Dec 18, 2015

Businesses Given Breathing Space to Comply with Online Dispute Resolution

The purpose of the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015 is to provide consumers with information about providers of alternative dispute resolution in the event that a complaint cannot be resolved informally between a trader and consumer. The regulations apply to traders offering goods and services as well as to traders offering digital content.

Traders are required to provide consumers with information about different Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) entities. Where a trader is bound by law, a trade association or the terms of a contract to use a certain ADR provider the address details for this provider must be given to the consumer. One of the ADR providers is the EU online dispute resolution (ODR) platform and the regulations impose an obligation on all traders to provide information on this service in email offers, on websites and in terms and conditions.

Deadline for Implementation

The requirements to provide the details for the ODR platform were due to come into force on 9 January 2016 but this has now been postponed until 15 February 2016 due to the fact that a number of EU member states are not yet ready to implement the platform. The UK government has stated that the commencement date for these requirements, as set out in the regulation, will remain 9 January 2016 it has been confirmed that there will be no enforcement action in respect of failure to provide the information prior to 15 February 2016, effectively meaning that businesses have until this date to ensure they have complied.

Updating your Terms and Conditions

Businesses therefore need to be sure that they update their terms and conditions, websites and email offers to comply with this new requirement to provide information on the ODR platform. The requirements include the placing of links to the ODR website on business websites and emails, and including information about the ODR platform in consumer contracts, amongst other requirements.

The team of experts at McDaniel & Co. can assist you with updating your communications to ensure that all of the relevant information is provided in the right places. We are contactable by telephone on 0191 281 4000 or email at and will be happy to assist you.

in: Contract, Legal News, News

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