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Dispute Resolution For Consumers

As from 1st October 2015 traders selling to consumers are required to give information about alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to their customers. That is, ways of resolving disputes that do not involve going to court.

The obligation arises from regulations (the Regulations) which aim to encourage out-of-court resolution of disputes such as complaints about unsatisfactory goods or services. The Regulations only apply to disputes between a consumer and a trader (not those between businesses).

The use of ADR is not mandatory under the Regulations, but may be mandatory under the rules of a trade association.

The ADR providers must be certified as competent to act and are also subject to a number of rules. The rules cover matters such as fees, timeliness, expertise, independence and the media for submission of complaints.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has produced the following guidance

This should not be relied upon for legal advice. If you would like any further information or advice please email

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