WHAT ISSUES ARE APPROPRIATE FOR REVIEW BY AN OMBUDSMAN?
WHEN IS IT APPROPRIATE?
- If the communication is breaking down or non- existent between the franchisee and franchisor.
- If the parties are at an impasse with a dispute or conflict and are unwilling to move forward.
- If either the franchisee or franchisor is looking for additional ideas or resources to assist them with a potential dispute.
- If the franchisee is self- representing themselves in a dispute and the situation is escalating.
- If either party is looking to IFA to become the mediator in a dispute.
- If the franchisor is having difficulty working with a franchise association or groups of franchisees or if the association is looking for additional support.
- If the case is in mediation, court or after the case is settled and the system is significantly being negatively impacted. We may be able to help the system without becoming directly involved. If the external processes are closed and the issues are re-surfacing we may be able to help at that point.
- If a franchise system is exploring developing an in-house Ombudsman program.
WHEN IS IT NOT APPROPRIATE?
- If the case is being litigated and there is no significant negative impact on the system.
- If the situation is being successfully negotiated or mediated.
- If the franchisee or franchisor is seeking legal guidance on the specifics of their case. We can work through the dispute and it often starts with the question of legal “rights”. We don’t replace the attorneys but can assist with identifying a variety of strategies for resolution based on our experience. We ask the parties to retain credible franchise legal advice as appropriate.