Friday, December 18, 2015

The French Do It Better? Je dis ça, je dis rien

French consumers must currently bring claims against French companies to court. Though come 2016, French companies offering goods and services to consumers will need to provide mediation mechanisms-- free of charge-- in disputes arising from poor performance of a merchandise sale contract or a service agreement. The new requirements come with implementation of recent EU Directives on alternative dispute resolution for consumer disputes. The rules are applicable to any individual or legal entity, whether public or private, acting as part of a commercial, industrial, non-industrial or free market activity. Both domestic and cross-border disputes are subject to these rules. As such, companies must provide consumers with mediator contact details in a clear and legible manner on their website along with their TOC of sale or services, their purchase orders or any other relevant media. Consumer mediation will be observed, evaluated, and controlled by a new entity called the Commission for the Evaluation and the Control of Consumer Mediation (la Commission d’évaluation et de contrôle de la médiation de la consommation – CECMC). Reportedly, mediation will remain an option for consumers and will not be obligatory. Non-compliance on the part of those parties subject to the rules can be administratively fined up to three thousand Euros for individuals and €15,000 for corporations. See more here-- and