A new platform to help consumers and traders solve online disputes over a purchase made online has been launched by the European Commission.
The Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform 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 Commission.
ADR offers a quick and inexpensive additional way for consumers to solve their disputes but does not replace the possibility of going to court.
Currently around 117 ADR bodies from 17 Member States are connected to the Online Dispute Resolution platform, and the Commission is working with the Member States to achieve a full coverage of all Member States and sectors as soon as possible.
“Most consumers experiencing problems when buying online don't complain, as they believe the procedure is too long and that it won't be solved,” explained Vera Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality. “The Online Dispute Resolution platform is an innovative tool saving time and money for consumers and traders. It will improve consumer trust when shopping online and support businesses selling cross border, contributing to Europe’s Digital Single Market”.
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