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Online dispute resolution

Did you know that whenever you buy online you can use the ODR platform to try to reach an out-of-court settlement?

What is the ODR Platform?

The ODR Platform (Online Dispute Resolution) is a tool developed by the European Commission for the online resolution of disputes and is intended to help consumers and traders to resolve disputes relating to the purchase of products and services contracted on line.

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The ODR Platform is an interactive, multilingual free web site which permits consumers and traders from the EU to resolve national and European (EU + Norway + Iceland + Liechtenstein) out-of-court disputes related to online purchases.

The procedure involves the channelling of the disputes to the Alternative Dispute Resolution bodies (ADR) who are connected to the Platform, aiming to resolve the controversy through arbitration or mediation, thereby avoiding court proceedings.

Businesses and traders who offer their products and services online are obliged to include an easily accessible link to the ODR Platform on their web page. They must also provide their e-mail addresses.

The European Consumer Centre for Spain (ECC ES), attached to the AECOSAN, is the ODR Platform Contact Point in Spain. Our function is to provide information with respect to the use of the ODR platform, but in no event, do we influence the process.

The ODR platform allows the parties to submit claims by filling in an electronic form available in all the official EU languages (and in Norwegian and Icelandic) and offers them the option to attach the relevant documents.

The creation and development of the online dispute resolution Platform is set out in Regulation (EU) 524/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council.

  • The ODR Platform can be used by consumers resident in the EU zone (+ Norway + Iceland + Liechtenstein) provided that the trading company is based in the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.
  • Resolves disputes resulting from the contracting of a service or the purchase of goods, provided this has been online (excluding other modes of distance contracts).
  • It is easy to use and accessible from any type of device. Consumers can complete the claims form on the Platform in three easy steps.
  • Makes it easier for the whole process to be online.
  • The ODR platform is multilingual: it includes a translation service to assist with those disputes in different European languages (EU + Norway +Iceland + Liechtenstein).

The Commission is working with Member States to obtain full cover for all the States and all the business sectors (excluding: health care and further education) as soon as possible. The alternative dispute resolution is a fast and economic way to resolve disputes.

These are the alternative dispute resolution bodies linked to the ODR Platform to try to resolve the controversy through arbitration or mediation, thus avoiding court proceedings.

To process an online claim relating to an online purchase, the consumer or business should enter the ODR Platform. After submitting the claim, they select an alternative dispute resolution body (ADR) who will be responsible for managing the claim. The ODR Platform establishes an initial period of 10 days for the Respondent to propose an ADR body.

Once the claim has been processed, the parties will be informed of the result.

In the event that there is no agreement between the parties, the claim is automatically filed, on the understanding that the arbitration or mediation has been rejected as a means of resolving the dispute.

At that moment, the claimant may be advised – by the point of single contact of the ODR Platform– of the alternatives which they still have to resolve their claim.

If you have any questions, you can contact your national contact points. One of the advisors there will be able to answer your questions and guide you through the process of submitting your complaint.
The advisor can:

  • Explain how this site works and what the dispute resolution bodies can do to help you.
  • Help you communicate with the trader and/or the dispute resolution body handling your complaint.
  • Help you submit your complaint (including which documents you need to attach to it).
  • Give you general information on your rights.
  • Advise you on other ways of resolving your dispute if this procedure doesn't work.

Postal Address: Calle Príncipe de Vergara 54, 28006. Madrid.

Email Address: cec@msssi.es

Telephone Number: +34 91 822 45 55. Lines open from Monday to Friday. 11:00am – 13:00pm.

  • Directive 2013/11/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on alternative dispute resolution for consumer disputes and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 and Directive 2009/22/EC.
  • Regulation (EU) No 524/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on online dispute resolution for consumer disputes and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 and Directive 2009/22/EC.

Spanish legislation. Laws

  • Law 7/2017, 2 of November on the implementation of the Directive 2013/11/EU of the European Parliament and the Council of 21 May 2013, on alternative dispute resolution for consumer disputes.