The mediation process if you are a consumer

THE PRINCIPLES AND PROCESSES ADOPTED BY THE ENGIE GROUP'S MEDIATION SERVICE FOR CONSUMPTION MEDIATION CASES

Requests that fall outside the Mediator’s remit are immediately referred on to the relevant departments of the ENGIE entity concerned.

For mediation cases, the Mediator proceeds as follows to handle the complaint:

 

1 – He assigns the complaint to a mediation officer in his team, who is the single contact for the claimant throughout the mediation process;

 

2 – The latter contacts the parties (the complainant and the latter’s opposing party, i.e. most of the time the complainant and the representative of the company the dispute concerns), mostly by telephone, to ascertain that they understand the principles and values of mediation and accept them,

 

3 – He asks each party to produce the evidence he needs to carry out a comprehensive and independent analysis,

 

4 – When he is nearing a conclusion, he submits it to the Mediator, along with the supporting documents.
The Mediator then proposes a legal and fair solution, including any related compensation.

 

5 – The solution is presented to the parties, who decide, after an exchange of views and possible objections, whether or not they accept it,

 

6The Mediator then ratifies his mediation solution and ensures it is implemented (whenever necessary) by the party concerned.

The Mediator has introduced a complainants satisfaction survey.

Mediation is free for the consumer. The parties can resort to mediation without needing to engage a lawyer. They may however be represented by a lawyer or assisted by anyone of their choosing at any stage of the mediation process (for instance a consumer organization). They can also 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. For joint claims, the costs may be shared by both parties.

 

If a party resorts to a third party (for instance a lawyer, legal aid, a consumer organization, etc.), several procedural options are possible: 

  • the mediation officer deals only with the third party, and the latter informs the claimant of the Mediator’s proposals. Then the third party in return informs the Mediation team of the claimant’s position or decision,
  • the mediation officer deals directly with the claimant, who seeks advice from the third party throughout the process, before accepting or rejecting the Mediator’s proposals,
  • the mediation officer deals directly with the complainant, copying all exchanges to the third party, in particular the proposed mediation solutions, so that the third party can act effectively in an advisory capacity.

 

The Mediator regularly reminds the parties (before, during and at the end of the mediation process) that they can withdraw from the process at any time.

 

At the request of either party, he can send on all or part of the case file.

 

Before starting the process, and at the end of the process, the Mediator reminds the parties: 

  • that they are at liberty to accept or refuse the proposed solution;
  • that participation in the mediation process does not rule out the possibility of taking the matter to court;
  • that the solution may be different from a decision handed down by a judge,
  • of the consequences for the complainant of accepting or rejecting the mediation solution.

 

Finally, the Mediator sets a deadline for the complainant to accept or reject the solution. On average this is 2 weeks after the solution has been presented to the claimant by the mediation officer. However, on a case-by-case basis and at the request of the complainant, this deadline can be extended if necessary.

 

As provided for by article R. 612-5 of the French Consumer Code, the Mediator undertakes to settle mediation cases within no more than 90 days. However, where necessary, this deadline can be extended for more complex cases. If this is the case for, the Mediator informs the parties of the new planned deadline.

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