The values that form the reference framework for the action of the ENGIE Group’s Mediator are as follows:
a sympathetic ear, scrupulous respect for individuals,
willingness to identify amicable solutions,
impartiality, due hearing of all parties,
respect for the contradictory,
This Charter is the foundation framework for the practices of the ENGIE Group’s Mediation service.
Article 1. Définition
Article 1.1 ENGIE Group’s Mediation
The ENGIE Group’s Mediation service was created in 1999 in consultation with consumer organizations, co-signatories of the founding document.
Its main mission is to resolve protracted disputes with any person or organization – whether or not a customer – affected by the Group’s activities, in France or abroad, wherever the ENGIE Group operates.
It complements the complaint handling procedures of each of the Group’s departments and thus offers the plaintiff a last resort, within the ENGIE Group, when he considers that the response to his complaint is unsatisfactory.
In France, the ENGIE Group’s Mediation service was approved by the Mediation Assessment and Control Commission on 25 February 2016. That being the case, since then it is listed as an approved mediation entity (link to the list on the site of the DGCCRF (General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control)) in each Member State, in accordance with Directive 2013/11/EU. This list can be found on the “RLL platform“.
Article 1.2 ENGIE Group’s Mediator
Article 1.2.1 Appointment
Mediator Jean-Pierre Hervé, was appointed Chairman & CEO of the Group on 1st July 2014, after consultations with consumer organizations.
In accordance with article L. 613-2 of the Consumer Code, he was confirmed unanimously by the members as Consumption mediator by a joint body (representatives of consumer organizations and representatives of the ENGIE Group) during a commission meeting held on 11 December 2015.
He has been appointed for a 5-year renewable term of office, as he meets the conditions of independence and impartiality within the meaning of the Consumer Code. He cannot be dismissed. After this term of office, the Mediator may not work for his employer for at least three years.
Article 1.2.2 Remit and efficacy
The Mediator has extensive experience in the energy industry, which enables him to define a fair and legal solution with the various parties.
He attends special training courses on mediation.
Article 1.2.3 Independence and impartiality
By virtue of his authority, experience and position in the company, he offers claimants the best guarantee of impartiality and independence.
His budget is independent of his activity, he has a dedicated team and his pay is unrelated to the outcomes of mediation.
The Mediator clearly states his position in relation to the entities concerned so that claimants can choose him, with full knowledge of the facts, as a third party for the amicable resolution process of their disagreement. The Mediator undertakes to constantly treat all the parties fairly within the framework of the Mediation process.
Article 1.2.4 Confidentiality
The Mediator is bound by a non-disclosure obligation.
The names of the parties, the details of the case and the facts he learns in fulfilling his duties remain confidential.
Article 1.2.5 Due hearing of all parties
In accordance with article R. 612-3. of the Consumer Code on the mediation of consumer disputes, the mediator will provide at some or all of the case documents the request of either party.
Article 2. Applicability of Mediation
The ENGIE Group’s Mediation service applies to all persistent disputes with any individual or organization affected by the Group’s activities, whether or not they are customers.
The ENGIE Group’s Mediator has the authority to handle disputes involving any kind of stakeholder of ENGIE, its entities and subsidiaries:
stakeholders: for instance, local residents, third-party customer representatives, etc.,
With regard to consumer affairs, he is mediator in the following areas:
Pre-sales, sales and management of energy contracts,
Pre-sales, sales and management of energy-related contracts: the services offered by the energy provider: energy diagnostics, heating equipment maintenance services…
Pre-sales, sales and management of energy efficiency services: making energy-saving improvements in buildings or installing heating or energy generation systems running on renewable energy, design office services for the home…
Pre-sales, sales and management of other service contracts between the company and an individual customer, in the areas of expertise of the Group’s subsidiaries.
The customers concerned may also be companies, local authorities, institutions, government departments, landlords, co-owner associations, etc.
His areas of responsibility cover all the businesses of the Group and its subsidiaries:
sale and distribution of all marketed energies, including new energies (solar, wind, etc.),
the sale and management of the services provided, including energy efficiency services, facility management (services provided for business and local authority customers for their own use and that of their customers in various areas),
Various consulting and expert services, etc.
Article 3. The Mediation process
Article 3.1 Submitting a matter to the ENGIE Group’s Mediator
The claimant can write to the Mediator at the following addresses:
The submission must include a copy of the documents backing up the complaint.
The Mediator acknowledges receipt of the case file within 48 hours and notifies the claimant of how the complaint will be processed.
Article 3.2 Working language
The working languages of the ENGIE Group’s Mediation service are French and English.
Article 3.3 Analysis and referral of the claimant’s complaint
The Mediator specifies the service(s) the complaint concerns and analyses the appropriate treatment according to an initial assessment of the customer experience.
The Mediator cannot examine a dispute in any of the following cases:
If the consumer cannot prove he has first attempted to resolve the dispute directly with the ENGIE Group (at national consumer service level) with a written complaint, possibly in accordance with the relevant procedure stated in the contract;
If the complaint is patently groundless or unreasonable
If the dispute has been examined or is currently being examined by another mediator or by a court;
If the consumer has submitted his complaint to the Mediator more than one year after sending a written complaint to the ENGIE Group (final level of complaints in the company that the dispute concerns);
If the dispute falls outside the area of responsibility of the Mediator, as defined in article 2 of this Charter.
If the consumer has not yet attempted to resolve his dispute directly with the ENGIE Group entity concerned, as provided for in his contract, the following process is implemented:
The ENGIE Group’s Mediation service sends the consumer a letter informing him that his complaint does not qualify for mediation at this juncture. The letter also informs him of the entity to which his complaint will be referred, and reminds him that if the said entity’s answer is unsatisfactory he can re-submit it for la Mediation.
In parallel, the Mediation service transfers the complaint to the entity concerned. It systematically asks the entity to send a copy of the answer sent to the consumer.
On receipt of this copy, the Mediation service contacts the consumer again, by e-mail or telephone, to ascertain that the claimant is satisfied with the answer. If the claimant is unhappy with the answer, the Mediation service offers to accept and handle the case directly, subject to the prior consent of the claimant.
In other cases of inadmissibility for mediation as set out above, the Mediator notifies the consumer that his request for mediation has been refused within no more than three weeks of receiving the case (in most cases, this answer is sent within 48 hours).
Conversely, if the disagreement between the parties has not been resolved after all the ENGIE Group’s internal procedures have been attempted (as provided for in the contract), and subject to the consent of the claimant, the Mediator takes on the case in the last form of amicable resolution.
In the same way, the ENGIE Group’s Mediator also takes on cases of claimants who have submitted their case to ENGIE in writing but have not received a reply for 2 months.
For cases handled in mediation, the Mediator solicits the ENGIE Group’s services then contacts the claimant to examine all the aspects of his complaint with a view to reaching a legal and fair solution between the claimant and the department concerned.
During the mediation process, the Mediator can call a meeting of the parties or receive them separately with a view to expediting the search for an amicable solution. Before the mediation process starts, the Mediator reminds the parties that mediation is a voluntary process and that they can withdraw from it at any time.
The Mediation process can be interrupted at any time by the parties or by the Mediator if any of them considers that the principles of mediation have not been met. They inform one another in writing.
The Mediator undertakes to point out forthwith any conflict of interests to the parties. After being informed of their right to object, they may decide to allow the Mediator to continue handling the case.
The parties can resort to mediation without needing to engage a lawyer. They can be represented or assisted by a third party of their of their choosing at any stage of the process, and can seek independent advice on the dispute. If they seek independent advice, notably that of an expert, the party or parties so doing bear the cost thereof.
Article 3.4 Free of charge
Submission of a case to the ENGIE Group’s Mediation service and the processing of the case are free of charge for the claimant.
Article 3.5 The Mediator’s Solution
The Mediator bases his analysis and decision on the sources of substantive law used in the European and French normative environment and on considerations relating to fairness.
The Mediator deals with consumer disputes in accordance with the new provisions of the Consumer Code governing Consumption Mediation, in particular articles L. 612-1 to L. 616-3 and R. 612-1 and R.616-2, and the Energy Code
When the investigation into the case has ended, within no more than three months from the date of receipt of the documents supporting the consumer’s complaint, barring complex cases, the Mediator sends his fair and legal conclusions to the claimant and to the ENGIE Group department concerned.
The Mediator can extend this deadline for complex disputes, or if one of the parties so requests and the other agrees. The parties are informed of an extension and the estimated time needed to end the dispute.
The parties are at liberty to adopt or reject the solution proposed by the Mediator, if they so inform the Mediator, who will ensure that the solution is implemented by the department concerned.
The parties have a reasonable reconsideration period, fixed by the ENGIE Group’s Mediator, to accept or refuse the proposal.
The claimant still has the option of taking legal action, unless the solution involves a compromise settlement.
He can also refer the matter to the National Energy Ombudsman, if his dispute falls within his area of responsibility within the meaning of the Energy Code.
The proposed solution may be different from a decision handed down by a judge.
Article 3.6 Quality control
The Mediator leads a quality control process (traceability, checks, satisfaction surveys, improvement measures), the main results of which are published. This process aims to guarantee a high rate of amicable settlements accepted by the parties to the dispute.
Article 4. Effects and conclusion of the Mediation process
Article 4.1 Period of limitation
Referral to the Mediator suspends the period of limitation until the Mediator has pronounced his solution. In accordance with the provisions of the Civil Code, after Mediation, the period of limitation resumes for no less than six months.
Article 4.2 Legal proceedings
The Mediator cannot accept a case for which one of the parties has brought legal action, unless both parties expressly agree.
Any action brought by either party to the Mediation process against the other party brings Mediation to an end. The first party to take action so informs the Mediator, who then closes the case.
Article 4.3 Confidential nature of the solution
The Mediator’s solution is confidential: unless the parties agree otherwise, they cannot disclose the solution, even in court.
Article 5. Follow-up of the Mediator’s recommendations
Article 5.1 The annual report of the ENGIE Group’s Mediator
Every year the Mediator drafts a report that among other things includes: a presentation of the ENGIE Group’s Mediation service;
a presentation of the ENGIE Group’s Mediation service;
the number of disputes referred to the Mediator and the type of complaints they concern;
the proportion of disputes that did not qualify for mediation and the percentages of the different types of reason for refusal;
the percentage of mediation processes that were interrupted, and the reasons for the interruption if known;
the average time taken to resolve disputes;
the percentage of claims totally or partially satisfied;
information on cooperation in the networks of entities of extrajudicial resolution of the disputes that facilitate cross-border dispute resolution, where applicable;
the percentages of the solutions proposed in favour of the consumer and the professional, as well as the percentage of disputes resolved by amicable agreement;
the work done in the field of dispute settlement, more particularly in the energy sector;
an analysis of complaint received and disputed processed, and his recommendations for improvements to be made to the company’s customer processes, complaints handling and quality of service;
systematic or important problems that frequently arise and that are at the root of disputes between consumers and professionals. This information may go hand in hand with recommendations on how the problems raised can be avoided or resolved in the future, in order to improve the practices of professionals and facilitate exchanges of information and good practices.
Article 5.2 Follow-up of the recommendations of the ENGIE Group’s Mediator recommendations
The Mediator monitors implementation of his recommendations by the departments concerned.
You can consult the Mediation Charter in its entirety by clicking the following link: Mediation Charter.
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