Who can help me in case of a question or a problem?

You don’t know how to retrieve your e-ticket for the Olympic event you chose to attend? Your hotel does not match the advert on the booking site? Your flight has been cancelled by the airline? In this article you will find the steps to follow to find the answer to your question, settle your dispute and find useful contact details.

 

You have a consumer question

You have questions about consumption while you are staying in France, but do not know who to ask for answers? RéponseConso is a service from the Directorate General for Consumers, Competition and Fraud control (DGCCRF) of the French Ministry which replies (in French as well as in English) to all of your questions about consumption in France.

You can reach the RéponseConso teams from a French network at +33 (0)809 540 550 (toll-free number from France) on the following hours :

  • Monday and Tuesday: from 8.30 am to 12.30 pm and from 1.15 pm to 5.15 pm
  • Wednesday : from 1.15 to 5.15 pm
  • Thursday : from 8.30 am to 12.30 pm
  • Friday : from 8.30 am to 4 pm

You can also contact RéponseConso through mail, by addressing your questions to DGCCRF-RéponseConso - B.P.60 - 34935 Montpellier Cedex 9.

You have a consumer problem and…

… you live in France

If you live in France, you will find below the various amicable and legal procedures available to you to settle your dispute.

First of all, contact the trader in writing, by email, via their online form or by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt, to explain the subject of your complaint. Don't forget to attach all the relevant documents (contracts, email exchanges, booking confirmation, etc.). Always keep a copy of your letter of complaint and the proof of sending it.

If this first step is unsuccessful, check in the terms and conditions of sale or on the trader's website for an internal appeal procedure such as a consumer service (service consommateurs), for example.

You can also report your problem on the SignalConso platform (in french). This platform offers you the possibility to contact the trader in order to find an amicable solution. In addition, your report may enable the tader to correct its practices and the services of the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) to be aware of all the exchanges and to consider them for their investigations.

If you receive no or a negative response from the trader, you can call on a consumer mediator.

The mediator is a third party whose task is to help the parties concerned to reach an amicable agreement. It is free of charge and subject to confidentiality rules.

All traders in France are obliged to have a mediator and to inform consumers on their website or contractual documents by giving the name and contact details of the mediator responsible for disputes concerning them.

More information on consumer mediation in France.

Failure to appoint a mediator constitutes an administrative failure that you can report on the SignalConso plattform

If there is no appointed mediator, or if the mediator cannot help you resolve your dispute, you can call on a conciliateur de justice. After hearing both parties (you and the trader), the conciliator will propose a solution to settle your dispute. Conciliation is free.

To contact a conciliator directly, consult the site des conciliateurs de France or contact your town hall to find out which conciliator is responsible and when he or she is available.

More information on conciliation is available in French on

If all your attempts at amicable settlement fail, you can take your case to the competent court, the tribunal judiciaire . 

Your application to the court should be as well-documented as possible, with a complete file containing all your exchanges with the trader (estimates, invoices, letters, contracts, etc.).

For more information on taking a case to court, visit the service-public.fr website.

Please note that there is a fee for having the decision served by a judicial commissioner (commissaire de justice) (formerly a "bailiff" huissier de justice). But you can ask, at the stage of your application, for these to be charged to the opposing party.

For these procedures, you can be accompanied and obtain information from

  • a legal access centre (In French),
  • the single phone number for access to law 3039,
  • (if you are a member) a consumers’ association, whose contact information is available on the DGCCRF’s website.  
  • your legal protection insurance, either under a specific contract or linked to your insurance policy. For more information visit the service-public.fr website,
  • or a lawyer.

Do not hesitate to consult the thematic sections to find out who to contact specifically for your dispute:

… you live in another EU Member State, Iceland or Norway

To try to settle the dispute amicably, contact the trader in writing to explain the subject of your complaint. Give details of your problem and attach a file with all the relevant documents (contracts, e-mail exchanges, etc.). Always keep a copy of your letter of complaint and the proof of sending it.

In case of difficulty and/or persistence of the dispute, the European Consumer Centre in your country of residence can help you:

  • By informing you about your rights;
  • By giving you legal advice and free assistance in the event of a dispute with a trader established in another Member state of the European Union (EU), Iceland or Norway;
  • By facilitating mediation.

Visit the ECC Network website for its contact information.

… you live in a non-EU country

To try to settle the dispute amicably, contact the trader in writing to explain the subject of your complaint. Give details of your problem and attach a file with all the relevant documents (contracts, e-mail exchanges, etc.). Always keep a copy of your letter of complaint and the proof of sending it.

In case of difficulty and/or persistence of the dispute,

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Innovation Council and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.