Online Dispute Resolution (ODR)
Solving disputes online: new Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform for consumers and traders
The Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform, developed by the European Commission, offers a single point of entry that allows EU consumers and traders to settle their disputes for both domestic and cross-border online purchases.
This is done by channelling the disputes to national Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) bodies that are connected to the platform and have been selected by the Member States according to quality criteria and notified to the European Commission.
What is the ODR and ADR?
Around 162 Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) bodies from 22 Member States are connected to the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform. The European Commission is working with the Member States to achieve a full coverage of all Member States and sectors as soon as possible.
ADR offers a quick and inexpensive way to solve disputes. On average, it takes a maximum of 90 days for cases to be solved. The experience of European consumers who have used ADR tends to be positive: 70 per cent were satisfied by the way their complaint was handled through this procedure. This is an additional way for consumers to solve their disputes and will not replace the possibility of going to court, which is however usually more costly and takes longer (only 45 per cent of consumers are satisfied by the way a court handled their complaint).
Traders will also benefit from this new platform, as Alternative Dispute Resolution procedures will help them avoid costly litigation fees and maintain good customer relations.
- The 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.
- The platform 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.
You can download and read the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) factsheet by following this link.
A guide to the ODR platform
ECC Ireland, in conjunction with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, has produced an information leaflet to help consumers and traders navigate the ODR platform. The guide has tips for consumers submitting their complaint to the platform as well as providing information to traders on what to do when they receive a complaint and their obligations under the Regulation for consumer Online Dispute Resolution.
ODR video and 4 steps to better business traders infographic
Here is a quick video to show you just how easy the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform really is to use, giving consumers and traders more options to resolve disputes.
Got a query on Online Dispute Resolution?
If you have a query about Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), how to use the platform, or need assistance with an ODR complaint then you can contact the Irish help desk by phoning 01-8732960 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Background to ODR
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.
For more information:
- ECC Ireland’s press release on the Online Dispute Resolution platform and the centre’s role in hosting the national contact point for more information.
- ECC Ireland’s page on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).