Provision of information about dispute resolution bodies on company websites and in standard contractual terms and conditions

From 9 January 2016, businesses will be required to provide consumers with information on their websites and in their standard contractual terms and conditions about out-of-court dispute resolution bodies that are competent to resolve disputes between consumers and the businesses in question.

Websites and standard contractual terms and conditions must also provide the website address of a dispute resolution body.

Businesses must provide consumers with the information in question in writing or in another permanent form, if a consumer has submitted a notice of defect to the business and the parties have failed to resolve the matter.

In accordance with their sector, businesses must provide information about one or more dispute resolution bodies which, in Finland, are:

Online stores are required to post a link to the ODR forum (http://ec.europa.eu/odr) on their websites starting 15 February 2016. Any enterprise engaged in online trading must provide its e-mail address on its website for consumer use at the ODR forum, to enable consumers have their matters addressed by the appropriate dispute resolution body.

Presentation of information

Consumers must be provided with information about a dispute resolution body and its website address in a convenient, clear and intelligible manner.

As the Consumer Disputes Board may decline to consider the matter if the consumer has not contacted the Consumer Advisory Service first, he or she should be advised to contact the Consumer Advisory Service before contacting the Consumer Disputes Board.

An example of information or standard contractual terms and conditions provided on a website through which a business fulfils its obligation to provide information.

If a dispute concerning a sales contract cannot be resolved through negotiation between the parties, the consumer can submit the matter to the Consumer Disputes Board (www.kuluttajariita.fi) for resolution.

Before taking the matter to the Consumer Disputes Board, the consumer should contact the Local Register Offices' Consumer Advisory Service (www.kuluttajaneuvonta.fi)

Online stores and the ODR forum

Online stores are required to post a link to the ODR forum (http://ec.europa.eu/odr) on their websites starting 15 February 2016. Any enterprise engaged in online trading must provide its e-mail address on its website for consumer use at the ODR forum, to enable consumers have their matters addressed by the appropriate dispute resolution body.

Consumers can refer any dispute to ODR concerning a purchase made in an online store for resolution by a dispute resolution body, if the seller and the consumer fail to reach an amicable solution.

The European Commission's online dispute resolution forum contains information on all European dispute resolution bodies. The name of the forum is an abbreviation of online dispute resolution (ODR platform). The service will be offered in all official languages of the EU.

Finnish consumers hoping to resolve a dispute with a Finnish online store should first contact the Consumer Advisory Service for advice and assistance.
Read more
European Consumer Centre: Consumer disputes over online shopping can now be resolved online via new ODR forum

 


Updated 30.12.2015 Print