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Mediation requests and the Mediator’s recommendations

The RATP Group Mediator is committed to applying the provisions of the French Consumer Code introduced by regulation no. 2015-1033 of 20 August 2015 and its implementing decrees pertaining to the out-of-court resolution of consumer disputes, codified in book 6, title 1, articles L.611-1 et seq. (legislative part) and articles R.612-1 et seq. (regulatory part) of the French Consumer Code.

To this end, the Mediator follows a fixed, organised and structured process for handling mediation requests.

The RATP Mediator intervenes free of charge. Complaints can be filed either by the the online form or by post at the address indicated below, for all consumer-related disputes between RATP or one of its passenger transport subsidiaries in France, and a customer, pertaining to the sale of travel subscriptions and tickets, the quality of service, or a breach of regulations. Customers may file their complaints in the languages proposed by the website using the online form. Communications during the mediation process will be conducted in French or, when necessary, with the assistance of a translation service.

When mediation requests are admissible, the Mediator will record the complaint and issue an acknowledgement of receipt as soon as the case file has been received. The Mediator issues a recommendation after investigating all of the elements submitted by the customer and the arguments made by RATP and its relevant subsidiaries.

>> For more information on filing periods and deadlines

Cases pertaining to personal injury or crimes as well as lawsuits are excluded from the RATP Group Mediator’s scope of action.

Mediation may not be used for dispute resolution in the following cases:

  • when the customer cannot justify having first tried to resolve the dispute directly through a written complaint filed with RATP or the relevant subsidiary;
  • when the request is manifestly unfounded or abusive;
  • when the dispute has already been examined or is in the process of being examined by another mediator or court of law;
  • when the customer has filed a request for mediation with the RATP Group Mediator more than one year after filing a written complaint with RATP or the relevant subsidiary (or more than three months after the date of the breach of regulations, for offence-related complaints when the fine has not been paid);
  • when the dispute does not fall within the RATP Group Mediator’s field of expertise.

In the event that a complaint is rejected, the customer will be notified within three weeks of the date on which the documents were received by the RATP Group Mediator.

Complaints must first be filed with the customer service department of RATP or the relevant subsidiary. Complaints can only be sent to the RATP Group Mediator afterwards.
Customers have the right to be represented by a lawyer – at their own expense – or to be assisted by the person or entity of their choosing during all phases of mediation (consumer association, Consumer Rights Commissioner, lawyer, etc.).
Customers may also solicit an expert’s opinion – again, at their own expense. In cases where two parties jointly demand an expert opinion, the costs are shared between the parties.

What happens next?

You will receive notification when your complaint has been received. If it is admissible, the RATP Group Mediator will investigate the case in light of the elements that are transmitted by the parties involved in the dispute.

What does the Mediator do once you have filed a complaint?

  1. The RATP Group Mediator sends you an acknowledgement of receipt as soon as your supporting documents have been received. The Mediator notifies all parties in the dispute, either by email or by post, that a complaint has been filed.

    This notification reminds each party that they may withdraw from mediation at any moment.

    If, after verification, the complaint proves to be inadmissible, and within three weeks of the date that it was received, the RATP Group Mediator will inform the customer that the case has been rejected.

  2. If your complaint is admissible, the Mediator will investigate your case according to the elements you have provided. To complete the understanding of your case, the Mediator will seek any further information necessary from the relevant RATP services. The Mediator has 90 days to issue a recommendation. For complex disputes, this response period may be extended at any moment during the mediation process, in which case the Mediator will inform all parties.

    Note: the process of collecting fines is suspended while the Mediator investigates the case.

  3. The Mediator sends you the recommendation by post or email, informing you of the action taken on your case. The notification letter reviews the terms of your complaint and develops the arguments for the recommendation. The Mediator’s recommendation is also sent to RATP or the relevant subsidiary, or to the Navigo Agency.

What happens after the Mediator’s recommendation?

  1. The Mediator sends the recommendation in a letter that mentions the following points:
    o    The customer and RATP, or the relevant subsidiary, are free to accept or refuse the Mediator’s proposed solution.
    o    The customer is given a specified amount of time to accept or refuse the Mediator’s recommendation.
    o    If the recommendation is accepted, then the legal actions specified in the letter are carried out.
    o    Having participated in mediation does not rule out the possibility of filing a lawsuit.
    o    The proposed solution might be different from a judge’s ruling.

  2. If you must pay a fine, you will be given the necessary payment information, notably the payment deadline and the address of the fine collection centre where you must send your payment.

  3. If payment is not made before the given deadline, RATP or the relevant subsidiary automatically issues a fine that is sent to the Treasury.

    The sending of a fine to the Treasury has two consequences:

    • Regardless of the amount the offender has already paid, the initial fixed penalty becomes an “augmented fixed penalty”, which can range from €180 to €375 depending on the nature of the breach of regulations, in accordance with Art. 529 of the French Code of Criminal Procedure.

    • RATP is removed from the case and neither its customer service department nor the Mediator can intervene in the procedure.

  4. NOTE: Once a case has been transmitted to the Treasury, the customers may still contest the charges by filing a complaint with the Public Prosecutor in their place of residence.

  5. Legal effects of the RATP Group Mediator’s recommendation

    If the customer accepts the Mediator’s recommendation, the mediation process is terminated. Conversely, if the customer refuses the recommendation, the RATP Group Mediator’s intervention is no obstacle to taking legal action: the customer can file suit in the competent jurisdiction.

Legal impact of recommendations issued by the RATP Group Mediator

The RATP Group Mediator’s recommendation is sent by regular post or by email, and the parties are informed that they are free to accept or refuse the recommendation. The letter specifies the deadline for accepting or rejecting the recommendation.

If the customer accepts the Mediator’s recommendation, the mediation process is terminated. Conversely, if the customer refuses the recommendation, the RATP Group Mediator’s intervention is no obstacle to taking legal action: the customer can file suit in the competent jurisdiction. The RATP Group Mediator’s recommendation might differ from the decision given by a judge.