Any client having a dispute with a Member of the Ordre concerning an account for professional services may ask for reconciliation or arbitration in application of the Regulation on reconciliation and arbitration of accounts.
Reconciliation Procedure for Accounts
A client who has a dispute with a member of the Ordre des géologues du Québec about the amount of a bill for professional services that has not yet been paid, may send the Syndic a request for reconciliation, provided the member has not taken legal proceedings to collect the account.
A client who has a dispute with a member about the amount of a bill for professional services that he or she has already paid, in whole or in part, may also send the Syndic a request for reconciliation within 45 days of the date of receipt of said bill.
Any request for reconciliation of accounts must be submitted in writing using form S-2.
In the event that a member withdraws or deducts the amount of a bill from funds he or she holds or receives for or on behalf of the client, the deadline for the client to submit a request for reconciliation begins at the time the client becomes aware of such withdrawal or deduction.
If the reconciliation procedure does not lead to an agreement within 30 days following the date of receipt of the request for reconciliation, the Syndic forwards a report on the dispute to the client and the geologist by certified or registered mail.
This report specifies the following points, if applicable:
- the amount of the disputed bill;
- the amount that the client acknowledges owing;
- the amount that the geologist acknowledges having to reimburse or is prepared to accept as settlement of the dispute;
- the amount suggested by the Syndic, during reconciliation, as payment to the geologist or reimbursement to the client.
The Syndic also forwards the client the appropriate form and indicates the procedure and deadline for submitting the dispute to arbitration.
Arbitration Procedure for Accounts
The client may, within 30 days of receipt of a reconciliation report, ask for arbitration of the account by submitting a request by registered or certified mail to the secretary of the Ordre des géologues du Québec using form S-3. The request for arbitration must be accompanied by a copy of the reconciliation report as well as a certified cheque in the amount that he or she acknowledges owing, if applicable.
The arbitration board is made up of three arbitrators when the amount in dispute is $10,000 or more, and one arbitrator when the amount is less than $10,000.