Online dispute resolution is a branch of dispute resolution which uses technology to facilitate the resolution of disputes between parties. It primarily involves negotiation, mediation or arbitration, or a combination of all three.
The European Commission has created an ODR platform for disputes arising from online transactions, and the UK is obliged to appoint ODR contact points to provide information and help. All businesses which sell goods or services online will be obliged to provide a link to the ODR platform on their website along with further information.
The main aim of the Online Dispute Resolution regulations is to increase consumer confidence when making online purchases within the EU, and consumers who have a complaint about a product or service bought online will be able to submit their complaint to the online trader via the ODR platform.
The platform will then facilitate communication between the consumer and online trader.
The launch of the ODR platform was delayed a few weeks until 15th February 2016 and that, as a result, enforcement of the information obligations imposed on businesses by the Regulations, will be delayed until after that date.
The extra time gives UK businesses the opportunity to work out if they will be bound by the Regulations and, if so, to prepare for the new information obligations. Basically, a link to the ODR platform will need to be inserted on the website or within the T&Cs.
We will post the link when it becomes available.