This was due to come into force in July but has now been put back to October 1st.
Some of the wording is still a little hazy in terms of is it voluntary or mandatory? I believe it will in reality be mandatory. You will be obliged on any website and in store be required to say who you will use to mediate in a customer dispute that cannot be resolved between you and the customer. We will as always advise in disputes and try to ensure that there is a satisfactory outcome for both you and the consumer. If that fails than you will be obliged to refer the matter to an accredited ADR provider.
There will of course be a cost associated with this so it is to be avoided if at all possible. In preparation for this becoming law we have been researching ADR providers with a view to recommending one to members.
We have been talking to Small Claims Mediation [UK ] Ltd and hope to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding in the next few weeks. You can of course choose to use any supplier you wish but we will hopefully have something in place that you can quote to consumers and put on your website for October if you so wish.
To be clear this does not replace the consumers right to bring a case against you in the Small Claims Court but is an attempt by the government to limit the amount of cases that end up in court. Once we have concluded the negotiation with Small Claims Mediation Ltd we will send out full details .