Do you sell goods or services online to consumers? If so, do you know that as an online ‘business to consumer’ trader, you must now provide a link to the European Commission’s new online dispute resolution (ODR) platform on your website and in your terms and conditions?
The EU recognised that across Europe, consumers who have bought goods and/or services online often found it difficult and costly to resolve disputes, especially when those goods or services were bought overseas. Rather than risk an issue arising, consumers would prefer not to transact online.
As an online trader, to coincide with the recent launch of the ODR platform in order to comply with the Online Dispute Resolution Regulation, you must:
1. Provide an electronic link on your website to the ODR platform;
2. State your email address on your website; and
3. Include a link to the ODR platform in your general terms and conditions.
The European Commission hopes that the ODR platform will provide consumers who have bought online with a practical tool to resolve issues, such as damaged goods or services not conforming to their specification, in a quick and cost-effective way, without the need to go to court, while also removing language and location barriers. Armed with such a tool, consumers will be encouraged to buy more online with businesses throughout Europe, which can be very beneficial for businesses and the wider economy.
Whilst the ODR platform does not replace complaints procedures or the consumer’s right to go to court, it is envisaged that the ODR platform will help online traders resolve consumer issues without going to court which will, in turn, maintain good customer relations and the business’ reputation.
We can assist you in ensuring that your online terms and conditions do not breach the Online Dispute Resolution Regulation.