An article in the latest issue of Canadian Business Franchise magazine explains how Ombuds can help resolve disputes between a franchisee and franchisor. Frank Zaid, a leading corporate attorney in Toronto, explains that a franchise Ombuds can be helpful when:
- uncertainty exists about which policies or procedures apply to a given franchise situation;
- the issue at hand involves unfair or inequitable treatment or application of a policy or procedure;
- a problem requires someone to help negotiate a solution or help facilitate communication with others; or
- a franchisee wants to know where to direct a formal complaint or dispute.
Zaid also says that, "The most effective franchise ombudsman is independent of both parties and is appointed with transparent and mutually approved terms of reference." both the Canadian Franchise Association and International Franchise Association have established Ombuds programs for their members. Zaid has written several articles about franchise Ombuds. (Franchise FYI Blog.)