The Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Platform is provided by the European Commission to help you resolve disputes with your online customers without going to court. It can be used for any contractual dispute arising from online purchases of goods or services where the trader and consumer are both based in the EU or Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.
If you trade online in the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you have the following obligations in relation to the ODR platform. These obligations APPLY TO ALL ONLINE TRADERS whether they intend to use the ODR platform or not:
- You have to clearly provide your e-mail address on your website. Providing only an interactive contact form is not sufficient.
- You have to provide a link from your website to the Online Dispute Resolution platform ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr. This link has to be visible and easily accessible on the website.
If you are an online trader and wish to demonstrate your commitment to high standards of customer care, you can register as a trader on the ODR platform even if no complaint has been made against you.
If a complaint is made against you using the ODR platform, then you will have to be registered on the platform to be able to deal with it.
By registering on the platform, you will make it easier for your customers to engage with you and you will ensure that any complaints made about you using the platform are received by you at your chosen email address. This way you will ensure smoother complaint handling and avoid unnecessary escalation of complaints.
In some countries, you can also use this site if you are a trader and you want to complain about a consumer over a good or service you sold online.
How to register
To register you have to create an EU login
After you have created your EU login, you will be directed to the ODR platform where you will have to create an organisation in the site to be able to:
- Access the system
- Create/Receive complaints via the ODR platform
- Manage users within your organisation
- Update your personal data (e.g. change the e-mail address to which the notifications will be sent)
Once you have created an organisation, all members of your organisation will be able to access the dashboard and see the complaints.
Using the ODR platform
The ODR platform is designed to facilitate communication between you, your customer and a dispute resolution body. A dispute resolution body is an impartial organization or individual that helps consumers and traders resolve disputes without going to court.
Under European law, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) can be used for any dispute arising from a contract between a trader and consumer, whether the product was bought online or offline or whether you and your customer live in the same or in different EU countries.
The ODR platform only uses dispute resolution bodies approved by their national governments for quality standards relating to fairness , transparency , effectiveness and accessibility.
The ODR platform also makes the process of ADR easier by providing automated translations between all EU languages, as well as information and support throughout.
You can view our detailed user guide for a step-by-step tutorial for using the ODR platform.
Complain against a consumer
If you are a trader based in the EU or Norway, Iceland and Leichtenstein, you can also use the ODR platform to send your online consumer dispute to an approved dispute resolution body.
You can only complain against a consumer if they reside in Belgium, Germany, Luxemburg or Poland.
To create a complaint, you first need to register in the system and create your organisation. If you are already registered, you just need to log in. Once on your dashboard, click on "Create new complaint".