Mediation, a way of resolving disputes not yet known by consumers



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What if your electricity consumption seems overwhelmed? In this case, consumers are often aware of the existence of the Energy Ombudsman to resolve disputes between customers and suppliers of electricity or gas when the problem can not be resolved directly with customer service. concerned.

On the other hand, we are less familiar with the mediator in charge of financial markets, who is particularly competent in litigation on stock market orders. Or the mediator who can help you if your Internet operator does not provide you with the promised debt, if the work done at home is not in accordance with the quote presented, etc.

17 sectors in lawlessness

Still from 1st In January 2016, following the transposition into French law of a European directive, all consumers have the right to use a free-market mediator. For their part, professionals must adhere to a system of mediation and inform their clients, which is still far from always the case.

While 135 sectors of activity are currently covered by referenced mediators (who may be public mediators, business mediators or professional federations, or mediator firms), 17 sectors remain without a consumer mediator. The sectors of highways, sanitary transport, taxis, but also cobblers, dyers, delivery of meals at home, remain uncovered activities, illegally.

Independence of private mediators

The professional in question has the obligation to be covered by a mediation body, he must inform his client, but he may refuse to enter into mediation or withdraw at any moment of the process. The difficulty lies in the independence of mediators who, with the exception of the two public ombudsmen (energy and financial markets), are financed by the professionals themselves.

It is this independence and impartiality of the mediations resulting from it, which are overseen by the consumer mediation commission, which depends on Bercy, and which presented its first assessment on Thursday. To date, the commission has already referenced some 90 mediators, who received 104,000 referrals from consumers during the year 2017. Proof that the device is still not well understood by all: 60% of these referrals were inadmissible because the consumer generally could not justify having tried, in advance, to resolve their dispute directly with the professional.

Marie Bellan

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