The Commission published today its first report on the functioning of the European Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform.
This website allows consumers buying online to solve issues with traders in a fast and cheap way by using outside of court dispute resolution systems. Since its launch in February 2016, over 24 000 consumers decided to lodge a complaint and about 40% of complaints were solved outside of the platform through a direct contact between consumers and traders initiated by the platform.
Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality said: "Consumers from all EU countries have filed complaints using the ODR platform over the last year. We want them to be able to solve their disputes quickly and easily when they buy online. But we need traders to use this tool more, which will allow them offer the best customer service to their clients. By using the platform, traders will show they respect consumer rights."
Commission calls on industry to use the European ODR platform
In the EU, online traders have an obligation to put a link to the Online Dispute Resolution platform, as well as an email address on their website that can be used to handle complaints online via the platform.
In a study, also published today, the Commission examined 20,000 EU online traders' websites and concluded that only 28% of these websites make the Online Dispute Resolution platform link available, out of which 85% provide an e-mail address as required by law. Too many complaints were automatically closed due to the lack of response from traders.
Compliance also differs across countries and sectors. Online traders in Germany (66%) are most likely to present a link to the ODR platform on their websites, followed by Austrian (47%) and Danish (44%) e-traders. In contrast, compliance with this requirement is the lowest in Cyprus (2%), Malta (1%) and Latvia (1%). However, larger EU countries, such as Greece (11%), Italy (12%), Spain (13%) and the UK (14%) also perform below the average compliance level.
As part of its efforts to improve traders' engagement on the Online Dispute Resolution platform, the Commission is holding today a round-table discussion with online retailers from the clothing and footwear sectors. They will discuss emerging challenges in online retail trade and how to provide the best customer service.
The report and the study are available online.