MEP for Ireland East, Liam Aylward has welcomed measures adopted in the European Parliament today which will give Irish shoppers easier and quick access to cheap and impartial mediation in disputes with traders over goods and services.
Speaking in the European Parliament the Ireland East MEP said: “Under the new rules on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), which MEPs adopted today, EU shoppers will have a new tool to assist them in up-holding their rights and will give them an informal way to settle disputes with traders as an alternative to lengthy and costly court proceedings.”
At present the majority of Member States already have Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms but these are often viewed as consumer-unfriendly and unusable. With the new rules consumers will be able to seek out of court remedies for complaints about any good or service, whether bought online, in a shop, domestically or across borders.
“Given that more and more consumers are now shopping online, with 43% of citizen between the ages of 16 and 74 making purchases online, it is essential that we have measures and rules in place which will protect their rights in the event of a dispute over cross-border purchases.”
“MEPs ensured that arbitration should be either free of charge for the shopper or cost only a “nominal fee”. In general, any dispute should be resolved within 90 days, the rules add.