The EU have recognised that resolving disputes is problematic for consumers across Europe and that this can restrict the free movement of goods and services. Currently, when issues arise with cross border and online transactions, consumers both at home and across the EU are often reluctant to take action. It's expensive to litigate and few are aware of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedures such as mediation which offer cost and time effective alternatives to taking a matter to court. This reluctance can inhibit consumers from trading.
In June 2013, to resolve this problem and to encourage trade, the European Parliament published a Directive on ADR for consumer disputes which was supported by a Regulation on Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). The Directive requires Members States to promote and establish a system for ODR to enable consumer disputes to be dealt with effectively and quickly.
This Directive is designed to give consumers the confidence to carry out transactions in the knowledge that there is a reliable way to resolve disputes should anything go wrong. Member States including the UK must implement the Directive by July 2015. The Regulation, which provides the mechanism for resolving consumer disputes online, will come into force in January 2016.
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To comply with this Regulation the establishment of an online, interactive portal (the 'ODR Platform') for contractual disputes to be resolved out of court using techniques such as 'e-negotiation' and 'e-mediation' has been set up for EU consumers to submit their disputes online, they are linked with national ADR providers who will help to resolve the dispute. You can find the details here