|1. Consent to Participate Participation should be voluntary
- Consent may be withdrawn at any time.
|2. Accessibility The process should be easy to find and use
- Our participating service provider will make customers aware of our existence and role when complaints cannot be resolved.
- We will maintain a web-site, with links to our Participating Service Providers.
- We will offer an online interactive questionnaire, as well as an email address, toll-free telephone and fax numbers, and TTY service.
- Our services will be available in both official languages.
- Our services will be accessible to the disabled.
- Our services will be provided free of charge to customers.
- Our services will be provided in a non-legalistic manner.
- We will work hard to increase and maintain wide public awareness of our mandate.
|3. Suitability The type of dispute resolution method offered to parties and the potential remedies should be suitable to the nature of the dispute
- We will offer a complete and thorough process for complaint investigation.
- This process will specifically accommodate urgent matters.
- We will provide a remedy that is appropriate to the nature and circumstances of the dispute and that is consistent with the mandate set out in our Procedural Code.
|4. Fairness The intent of dispute resolution should be to resolve the dispute fairly and honestly. The organization must act impartially and objectively, and decisions should be fair and independent
- We will review complaints fairly and impartially. We can do this because of our independence from industry and regulators. The majority of our Board members, and the Commissioner, are independent of industry. The Board has no decision-making role regarding complaints.
|5. Competence Organization personnel should have the attributes, skill, training and experience necessary to discharge their responsibilities
- Our staff will have the necessary combination of skills, training, experience and industry knowledge to thoroughly understand, investigate and resolve complaints.
- We will evaluate the performance of our staff on a regular basis.
|6. Timeliness Disputes should be resolved as expeditiously as possible given the nature of the dispute and the process used
||Contact Centre and Pre-Investigation Complaint-Handling:
- The Contact Center will answer telephone calls within 120 seconds. Our performance target is 80%.
- The Contact Center will analyze, assess and respond to written communications within 3 calendar days. Our performance target is 80%.
- A large proportion of customer complaints are fully dealt with at this stage. Of those complaints, our performance target is to conclude 80% of them within 40 days of acceptance.
- We will assign the file to a staff member, and will provide that person’s contact information;
- We will keep the parties informed regularly of the status of the investigation;
- We will employ the most efficient and effective process available to us, in order to complete the investigation in as timely a manner as possible. Even as we investigate the complaint we will continue to make efforts to assist the parties to resolve it to their mutual satisfaction.
- The actual time required to investigate a complaint will vary based on various factors, including:
- The current volume of complaints and available investigative resources;
- The complexity of the case or the number of issues to be resolved, particularly if we need to consult with outside experts;
- The degree of cooperation we receive from the customer and the service provider; and
- Any delays resulting from unsuccessful efforts at resolution during the course of the investigation.
- For complaints that are concluded at this stage, our performance target is to conclude 80% within 60 days of referral to Investigations.
- We will report our performance against these targets quarterly on our web site.
|7. Confidentiality Personal information of customers, and “trade secrets” of providers, should be kept confidential and protected, unless disclosure is required by law, or consent to disclosure is obtained
- Our Procedural Code allows us to receive information or documents confidentially (with certain limits on its use).
- We will protect confidential information in our offices by restricting access to staff who require access. We will likewise put in place appropriate safeguards for information we collect and store electronically.
|8. Transparency Sufficient information about the process, the provider and its performance should be disclosed to complainants, providers and the public
- Our contact information, mandate, process, Procedural Code and performance standards will all be publicly available.
- Our Decisions will be made available on our website.
- We will produce an Annual Report that includes relevant material including statistics, performance reporting and case studies.
|9. Legality The process should be operated in accordance with the applicable law and the agreement of the parties
- We will operate in compliance with federal and provincial law.
- Our process is an alternative to the legal process, and is designed to be informal.
- Customers who choose not to accept our Recommendation or Decision for the resolution of their complaint retain their right to access the legal process.
|10. Capacity Sufficient resources should be made available and committed to dispute resolution, and those resources should be managed effectively and efficiently
- We will ensure that sufficient resources are in place to satisfy these performance standards.
|11. Continual Improvement Increased effectiveness and efficiency should be permanent objectives
- We will ensure that we are alert to every opportunity to improve our process, and the experience of the users of that process, through consultation with those users and our stakeholders.