As from the 1st October 2015 it will be an offence for any business selling goods or services to 'consumers', defined as those buying other than for the purpose of a trade, profession, business or craft, to not inform those customers whose complaints they do not resolve, of the details of an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service that covers such transactions, is:-
* accessible and operational online, and
* has been approved by Trading Standards.
Further, the business must say whether or not they will participate in ADR.
As from January 2016 online businesses will also have to include on its website a link to a special European Commission website that will direct dissatisfied customers to an approved ADR provider. Special rules apply if your business is already obliged to participate in an ADR process.
The concern for businesses, is how these significant changes in the law will affect the scale of complaints and , in particular, how their handling of these new obligations will impact on the extent of increasingly influential adverse consumer reviews and, thus, on their brand and, ultimately, turnover.
So the stage is set.....this event will help you understand the rules and make wise decisions on the choice of ADR most appropriate for your business so you can be a hero to your customers, or, if you wish, ignore it and be the villain as customers drift away.
If you sell products or services to consumers, are you ready for such laws? Do you know how such ADR services operate and whether or not you would wish to participate? Would it be in your interest to participate? Who pays and what is the cost? Do you have to participate? How would such be impacted by any small claims court proceedings , adverse consumer reviews, adverse customer tweets etc? What about new complaint services like Resolver.co.uk? What are the implications for you if you sell largely through a third party market platform, such as eBay or Amazon?
These laws will significantly increase the numbers of complaints and disputes from consumers. How will you deal with them to ensure your business does not suffer from your ignorance of these laws and how best to benefit from them.
This conference will not just put you fully in the picture and help you develop an effective policy and strategy but, as all attendees will be invited to become members of a private LinkedIn group , you will, if you accept the invitation, continue to share knowledge from experts and fellow businesses so as to ensure your business gains, rather than suffers, from these developments.
If, on the other hand, you are an ADR professional, this event will inform you as to the opportunities the new changes will open up to expand your practice. If you are an organisation providing ADR, this event will guide you into the decision as to whether or not to seek formal approval so as to have businesses, and the European Commission website, directing cases to your service as well as inform you of the procedure you have to follow and how to improve the prospects of being approved. Do not assume that 'consumer' means low value not justifying your mediation fee. There is no ceiling on value. Sellers/repairers of high value items like yachts and luxury cars as well as swimming pools and house extensions will also have to put their dissatisfied customers in touch with a TSI approved ADR provider covering such cases. There will thus be many opportunities to offer mediation services for specific types of disputes with facilities for accessing expert evidence and assessment.
Speakers come from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Trading Standards office responsible for certifying ADR Providers, the Ombudsman Association, ADR Providers, ODR Providers, leading Ombudsmen organisations, published experts on technology and dispute resolution, the Chief of Staff at a US government agency dedicated to ADR and the person who designed and ran the resolution systems used by eBay and PayPal. Please see the full list.
Our Conference Partners
Consumer Disputes - Will You Suffer or Benefit From the New Law?
Resolver (Events) Ltd is organising a one day conference to explain, and help businesses and ADR professionals consider their response to the new European Union led law requiring companies to effectively promote Online Dispute Resolution, both on their websites and in communications with customers. It will take place on the 7th September 2015 (10am to 5:30pm with post-event networking on the theatre terrace and a optional back stage tour) in the wonderfully ornate surroundings of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London.