It should now be a legal requirement for e-commerce sites, inside the European Union, to provide a link to this page. Under the new legislation that should have taken effect in all member states online traders, as previously reported, have to provide a link to the EU ODR platform.
The deadline for the dispute platform to be finished was the 9th of January 2016, this past Saturday. The European Commission that operates the site now explains that it will be operational as of the 15th of February 2016.
- The Commission prepared the platform by the deadline of 9 January 2016. However, it is available for use as of 15 February 2016 to allow for a maximum geographical and sectoral coverage across the European Union as Member States had first to assess and notify to the Commission the national ADR entities, writes Vĕra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality.
The new platform that is expected to make online disputes easier to settle will be connected to national organisations dealing with customer complaints.
"Will Be Widely Used"
The platform is said to be user-friendly, multilingual and accessible to all. It will allow consumers and traders to settle their online disputes "at the click of a mouse". Both for domestic and cross-border purchases and without the need to go through lengthy court proceedings.
- One in three consumers experienced a problem when buying online in the past year. But a quarter of these consumers did not complain – mainly because they thought the procedure was too long or they were unlikely to get a solution. The new online platform will save time and money for consumers and traders. I am confident the platform will be widely used to solve consumer grievances, said Věra Jourová.
When consumers lodge a complaint the dispute resolution bodies will act as a referee between the trader and consumer to resolve the issue.
The European Commission hopes that the new online platform will strengthen the trust in online purchases and make an important contribution to the EU's Digital Single Market strategy.