Consumers can use the EU Commission's online dispute resolution platform to contact companies from all over the EU and find a solution in a direct talk.
An integrated translation tool enables joint conversation and overcomes language barriers.
If it is not possible to find a solution between the parties, the company can refer the matter to an appropriate ADR body.
The parties can then forward the case directly to this dispute resolution body via the Online Dispute Resolution platform. A simple way of settling disputes out of court within the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
All over Europe, alternative dispute resolution bodies (ADR bodies) can help consumers and traders to solve their disputes amicably: they are neutral, quick, competent and often free of charge.
If consumers have bought something on the internet, they can use the European Online Dispute Resolution platform to refer cases to the competent ADR body together with the trader in question.
The platform offers central access to all recognised arbitration bodies in Europe and is particularly useful if the company is located in another European country.
The competent arbitration board is usually located in the country the company comes from.
An integrated translation tool helps to bridge language barriers.
The ODR platform is an automated communication tool that makes it possible to settle disputes between consumers and traders in e-commerce.
The platform offers two different ways to do this, which we will briefly explain.
You can choose the complaint option if you have already tried to solve the problem directly with the company and think that a neutral ADR body would be helpful. The request for direct talks offers once again the possibility to communicate with each other via the chat portal of the ODR platform and to find a common solution.
The online trader may not respond to the consumer complaint or the request for direct talks, as the use of the platform is voluntary.
An email will inform the consumer after 30 days for complaints and after 90 days for direct talks that their respective case has been automatically closed.
Consumers who live in Germany have the possibility to turn to the national contact point Germany to get advices on other legal protection options.
Please do not hesitate to contact us either directly via the platform, which will give us an insight into your case, or send us all the information by email.
As the national contact point Germany, the European Consumer Centre Germany provides advice on how the platform works, on consumer rights, on conciliation bodies and - if conciliation does not help - on other legal protection options.
Phone: +49 7851 991 48 60 (Tue - Thu: 9:00-12:00 and 13:00-17:00)
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Innovation Council and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.