For those who fly with Airlines in Europe, hotels abroad, roaming charges, and goods or services
By Lorraine Lally, Barrister and Mediator
The EU Regulation on online dispute resolution (ODR) for consumers became operational in January 2016. The definition of ‘online sales or service contract’ should cover a sales or service contract where the trader, or the trader’s intermediary, has offered goods or services through a website or by other electronic means and the consumer has ordered those goods or services on that website or by other electronic means.
The definition of ‘consumer’ should cover natural persons who are acting outside their trade, business, craft or profession. The EU system is interesting in that it extends the traditional definition of consumer to dual purpose contracts. If the contract is concluded for purposes partly within and partly outside the person’s trade and the trade purpose is so limited as not to be predominant in the overall context of the supply, that person should also be considered as a consumer.
The EU measures provide a clear statement that ODR is intended to support the existing Court Processes. The National contact point in Ireland is the European Consumer Centre in Dublin. The ODR contact points shall provide support to the resolution of disputes submitted through the ODR platform by facilitating, if requested, the communication between the parties and the competent ADR entity, which may include, in particular:
(i) assisting with the submission of the complaint and, where appropriate, relevant documentation
(ii) providing the parties and ADR entities with general information on consumer rights in relation to sales and service contracts which apply in the Member State of the ODR contact point which hosts the ODR advisor concerned
(iii) providing information on the functioning of the ODR platform
(iv) providing the parties with explanations on the procedural rules applied by the ADR entities identified
(v) informing the complainant party of other means of redress when
a dispute cannot be resolved through the ODR platform (see Art. 9.8)ODR is now active in Ireland for consumers and businesses to embrace. A huge thank you to the National Contact Point and please feel free to contact Barry Edward Fitzgerald
firstname.lastname@example.org at the European Consumer Centre - Irelandu