centrepay as a payment option, talk to the business directly.

If you can’t resolve this issue directly with the business, you can submit a complaint or feedback to us and we’ll investigate it.

Consent for a Centrepay deduction

A business must always get your consent via a Deduction Authority before it does any of these:

  • starts a new deduction
  • restarts a cancelled deduction
  • increases the target amount
  • increases the deduction amount.

Businesses don’t need your consent to suspend, cancel, reduce or add end dates to your deduction. They can do this to help you prevent an overpayment.

When a business has taken funds without your consent, it must refund the money directly to you even if you have outstanding bills with it. You can choose to leave the funds with the business to pay an outstanding bill.

You can use our step-by-step guides to help you manage your money and Centrepay deductions.

If you haven’t given your consent, talk to the business directly.

If you can’t resolve this issue directly with the business, you can submit a complaint or feedback to us and we’ll investigate it.

Centrepay overpayment

If you’ve made an overpayment to a business, you should contact the business directly to request that it returns the overpayment.

A business must return an overpayment to you directly. You don’t have to use the money with the business or leave the money in credit.

If the business refuses to return the overpayment, you can either:

Payment options

Centrepay is voluntary. A business cannot force you to use Centrepay as a payment option. It must offer you at least one other payment option.

Where a business forces you to use Centrepay, you can submit a complaint or feedback.

Centrepay deduction stopped

Your Centrepay deduction may stop for a few reasons. You may have reached your target amount or end date, or a business may have stopped it.

We’ll tell you in writing when a deduction has been set up, changed, cancelled, suspended and resumed. It’s important to keep your contact details up to date so you receive letters from us. You can register to get your letters online:

  • in myGov
  • in your Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

If you choose to get your letters online, you’ll also get an SMS. You won’t get an SMS if you’ve made the changes to your deductions yourself through your online channel.

If you don’t have electronic messaging and want it, read how to set it up.

Before you submit a complaint or feedback, check your details are up to date and talk to the business directly about managing your deduction.

Quality of goods and services

We don’t endorse Centrepay businesses or their goods and services. We aren’t responsible for the quality of the goods or services that a business provides to you.

If you have concerns about the quality of goods and services, talk to the business directly.

If you can’t resolve this issue directly with the business, you can submit a complaint or feedback to us and we’ll investigate it. We may refer your complaint or feedback to one of these parties:

  • the business
  • the relevant regulatory body
  • a consumer help organisation.
Page last updated: 31 January 2024.
QC 65694