16 July 2018
CDRL is pleased to announce the launch of its newest ADR scheme ‘Consumer Arbitration’, which has been set up to cover disputes between consumers and traders across all sectors, with a particular focus on consumer disputes with retailers. Several large retailers are in the process of subscribing to the scheme, including Carpetright, who will be signposting to Consumer Arbitration from 20th July 2018.
Dean Dunham, CEO of CDRL said “We are passionate about ADR being available to consumers so I am delighted that we are launching a scheme that I am sure will provide a greater proportion of consumers with redress.”
Why have we set this new scheme up alongside RetailADR?
We launched our ADR scheme in the retail sector in 2015. Since this time a number of leading brands on the high street and online have subscribed or engaged with the scheme. It has therefore been a success to date and has benefited a high number of consumers. However, the retail sector is vast and the reality is that there are still a very high number (the majority) of retailers who have not subscribed to either RetailADR or any other ADR scheme. This is bad news for consumers, and we believe bad news for retailers, both of whom are not benefiting from the great advantages which ADR brings.
Throughout 2017, we set out to speak to retailers who had so far declined to engage in ADR to find out why. There were two key reasons cited by the majority:
- A concern that it will open the floodgates to weak and spurious complaints, as the consumer could access ADR for free; and
- The fact that the consumer is not bound by the decisions of the ADR schemes in the sector.
It then became clear that far more retailers would engage with ADR if there was an arbitration scheme available in the sector.
How is arbitration different?
CDRL’s other ADR schemes are operated as ‘adjudications’.
The key differences with an arbitration scheme are:
- The consumer and trader pays a fee;
- The process is quicker; and
- The outcome is binding on both the consumer and trader.
How much is the consumer fee?
Firstly, it has always been part of CDRL’s ethos not to charge the consumer a fee and, where possible, we want to maintain this stance. However, the reality is that we believe without a consumer charge, the majority of the retail market simply will not engage with ADR. The consumer detriment with having no ADR therefore far outweighs the negative impact of the consumer fee.
The consumer fee is as follows:
- £10 – for claims where the value of the claim is less than £750
- £25 – for claims where the value of the claim is greater than £751
Where a case is decided in favour of the consumer, the consumer fee is reimbursed in full.
Notes to editor:
1. CDRL is approved under the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015 (as amended), by CTSI, the Civil Aviation Authority and Ofcom.
- CDRL is one of the leading providers of ADR in the UK.
- CDRL also operates AviationADR (disputes between passengers and airlines/airports), CommsADR (unregulated disputes between consumer and communications providers) RetailADR and UtilitiesADR (unregulated disputes between consumers and home services providers).
- In May 2018 CDRL partnered with HuntADR to provide the ADR scheme for ABTA. CDRL provides the software solution, staff and some of the arbitrators for this.