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About our Ombudsman,
Bernard Cieutat

Meet Bernard Cieutat, the Ombudsman for SNCF Mobilités. He’ll do everything he can to settle your dispute.

Who is Bernard Cieutat?

Bernard Cieutat has served as SNCF’s Ombudsman since 2006. After he receives your request for mediation, he will issue an opinion recommending a fair, amicable solution.

But who is he really?
Mr Cieutat has served as a magistrate at the Cour des comptes, France’s public audit office. He holds a certificate in mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in addition to degrees from the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po), the Sorbonne Law School, and the prestigious École nationale d'administration (ENA). He is the author of several publications on the public sector.

A word from
the Ombudsman

“With the SNCF Mobilités mediation process, you can get a second opinion on your complaint. There’s no charge, and it’s a simple way to settle disputes between SNCF, Thalys and Eurostar and their customers.

I reach my opinions through an independent, impartial process, and I always try to listen carefully and be fair—and efficient. My team and I work hard to give you a prompt response to your mediation request.

Please rest assured that I am committed to doing my very best to meet the expectations of everyone who requests mediation.”

- Bernard Cieutat

Still curious about how the Ombudsman works?
Learn more from these actual cases

What it takes to
be an ombudsman

The Ombudsman is independent from the transport providers involved in his cases. He has no functional connection to them and works entirely outside their management hierarchy.

He is appointed by the Consumer Council, a collegial body with representatives of both consumers and the rail industry, that is attached to SNCF Mobilités.

An Ombudsman must be skilled in mediation and well versed in law, particularly in the area of consumer affairs, and he must appear on the list of mediators submitted to the European Commission.

He cannot accept instruction from either party, and especially not from the transport providers or their representatives.

If the Ombudsman’s impartiality is compromised during a mediation proceeding, he must immediately inform the parties, who have the right to ask him to recuse himself.

There is no connection between the Ombudsman’s compensation and the outcomes of his cases.

The Ombudsman serves a renewable three-year term. When the Ombudsman steps down, he is barred from working for any transport company that has signed the mediation protocol for a three-year period.