Online Dispute Resolution

The new regulations for online dispute resolution – something which has been introduced via European Law, – come into force on 15the February, and are intended to make disputes with traders cheaper and easier for consumers to pursue.

Here is another blog which explains the rules simply. However, from 15th February, – the original date for this has been moved a couple of times, but is now definite – almost all businesses which sell to consumers on-line or via phone or email must provide those consumers with details of the online dispute resolution platform.

Accordingly, with effect from that date you must:

1. Include a ink to the ODR platform on your website in a prominent position
2. Inform consumers of the existence of the ODR platform and the possibility of using it to resolve disputes, and include this information in any standard terms and conditions of business.
3. Where an offer is made to a consumer by email, include a link to the ODR platform in that email as well as in your terms and conditions or agreement.
4. Include an email addresses on your website so that consumers have a first contact point in the event of a dispute. This could be the email address of an individual or a shared mailbox that has been set up specifically to deal with complaints.

To confirm, these rules only apply to sales of goods or services to consumers by businesses – not business to business, or consumer to consumer contracts – by electronic means.

Please contact me if you need further help in implementing these new regulations.