On 9 January the European Commission will open its new online dispute resolution (ODR) platform as a first step to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) bodies. The platform will provide consumers and traders with a new easy and fast way to settle online disputes at the click of a mouse, without having to go to court.

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is an out-of-court system for resolving disputes between consumers and traders. When carried out online, those procedures are called online dispute resolution (ODR). The new ODR platform established by the European Commission aims at strengthening trust in online domestic and cross-border purchases, thereby making an important contribution to the EU’s Digital Single Market strategy. It was specifically designed to help consumers who have bought goods or services online and subsequently have a problem with that purchase. The initial opening to ADR bodies will allow them to get familiar with the tool before it is open to consumers and traders, by mid-February. Those bodies will act as a referee between the two parties when a complaint is lodged, to resolve the issue. It will be mandatory for online traders to insert a link to the platform on their websites.
Read more on ADR and ODR.