Why the ODR platform matters for traders
The European Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform is provided by the European Commission to make online shopping safer and fairer through access to quality dispute resolution tools. All online retailers and traders in EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway are obliged to provide an easily accessible link to the ODR platform and an e-mail address for the ODR platform to contact you (Article 14 of the Regulation (EU) No 524/2013 ).
If you have received a notification from the ODR platform, it means a consumer has an unresolved problem with a good or service purchased from your online store and chose to use the ODR platform to find a solution.
Resolve directly with the consumer
The consumer may choose to share the details in the draft complaint form with you, before officially submitting the complaint, to see if a direct solution to the dispute is possible (direct talks). You will be able to exchange messages directly through your dashboard and send attachments such as product photos.
Resolve through a dispute resolution body
If the notification concerns a complaint, this means the consumer would like to refer the problem to an approved dispute resolution body. The dispute resolution bodies listed on the ODR platform meet strict standards of quality and independence.
A dispute resolution body is a neutral third party that helps consumers and traders solve disputes in a non-confrontational way. They are usually less expensive and quicker than going to court.
You will have 30 days to agree on a dispute resolution body to handle your case, learn more . Failing that, the consumer will be advised on other tools to protect their rights and obtain redress.
If you trade online in the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you have the following obligations in relation to the ODR platform. These obligations APPLY TO ALL ONLINE TRADERS whether they intend to use the ODR platform or not:
- You have to clearly provide your e-mail address on your website. Providing only an interactive contact form is not sufficient.
- You have to provide a link from your website to the Online Dispute Resolution platform ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr. This link has to be visible and easily accessible on the website.
Start using ODR
Registering on the ODR platform will make it easier for your customers to engage with you if they have a problem. It will help you avoid unnecessary escalation of complaints by receiving them before the consumer turns to other mechanisms to resolve their dispute.
If you receive a request from your customer through the ODR platform, you will need to register to respond.