Alternative Dispute Resolution or Online Dispute Resolution (ADR/ODR) is a way for consumers to settle disputes out-of-court within the European Union.
New regulation will take effect on the 9th of January 2016 inside the EU regarding online disputes. E-commerce stores will now be required to inform customers of a special European platform that is said to open on the 9th January.
"Traders established within the Union engaging in online sales or service contracts, which are committed or obliged to use one or more ADR entities to resolve disputes with consumers, shall inform consumers about the existence of the ODR platform and the possibility of using the ODR platform for resolving their disputes."
"Shall Provide an Electronic Link"
The new ODR regulation will require online traders in all member states to provide a link to the EU online dispute platform, regardless of where the offer is made.
"They shall provide an electronic link to the ODR platform on their websites and, if the offer is made by e-mail, in that e-mail. The information shall also be provided, where applicable, in the general terms and conditions applicable to online sales and service contracts."
This new platform is said to make it faster, easier and less expensive for consumers and traders to resolve their disputes. The European Commission has also established an Expert Group composed of national ADR experts.
The ODR platform will allow consumers to submit their contractual dispute and conduct the ADR procedure online in any of the 23 official languages of the European Union. It is specificallty designed to help consumers who have bought goods or services online.