Alternative dispute resolution is offered by neutral out-of-court bodies such as conciliators, mediators, arbitrators, providers and dispute settlement committees.
These bodies can put the trader and the consumer in contact and help them find a solution to the litigation. They can also propose a solution or even impose it.
These alternative dispute resolution bodies must meet stringent quality criteria established by the European Union and ensure that the dispute is dealt with effectively, equitably, independently and transparently.
Most of these bodies intervene for free or at a low cost. As a rule, they reach a result within 90 days.
Under EU law, it is possible to use these bodies to resolve all contractual disputes between a consumer and a trader established in the European Union.
Alternative dispute resolution can be used for any sector of the market (eg transport, banking, telecommunications, energy, electronics, household appliances, car rental, dry cleaning, etc.).
If the dispute concerns goods or services purchased online, you can also file the claim through the new "Online Dispute Resolution Platform".
Dispute resolution through this platform is processed online, in 4 main steps:
- Presentation of the complaint;
- Agreement on the Dispute Settlement Body;
- Treatment of the complaint by the dispute resolution entity;
- Result and closure of the claim.
Each dispute resolution entity has its own rules and procedures.