The Consumer Mediation Service is free. The procedure rules describe the steps involved. A procedure with the Consumer Ombudsman Service lasts 36 days on average (2017).
It is always worth submitting your request to the company in question before filing a complaint. Some companies have a point of contact or a complaints department.
Submitting your complaint
You can submit your complaint by post, email or fax, or via the online form. You can also file a complaint in person. If there is a mediation service or other independent entity to handle your complaint, it will be transferred to the competent service. If there is no other competent entity, the Consumer Mediation Service will handle your complaint itself.
A first review of your complaint will be done to ensure that it meets the conditions of admissibility. Your request must be complete. It cannot have been previously submitted to the courts. We will provide an explanation if your complaint is rejected.
If you meet the conditions of admissibility, your file will be assigned to a case manager who will be responsible for investigating and finding a solution. The time required will depend on the complexity of the file. It will generally take 90 days maximum, renewable once.
The Consumer Mediation Service will propose a solution to the parties at the end of the procedure. The proposal is not binding and both parties are free to accept or reject it.
If an amicable settlement cannot be reached, the Consumer Mediation Service will make an individual recommendation to the company, if it feels that this is appropriate.
Conditions of admissibility