What is alternative dispute resolution?
If you have a complaint about a purchase, instead of going to court, you could opt for alternative dispute resolution. Alternative dispute resolution is the term used to describe all the different ways of resolving a complaint that don’t involve going to court.
Typically what happens is that you ask a neutral third party to step in and act as an intermediary between you and the trader you’re complaining about. The intermediary might suggest a solution to your complaint, impose a solution on you and the other party or just bring you both together to discuss how to find a solution.
You might know alternative dispute resolution as “mediation”, “conciliation”, “arbitration”, “ombudsman” or “complaints’ board”. Compared with going to court, alternative dispute resolution usually costs less, is less formal and quicker.
What is online dispute resolution?
If you have a complaint about a purchase and you don’t want to have to go to court, you may be able to use online dispute resolution to reach an out-of-court settlement.
Using our website, you and the trader you are complaining about can find a dispute resolution body, then go through the process of finding a solution to your complaint. Important: you can only use this system if your complaint is about an online purchase