Created in 2002, the mediation of electronic communications arose from the initiative of the operators of fixed and mobile telephony, grouped within an association, at first called AMET then AMCE (Association Médiation des Communications Electroniques). So, the telecommunications sector was the first private sector to be equipped with a unique and independent mediator.
Today, most of the operators adhere to the device (1 ). So, almost all of the 100 million users listed by the ARCEP (Authority of Regulation of the Electronic Communications and the Posts) may, in case of dispute, turn free of charge to a mediator. Simple, fast and free, the mediation has for object to propose a level of additional level of amicable recourse to the customers who would not have found satisfaction in the resolution of their disputes with their operator of electronic communications, including for the supply of access to internet.
The mediator is chosen by the AMCE for a period of three years, renewable once, according to the Charter of Mediation signed by the operators members of the association. He is irrevocable for the duration of his mandate.
His appointment comes after consultation with the interested public authorities: DGCCRF (General Direction for Competition, Consumption and Repression of Fraud) and ARCEP but also consumer associations who are partners of mediation as particularly qualified customer / consumer representatives.
The Mediator is appointed for his human qualities and his legal expertise in order to deliver opinions in law and in equity. He is committed to update regularly his knowledge.
The Mediator shall perform his duties independently and receives no directive.
In which case requesting the Mediator?
Mediation applies to all the commercial disputes between a service provider of electronic communications, signatory of the Charter of Mediation of the AMCE, to one of his customers / consumers, natural person occurrent outside his professional activity.
When requesting the Mediator?
The claimant must first have exhausted the two levels of internal appeal whih every operator member of the AMCE must have established: Customer Service (1st level) and Consumer Service (2nd level), which undertake to respond within a specified period, after which the claimant is entitled to proceed to the next step.
How to request the Mediator?
Every operator signatory of the Charter has to inform his customers of the modalities of internal appeals they have to observe before requesting the mediator.
When, after exhaustion of the internal procedures of the operator, the dispute with his customer could not be resolved amicably , the operator indicates to the customer, in the negative answer of the last level of internal appeal, the name and the address of the mediator as well as the modalities of his referral.The mediator has to determine the admissibility of the disputes which are submitted to him and, in case of premature referral, reorientates the customer or his representative towards the good preliminary level of internal appeal of the operator.
The customer or consumers’ association representing his interests requests the mediator, either by e-mail, or directly on the site of mediator www.mediateur-telecom.fr .
The mediator cannot be requested if a legal action has been intiated by the operator or the customer, unless both agree on it expressly. Also, any legal action introduced by one of the parties in the mediation against the other party terminates the mediation.The médiators opinion is confidential : except agreement between them, the parties cannot publish it, including within the framework of a judicial authority
What are the powers of the Mediator?
The Mediator has to give his opinion on the dispute within a maximum period of two months from the date of admissibility of the referral, except in case of particular complexity of the dispute.
The notice is sent by post to the customer and the consumer association that represents optionally, and the operator concerned.
Each party to the mediation is free to follow or not to follow the notice of the Mediator, but has to inform in writing the other party and the mediator within one month.
In practice, less than 1% of the notices are rejected by the operator who always indicates the reason to the Mediator.
An evaluation commission of mediation meets annually, or upon request of the mediator, to contribute to the dialogue between public authorities, consumer associations and operators themselves.
Every year, the mediator prepares a report on its activities, which includes the number of referrals to the Mediator, the number of notices issued, the types of disputes, their frequency and the percentage of notices followed by operators, distinguishing cases by categories such as fixed telephony, mobile telephony and Internet.
In its annual report , the Mediator also formulates recommendations of improvement to prevent the renewal of some repetitive or significant disputes and seek to improve the quality of service of the electronic communications sector .
This report is sent by Mediator to the DGCCRF, to teh ARCEP, the Commission of Mediation of Consumption that ” referenced ” the Charter Mediation of the AMCE in February 2012, as well as consumers associations and operators .
Finally , the Medaitor follows the implementation of its recommendations by the operators.
(1) The Mediation Association of the Electronic Communications ( www.mediateur -telecom.fr ) currently includes operators (and their brands ) as follows : In metropolitan France : Alice, Bouygues Telecom , B & You, Carrefour Mobile, Coriolis , France Telecom, Free , Free Mobile , La Poste Mobile, NRJ Mobile, Numericable , Orange, Prixtel , RED , SFR, Sosh , Tele2 Mobile , Universal Mobile. In the DOM TOM : Caribbean Orange , Orange Reunion, Reunion SRR ( SFR ) .