What is Online Dispute resolution?
The ODR platform has been developed by the European Commission and is a requirement of the Regulations for Consumer Disputes. The platform is an online tool that will allow consumers to make a complaint against a trader where goods or services have been bought online. The complaint that is submitted by the consumer will be dealt with by an approved Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider.
What is the link to the ODR platform?
How does a consumer make a complaint against an online trader?
Consumers should first try to resolve the dispute directly with the trader. If this fails then the consumer can submit their complaint via the electronic complaint form on the ODR platform. When this is completed the ODR platform will send the details of the complaint to the trader. Alternatively, if the trader is a member of an approved ADR provider, such as RetailADR, Consumers can lodge their complaint direct with such ADR provider.
What happens next?
The trader has 10 days to state if they are obliged by a trade membership or statute to use a particular ADR provider to assist in resolving the complaint. If there is no obligation on the trader they can decide in this initial 10 day period if they would like to offer the choice of ADR provider to assist in resolving the complaint. The trader has provided me a list of ADR providers who can assist in resolving the complaint. What now?
If you agree to one of the ADR bodies suggested by the trader then you can confirm this on the platform. Your complaint details get sent to the ADR provider for consideration. If you do not agree on the choices then you have the chance to provide a suitable alternative to the trader. Unless both parties can agree on an ADR provider the case will be closed within 30 days of the initial submission to the platform.
Process for ODR submission
RETAILADR AND THE ODR PLATFORM
RetailADR accepts complaints made via the ODR platform. When a complaint is received from the ODR platform we will:
(a) informs the parties of RetailADR’s procedural rules;
(b) informs the trader of the costs involved (Note: we do not charge consumers),
(c) explain the powers RetailADR has, including the rules on costs awarded by the person at the end of the alternative dispute resolution procedure;
(d) confirm that we do not require the physical presence of the parties or their representatives unless the parties request and agree to this;
(d) transmits, without delay, the following information to the ODR platform— (i) the date it received all the documents containing the relevant information relating to the dispute constituting the complete complaint file; (ii) the subject-matter of the dispute; (iii) the date of conclusion of the alternative dispute resolution procedure; (iv) the result of the alternative dispute resolution procedure.