Although the EU laws provide high level of consumer protection, in practice the consumers’ rights are often violated, especially when they buy products from online traders. As a response, the European Commission introduced the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) website in February 2016, in order to facilitate the out-of-court dispute resolution between consumers and online traders.
The advantage of the new system for the consumers, when their rights are violated, is that it ensures a fast and cheap way to get remedy by reaching an out of court settlement with the trader. On the other hand, the platform is also beneficial for the traders as it might promote their reliability towards potential customers.
Despite the platform is at an early stage, 24,000 complaints have already been registered in the first year – more than one third of which contains cross-border element. This success is resulted from the fact that the ODR provides a cheap, fast and reliable out-of-court way of dispute resolution. A more detailed report on the operation of the website is expected to be published by the Commission by the end of 2017.