What is the dispute resolution service?
The dispute resolution service's objective is to find fair solutions to disputes between customers and telecommunications service providers and value-added service providers. In order for it to take on a dispute resolution request, the applicant must already have tried to solve the problem directly with the other party, without involving a court. The request must also not be obviously abusive.
Recourse to the dispute resolution service constitutes an alternative to a procedure in law, in particular when the disputed amount is small and recourse to the courts is disproportionate.
The board of the ombudscom foundation consists of two representatives of consumers' organisations, two representatives of the operators, one representative of value-added service providers and four independent members.
OFCOM, in conjunction with the federal agency for the supervision of foundations, oversees the telecommunications dispute resolution service, which must comply with certain requirements such as independence, impartiality, transparency and efficiency.
Telephone operators and value-added service providers are obliged to participate in a dispute resolution procedure which involves them. They must:
- communicate information useful to the resolution of the dispute,
- inform their customers of the existence of the dispute resolution service; operators must do so on every invoice or for customers with pre-payment cards, on the occasion of each top-up. Mention should also be made of the fact that ombudscom also deals with disputes about value-added services,
- pay a fee for each dispute resolution procedure to which they are a party.