This article reflects on the roles and powers of the oecd National Contact Points (ncps), under the 2011 version of the oecd Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (‘the Guidelines’), regarding complaints on an alleged breach of the Guidelines by a transnational corporation, from both the empirical and the normative perspective. It does so through an examination of relevant oecd instruments, the regulations and practice of Brazil’s, Mexico’s, Norway’s, the United Kingdom’s and the United States of America’s ncps, and many relevant theoretical and empirical studies. While this work demonstrates the particular importance of the function of ncps of handling these complaints, it finds that the ncps case studies and the Australian have fundamentally different conceptions of their roles and powers regarding such complaints. This contribution, then, proposes an interpretation of these matters based on a systematic understanding of relevant oecd instruments and broader normative considerations. When doing so, it demonstrates that these differences are not well justified in normative terms. In addition and when addressing the main arguments against the proposed view in this study, this work provides new analysis on the distinction between soft and hard law in the field of corporate social responsibility, in light of the case of the Guidelines.