How does a mediation procedure unfold?

The ENGIE Group’s Ombudsman has set up 2 processes (fairly similar but at the same time suited to each situation) to deal with mediation cases:

  • The first process concerns consumers claimants,
  • The second concerns disputes between a company and the ENGIE Group, in what is known as BtoB (business to business) relations.

In both cases,

  • the matter is assigned to a mediation officer in his team, who handles it from A to Z and is the single contact for the parties. In certain cases (BtoB in particular), the mediation officer may be the Ombudsman himself,
  • as soon as the case is referred, the latter systematically contacts the parties, notably the claimant, ideally by telephone, to remind the latter of the principles and values of mediation and gather as much information as possible about the dispute,
  • when he has gathered all the evidence he needs from the all the parties, he thoroughly analyses the situation to determine the causes of the dispute, determine the responsibilities, and assess the law in that respect whenever necessary,
  • he then contacts the parties again to present his analysis and the proposed solution(s) (always approved in advance by the Ombudsman) he deems the fairest and most likely to resolve the dispute,
  • after reiterating them with a view to reaching a solution, the parties are still at liberty to accept or refuse it. If further evidence emerges that was not borne in mind in his first proposal, the negotiation can still continue with a view to converging on a new conclusion,
  • finally, the Ombudsman concludes the mediation process, by informing the parties by post of the consequences of this mediation process (the freedom of the parties, temporary suspension of the period of limitation, other means of recourse, etc).