The online dispute resolution is an official legislation and means for the online businesses to file the cases online with the help of law firms specializing in this field. Even if the consumers face dispute after making purchases online, they can file their disputes online and resolve the case through mediation, arbitration and the other procedures. A lot of people may find it difficult to understand this new term so they need to go into the basics at first.
● Filing the lawsuit
Even if you try the means of online dispute resolution, you are still eligible to file the lawsuits. Although solving the differences outside the court seems to be the best procedure in several cases, matters often do not reconcile through this procedure. If you have already filed a case of online dispute resolution, you can always file a lawsuit later. Apart from this, you can also file a case of online dispute resolution after filing lawsuit against someone. It is the intensity of the case that determines whether it can be favorably resolved outside the court or has to be resolved through the court of law.
● Need no lawyer
One of the major advantages of using the services of online dispute resolution firms is that the case can be resolved without the intervention of a lawyer. For many people, it is far easier and convenient to resolve the case through the method of arbitration. While the process is not complicated or messy, it favors several online establishments and the customers making online purchases. However, the procedure is useful as long as long as the dispute resolution is non-binding. In cases, where the process is binding, it is better to hire a lawyer. Every case of online dispute resolution tends to vary based on the online business or the consumers seeking the service.
● What works best
For successful implementation of online dispute resolution, it is better to analyze the past cases. It is quite clear that certain cases lend themselves better to the method of ODR while the rest may be suitable for the court procedures. The online activity is best-suited when there are only two parties involved in the case and the primary reason for the dispute is monetary. It is most effective when the case of dispute arises from an activity of e-commerce.
● Time and money
The method of online dispute resolution can take a few weeks or months when compared with the court cases that may take years to resolve. Apart from this, you can save the money to be paid to the lawyers or other experts.
● Knowing the method
The online dispute resolution is an online platform and allows the consumers and traders to resolve the disputes arising through the cross-border e-commerce transactions. In this process, the consumer needs to complete an online complaint form that is sent by the firm to the trader or the consumer. The parties involved in the dispute have about 30 days within which the firm needs to handle the dispute and once they agree, the firm hired will send the details of the dispute to the firm. After the dispute to be referred to the appropriate body or the firm, it has to agree whether it can handle the dispute or the complaint. Usually, the firm has a period of ninety days to decide the outcome of the case. However for handling matters that are highly complicated, the timeline can be extended beyond the usual period of ninety days. After the decision, the firm handling the dispute informs the traders or the consumers.
● Information requirements
In the places where the rules of online dispute resolution apply to the traders, they must also inform the consumers about the existence of the online platform. Apart from this it is also necessary to provide an electronic link to the online dispute resolution platform on the website or the email if the offer has been made through email.
● Using the platform
The ODR platform does not accept the complaints for certain category of consumers. It is also not applicable to all those purchases that have been made offline such as healthcare or educational services.
● Non-compliance sanctions
For failure to provide the consumers with the required assistance, the dispute resolution law firms may have to pay penalties or face imprisonment.
● Keeping the disputes private
The procedure of online dispute resolution is private in which the information about the proceedings are to be strictly intimated to the parties involved as compared to court cases where the public attends the sessions of the court.
● Focus and control
The parties involved in the dispute are in complete control of their cases instead of the court cases where the lawyer or the legal expert has a lot to say about the outcome of the case. Contrary to the court cases that are likely to divert to the other aspects of the case, the procedure of online dispute resolution has to stay focused on the issues.
Steps to take
The traders must establish whether the regulations of online dispute resolution apply to their business. Accordingly, they need to update their websites, terms and conditions, the apps, and offer compliance with the new set of technical requirements and information. Besides this, they must also become familiar with the online dispute resolution, the new processes of grievances, and the entities of ODR available to the so that they are better equipped to handle the complaints and the queries of the consumers.