You may well recall that I’ve written about this before and ODR was the subject of a recent e-mail saying the implementation has been put back to 15 February 2016. Remember that ODR is the online version of ADR.

The BIS website says “Where a trader does business online, whether through a website or other electronic means , it must provide a link to the ODR platform website [once it is online]. In addition, all online traders must state their e-mail address on their website. Where a trader is required to use an approved ADR provider they must give additional information to consumers. Not only must they link to the ODR platform on their website, they just also inform consumers of the existence of the ODR platform and the possibility of using the platform to resolve disputes, and they must include this in any standard terms and conditions of business. If an offer is made to a consumer by e-mail, the e-mail must contain a link to the ODR platform”.

To encourage the use of ODR there will be a European ODR platform which will be put in place before the 15th February via the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. As I write this we are in early January and there’s nothing there yet.

Don’t forget that we have an arrangement with and ADR/ ODR business called Small Claims Mediation Ltd as mentioned in previous editions of Alert. [and details on our website]. We will do our best to keep you up to date on this as you will need to amend your websites accordingly once the portal is online.

What does make me smile is that although it’s not ready yet [and late] they have already said what the cost of non–compliance will be, and I quote;

“If a trader fails to comply with the information requirements above, trading standards services can apply for a court order requiring them to comply. If the order is not complied

with the maximum penalty is an unlimited fine and two year’s imprisonment “.