Many people think the only way they can resolve a dispute is by going to court. However this is incorrect.
Many disputes between businesses and customers are resolved through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). There are many different forms of ADR, therefore you can choose one that suits you and the potential dispute you are involved in.
As the business dealing with the customer, it is important that you act fairly and do not take advantage of your customers. Therefore, if a dispute arises, it is essential you take every opportunity to resolve the matter amicably.
As part of your website terms, you must indicate to your consumers how any disputes will be resolved. It is highly recommended that you build a staged process with bringing the dispute to the courts as a last resort.
Many disputes can be resolved at the first instance but it is important that you put a fair plan in place so the customer knows where they stand when visiting your site.
The following are some of the most common forms of ADR you may wish to consider:
The most common form of ADR, mediation brings both parties together to consider both sides and hopefully come to a compromise. The mediator is a neutral third party who will go between the parties and hopefully allow them to reach some middle ground. The mediator cannot tell the parties what to do but can hopefully guide them to reaching a compromise to end the dispute. This is commonly used as a first stage of most disputes, and in many cases can be successful.
This is a form of ADR which is favoured for the second stage, when more informal options such as mediation hasn’t worked. Arbitration is a more formal process, similar to that of a court. Both parties submit their arguments, either in writing or in person, and the arbitrator (who is normally an expert in the particular industry) will make a decision on the facts. This decision is binding on both parties as a court order would and it allows both parties to reach a final conclusion. The UK’s arbitration system is regarded highly around the world and is used frequently by businesses to resolve disputes. If one party is not complying with the arbitration order, it can be enforced just like a court order would.
As a more formal process, it isn’t a cheap or quick option but can be quicker and cheaper than a court case, in most circumstances.
By going forward with the Stay Legal package, you can rest easy knowing that a ADR plan has been incorporated within your terms and conditions and if any dispute does arise you have a plan in place to resolve it as quickly as possible. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact the team today.