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The Obligation of Traders to Inform Consumers regarding Alternative Consumer Dispute Resolution Entities

Where a trader is obligated to use an Alternative Consumer Dispute Resolution Entity, then it must inform the consumer accordingly, as determined under Law 85(Ι)/2017, which specifies the obligations and rights of traders (meaning those acting for the purposes of their commercial, business or professional activity) and consumers (meaning those not acting for the purposes of their commercial, business or professional activity).

Such an obligation to inform consumers and use an ADR Entity, also applies to specific businesses of the financial sector, regarding specific aspects of their business activities (such as disputes arising in relation to the provision of payment services or disputes arising as a result of a refusal to provide a bank account facility etc).

But what happens when a business is not obligated to use an ADR Entity? In such cases, when examining a consumer complaint, and the trader’s internal complaints procedure has been exhausted, the trader is obligated to provide the consumer the following information:
(1) That the trader is not in a position to resolve the consumer dispute,
(2) The name and email address of an ADR Entity with sufficient jurisdiction to resolve the dispute between the trader and the consumer, and
(3) Whether the trader will use the specified ADR Entity.

According to the Law, the abovementioned information must be provided to the consumer in writing or any other permanent medium. According to the Consumer Protection Service, this means that it must be provided to the consumer by a letter or email as part of its final response to the consumer’s complaint.

Furthermore, this information must be provided in a clear and understandable manner and must be easily accessible by the consumer.

There are numerous benefits for a trader to use an Alternative Consumer Dispute Resolution Entity, and you can access more information on these benefits here.

The Consumer Protection Service is responsible for examining whether businesses are complying with this Law and have received numerous complaints by consumers, that businesses have been in breach of the Law, by ignoring or rejecting complaints.

According to Article 23(1) of L.85(Ι)/2017, if a consumer is not provided with the required information by the Trader, then the Consumer Protection Service may order the Trader to cease the infringement and refrain from repeating such conduct in the future and may also impose an administrative fine of up to €10,000.
For more information on how we can help your business comply with its obligations under the Law, please visit www.adr.com.cy or contact us by phone on 22519741.

The above information does not constitute legal advice.

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