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Everything a business should know about Alternative Dispute Resolution

If you are a business owner think alternatively. Think responsibly. You can sign up for free with the Cyprus Consumer Center for ADR here.

Αlternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) refers to the out of court resolution of a dispute between two or more persons. That is why it is called «Alternative».

Regarding consumer disputes, meaning disputes arising through the purchase of products or services by a consumer, the business will usually provide its own internal procedures for resolving any complaint. But what happens when the parties do not manage to find a solution through these internal procedures?

The result is one or more of the following:

  1. A lawsuit may be filed against the business.
  2. A complaint against the business may be submitted to the competent authority (usually the Consumer Protection Service)
  3. The business’s reputation may be affected.
  4. The consumer may stop being a customer of the business.

With Alternative Dispute Resolution these can be avoided.

In what way does ADR help?

When the internal dispute resolution procedure of the business is exhausted, the business informs the consumer about the Alternative Dispute Resolution Entity which covers its activities as well as whether the business is willing to proceed with resolution of the dispute through this Entity.

The Cyprus Consumer Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is such an Entity.

In any case the business is obligated by Law to inform the consumer if it is covered by an ADR Entity. Also, if the business sells products online it is obligated to provide this information on its website. If it does not do so, it is subject to a fine of up to €10,000.

What comes next?

The Cyprus Consumer Center for ADR is not always obligated to accept a consumer’s complaint against a business. If for example the consumer has not used the businesses internal dispute resolution procedures before submitting the complaint or if the complaint is deemed to be frivolous, vexatious or malicious, due to the content or nature of the complaint, then it may be rejected.

Also, in order to ensure that there is no abuse of the process and that complaints are not submitted uncontrollably, we do not accept the submission of anonymous complaints or the submission of complaints through the phone. Furthermore, the consumer is required to pay an administrative fee prior to the complaint being examined.

We will then request from the business to submit its position and then appoint a third-party mediator to resolve the dispute. The mediator will hear both sides and examine their arguments and evidence and help them reach an amicable solution between them.

There are multiple advantages for businesses to be covered by an Alternative Dispute Resolution Entity. These mainly involve the avoidance of the negative impact on the reputation of the business and thus maintaining good customer relations.

If you are a business owner think alternatively. Think responsibly. You can sign up for free with the Cyprus Consumer Center for ADR.  Registration also covers the promotion of your business on our website. Our website is visited by over 10,000 consumers.

For more information and for signing up please click here.

Why choose the Cyprus Consumer Center for ADR?

√  Over 10,000 Unique Website Visitors

√  We resolve disputes within 90 Days

√  We are Cost Effective

√  The disputes are handled by Experienced and Specialised Mediators

√  The procedures used are Confidential

This article does not constitute legal advice.

The publication of this article is partly funded by the European Union’s “Consumer Programme (2014-2020)”.

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