ODR contact point
Consumers can solve disputes with online traders from all European countries using the European platform for online dispute resolution. The German ODR contact point answers all questions.
Update : Aug 2018
Good to know: All over Europe, alternative dispute resolution bodies (ADR bodies) help consumers and traders to solve their disputes amicably: neutral, quick, competent and often free of charge (not yet available in Island).
European online dispute resolution platform
The platform is the central access point to all ADR bodies in Europe and is most useful, if traders and consumers come from different European countries. In many cases, the competent ADR body is based in the country of the trader.
Advantages of the platform
- Centralised access point to all ADR bodies in Europe.
- Integrated help-tools to overcome language barriers (translation-tool/ consumers and traders can ask for a translation of the proposed solution).
- National contact points support all parties in how to use the platform and ADR bodies.
German ODR contact point
As German ODR contact point the European Consumer Centre Germany advises consumers, online traders and ADR bodies on the ODR platform and offers guidance throughout the procedure. Questions may concern:
- The functionality of the platform,
- consumer law,
- ADR bodies (jurisdiction, rules of procedure etc.) and
- other means to enforce consumer claims, - if ODR/ ADR cannot help.
Tel.: +49 7851 991 48 60 (Mon - Thu: 9:00-12:00; 13:00-17:30; Fri: 9:00-12:00; 13:00-16:00)
Fax: +49 7851 991 48 11
Please note: In Germany the ODR contact point is only entitled to give advice in cases where consumers and traders reside in different EU-countries respectively, i.e. in cases of cross-border disputes.
How it works
The procedure is divided into four steps. The German ODR contact point provides for a graphic and explains the procedure:
- The consumer submits his complaint via the online form.
- The online trader is automatically informed about the complaint and asked to propose an ADR body. Both parties have 30 days now to agree on an ADR body. If the online trader does not propose an ADR body or no agreement can be reached, the complaint is closed.
- If the consumer accepts the proposed ADR body, the ODR platform automatically transfers the complaint to it.
- After the ADR body has received all documents from both parties, it will assess the case and propose a solution within 90 days.
Good to know: Online traders are not obliged to participate in ODR procedures. For both parties the use of the platform is voluntary. If the complaint is closed, consumers can turn to the German ODR contact point in order to get help.