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.
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.
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.