Online Dispute Resolution (ODR)
The Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform developed by the European Commission can be used by both consumers and traders and offers a one stop shop for dispute resolution for domestic, as well as cross-border online purchases. This is done by channelling the disputes towards the national Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) bodies listed on the platform and designated for the process by the authorities of the EU Member State and the European Commission.
Effective since the 9 January 2016 and transposed into Irish law, the purpose of the ODR Regulation is to provide “a facilitating the independent, impartial, transparent, effective, fast and fair out-of-court resolution of disputes between consumers and traders online.” The ODR Regulation came as a response to the growing trend of consumers to shop online.
ODR and ADR
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) offers a quick and inexpensive way to solve consumer – trader disputes. On average, it takes a maximum of 90 days for cases to be resolved on this platform and 70% of EU users were satisfied with this procedure. This is an another way for consumers to solve their disputes, in addition to the option of going to court, which is usually more costly and takes longer (only 45% of EU consumers are satisfied with the in-court procedure).
Traders will also benefit from this new platform, as the Alternative Dispute Resolution procedures will help them avoid costly litigation fees and maintain good customer relations.
- The online platform is user-friendly and accessible on all types of devices.
- Consumers can fill out the complaint form on the platform in three simple steps.
- It offers users the possibility to conduct the entire resolution procedure online.
- The platform is multilingual – a translation service is available on the platform to assist disputes involving parties based in different European countries.
Read the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) factsheet here:
ODR for consumers
In conjunction with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, ECC Ireland produced an information leaflet below to help consumers and traders navigate the ODR platform. The guide has tips for consumers on how to submit their complaint and information for traders on their obligations under the EU applicable law.
ODR for traders
Here is a quick video to show you just how easy the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform really is to use.
Read the user guide to learn how to use the platform here:
National Point of Contact
ECC Ireland is the designated point of contact for the ODR platform queries in Ireland. Pursuant to the European Union (Online Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes) Regulations 2015 (S.I. No. 500/2015), ECC Ireland will host the national ODR contact point, where two advisors will assist consumers who may require support when using the ODR platform. If you have questions, one of the advisors will guide you through the process of submitting your complaint. The advisor will:
- explain how this site works and what the dispute resolution bodies can do to help you
- help you communicate with the trader and/or the dispute resolution body handling your complaint
- help you submit your complaint (including which documents you need to attach to it)
- give you general information on your rights as a consumer (or a trader)
- advise you on other ways of resolving your dispute if this procedure doesn’t work.
Start using the Online Dispute Resolution platform here .
Get assistance with an ODR complaint in Ireland by:
Phone: 01 8732960
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and
Legal Basis and Enforcement
The legal basis for the establishment of the Online Dispute Resolution platform is the Regulation of consumer Online Dispute Resolution, which describes the main functions of the platform as well as the workflow for a dispute that is submitted through the platform. The Regulation builds upon Directive on consumer Alternative Dispute Resolution, which ensures that consumers have access to Alternative Dispute Resolution when resolving their contractual disputes with traders.
Access to Alternative Dispute Resolution is ensured no matter what product or service a consumer purchased, whether the product or service was purchased online or offline, or whether the trader is established in the consumer’s Member State or in another Member State.
Member States establish national lists of bodies offering Alternative Dispute Resolution procedures (ADR bodies). All Alternative Dispute Resolution bodies included in those lists comply with binding quality requirements set by the EU legislation.