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Enel - Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedure

Added on 22-03-2013

Company

Enel

Year

2007

Business challenge

The challenge is to improve the quality of service for all domestic customers within the liberalized and regulated market.

Description

Enel offers a quality service that places particular focus on the customers' needs, even when disputes and complaints arise. The Joint Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Procedure - including 17 National Consumers Associations – enables customers to reach rapid, friendly agreements without resorting to court proceedings.

The ADR Procedure Rules - covering more than 20 million Enel domestic customers - were finalized in May 2009. Small claims and disputes can now be solved without any costs by accessing the ADR Procedure through the Consumer Associations. Any Enel domestic customer (in the liberalized gas, electricity market or in the regulated market) is eligible for such service.

The procedure can be used when the customer sends a written letter of complaint to Enel Customer Care, for one of the following reasons:

  • The customer is dissatisfied with the written reply received;
  • The customer has not received any written reply by 45 days after sending the complaint.

The customer can initiate the procedure by contacting one of the Consumer Associations, which have signed the Procedure Agreement (According to EU Recommendations 1998/257/CE and 2001/310/CE) with Enel.  The association will then prepare the application.  The entire procedure will be held online, free of charge for the customer.

The application is processed as followed: A Joint ADR Committee will discuss the case. This committee is made up of two Conciliators, one appointed by Enel and one by the Consumer Association chosen by the customer.  The Conciliators negotiate a solution, which the Consumer Association then proposes to the customer.

Impact

The extension of best practices to other countries is a priority and a challenge. Enel is working closely with Romanian consumer associations to extend the conflict resolution procedure to its Romanian costumers. Enel also plans to test the process in Spain and Portugal for clients served by Endesa, which is part of the Enel Group.

Challenges/Lessons learned:

  • 600 of these tools have been set up in Italy.
  • Enel has built up a strong network with Consumer Associations, through which it is possible to find tools, initiatives and channels dedicated to continuously update relevant themes, such as liberalisation of the energy market.
  • The entire process has been promoted and supported by the Authority for electric power and Gas. Every month, an average of 100 settlements are undertaken and this trend is growing.
  • In 2010, 2000 settlements involving energy and gas consumers have been reached. Today, Enel is the only energy company, at EU level, to have an active settlement procedure with all national consumer associations, for both the electric and gas sectors.
  • Following Enel's lead, Italian utilities companies have adopted similar mechanisms.

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