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The New Regulatory Framework for Consumer Dispute Resolution$
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Pablo Cortés

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198766353

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198766353.001.0001

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Ombudsman Schemes—Energy Sector in Germany, France, and the UK

Ombudsman Schemes—Energy Sector in Germany, France, and the UK

Chapter:
(p.101) 5 Ombudsman Schemes—Energy Sector in Germany, France, and the UK
Source:
The New Regulatory Framework for Consumer Dispute Resolution
Author(s):

Naomi Creutzfeldt

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198766353.003.0006

This chapter provides an overview of the most successful ADR model in the EU for resolving consumer disputes: the ombudsman model. After introducing the differences and similarities of both public sector and private sector ombudsman schemes, a comparison of existing consumer ombudsman models in the energy sector in Germany, France, and the UK is offered. Drawing on an extensive empirical dataset of 981 responses to consumer satisfaction surveys of recent users of ADR in the energy sector, cross-national specificities in customer expectations and ombudsman procedures are compared. The ombudsman model is flexible, consumer friendly, and adaptable to changing consumer needs. However, currently no shared language, standards, or training exists in the EU. There is a real opportunity here, if the ADR Directive is used as an incentive to create a harmonized ADR landscape with streamlined procedures and outcomes, consistent terminology, and early management of consumer expectations.

Keywords:   ombudsman, consumer redress, ADR, CDR, energy sector

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