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How does France’s consumer complaint service SignalConso work?

We explain an online government service that consumers can use to make a complaint against a business in case of fraud, breach of contract, damages or other issues

A public online service in France allows consumers to report companies in case of fraud or other issues Pic: Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock

Reader question: I have an issue with a company that has not delivered what they promised on time. My French neighbour suggested that I use SignalConso, however I don’t understand much about it. Could you please explain? Is it free?

SignalConso is a public service that allows consumers to report issues or make a complaint against businesses in case of issues relating to fraud, loss, damages, breach of contract and more. 

It is a part of the General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), which is a directorate of France’s Economy and Finances Ministry.

It is an online service and is entirely free and easy to use, with consumers guided through each stage of their complaint. 

SignalConso inspected 94,000 establishments and 20,700 internet sites in 2020. 

Step 1:

You should go to the SignalConso website, which you can find at this link

You will first find out if the issue you have merits an investigation by the SignalConso team. If it does not, the website will explain why.

To begin the process, click on the option: ‘Signaler un problème’

This will then take you to a list of different problems you may have, be it with an internet provider, a utility company, a construction company, a bank, a shop, etc. Choose the one that corresponds best to your situation. 

You will then have to answer a series of questions about your specific problem. This is all in French, so use online translation tools or ask a friend if you need help understanding it. 

Step 2: 

Once you have answered the questions, the site will advise you on what to do in addition to reporting the issue, depending on what it is. The site also gives you information on your rights as a consumer.

Step 3: 

If your issue is valid, the SignalConso team contacts the company to inform them of your report (which you can choose to be made anonymous).

The company may decide to correct the problem. You will be kept informed of this by SignalConso via email.

If you have chosen for your contact details to be shared with the company, they might contact you directly about the issue.

Step 4:

Your report is registered in the DGCCRF database. 

If there are too many reports about a single company or the issue you have flagged is considered serious by SignalConso investigators, DGCCRF may decide to monitor or inspect the company you have reported. 

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