EC Launches Online Dispute Resolution for E-Commerce Merchants, Consumers

Feb. 22, 2016

EC Launches Online Dispute Resolution for E-Commerce Merchants, Consumers In Europe, where consumers use payment cards much less for e-commerce transactions, resolving disputes between merchants and buyers often was left to the courts. But a new system announced in January and launched last week by the European Commission aims to streamline the process, enabling the parties to come to an agreement online. The new Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform connects consumers and merchants in various EU member states who have complaints about a transaction with alternative dispute resolution bodies in the appropriate countries.

“One in three consumers experienced a problem when buying online in the past year,” said Věra Jourová, commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality. “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.”

For merchants, the EC said it expects the ODR to simplify the dispute process in cross-border situations and save them money on court costs.