Consumers: Commission puts forward proposals for faster, easier and cheaper solutions to disputes with traders

In 2010, one in five European consumers encountered problems when buying goods and services in the single market. If a seller refuses to repair your laptop which broke down when under guarantee or if you cannot come to agreement with a travel agent over a refund for a ruined holiday,
there are ways to sort it out without going to court. Unfortunately at this stage, out-of-court dispute resolution in the EU is possible only for some business sectors or in some areas. To tackle this issue, the European Commission unveiled today a package of legislative proposals
to ensure that all EU consumers can solve their problems without going to court, regardless of the kind of product or service that the contractual dispute is about and regardless of where they bought it in the European single market (that is, at home or abroad).
For consumers shopping online from another EU country, the Commission wants to create an EU-wide single online platform, which will allow to solve contractual disputes entirely online within 30 days.

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for consumers is faster, cheaper and easier to use than court proceedings. It is estimated that universal access to quality ADR across the EU will save consumers around €22.5 billion/year.
It will also help businesses manage their customer relations and boost their corporate image. The Commission wants the new package of laws to help increase consumers’ confidence in the EU-wide single market, which means for them wider choice and better prices,
thus contributing to the growth of EU economy.

Find all details here.