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Conciliation Procedures

06/01/2017 - 03:45 PM

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The conciliation procedure between TIM and the Consumer Associations who signed the framework agreement for the out-of-court settlement of telephone disputes, was the first example of joint conciliation in Italy. Introduced on a trial basis in 1991 by SIP, it was implemented throughout the country in 1993 and in 1995 the European Union recognised it as a “Pilot project for consumer access to justice”. Over the years, the Joint Conciliation procedure has adapted to the new regulations, has been computerized and made more and more accessible. In 2011, the model was brought to the attention of the European Union and, in the same year, the European Parliament recognised the “Italian joint conciliation model as an example of best practice based on a protocol drawn up and signed by the Company and consumer protection associations, under which the company undertakes in advance to use ADR[1] to settle any disputes that may arise in the areas covered by the protocol”. The conciliation agreement is signed by twenty-two Consumer Associations (of which nineteen are registered at the National Council of Consumers and Users - CNCU).

In 2016, with the entry into force of Legislative Decree No.130 / 201 in transposition of European Directive n. 2013/11 / EU on ADRs, the TIM Conciliation Body - Consumer Associations, has been recognized as an "ADR Body" for the management of the Convening Procedures and, therefore, permanently enrolled in the Executive Decree of the Ministry of Economic Development of the 28/11/2016, on the list of ADR entities set up by AGCom, thus confirming the requirements for stability, efficiency and impartiality required by the new regulatory framework.

Following the establishment of the ADR Organization, the Joint Conciliation Regulation was revised and the application procedures of the Single Conciliation Protocol established between TIM and the Consumer Associations registered at the CNCU.

 


[1] Alternative Dispute Resolution. 

In 2009, in compliance with the voluntary undertakings given and approved by the Italian Communications Authority in December 2008, TIM also started managing conciliation requests submitted by customers at the offices of Co.Re.Com.[2] and the Chambers of Commerce, thus providing a “single point of contact” and replicating the organisational model successfully applied for joint conciliations.

This system allows customers who do not wish to approach a Consumer Association to use an alternative method to resolve their dispute through a streamlined and out-of-court procedure.

The positive trend seen in the conciliation system in previous years continued in 2016, in fact were agreed:

  • approximately 97% of the requests for equal conciliation discussed (11,981 out of 12,342), a percentage that is stable year on year despite the clear increase in the practices discussed and recorded in 2016 with respect to 2015 (12,342 with respect to 9,668, or +28%);
  • around 83.5% of applications discussed by the Co.Re.Com. and Chambers of Commerce (25,053 of 29,961). This percentage has remained at excellent levels despite the fact that, again in 2016, it experienced an increase in the practices discussed with respect to 2015 (29,961 as compared with 24,429, making for +23%).

TIM supports the conciliation activity by means of:

  • seminars and joint training initiatives involving dedicated personnel from TIM, AGCOM, Co.Re.Com. and Consumer Associations;
  • debates, conferences, interviews and other promotional activities involving senior management in order to disseminate the correct cultural approach to the subject.

Conciliation is becoming increasingly widespread among customers, particularly in view of the:

  • large number of Co.Re.Com., which are opening provincial offices in many regions to make the conciliation system more easily available to people (avoiding the costs involved in travelling to regional capitals);
  • better knowledge of the procedure, which is considered to be a quick and economical way of resolving disputes;
  • economic crisis, which leads people to resort to conciliation even for small amounts (e.g. potential inefficiencies involved in transferring from one operator to another).

 

[2] Regional Communication Committees.