Alternative dispute resolution

If you have complained to a business about a product or service, and they haven’t resolved it, you can choose to use alternative dispute resolution (ADR). This means you can ask a neutral third party to act as a go-between with you and the business. Compared with going to court, ADR is usually quicker, simpler, and cheaper.

Methods of ADR

The ADR body may use either mediation or arbitration to help resolve your issue.

  • Mediation and Conciliation involve bringing you and the business together to discuss the issue. The ADR body may suggest solutions, but they are not legally binding.
  • Arbitration involves the ADR body hearing both sides of the issue and making a legally binding decision on a solution. Decisions from arbitration are generally final, however they can sometimes be appealed in court.

ADR in Ireland

Authorised bodies in Ireland must notify the CCPC that they meet the criteria to handle consumer complaints in an effective, independent, and transparent way. The following alternative dispute resolution bodies are authorised to operate in Ireland:

ADR bodies often have an online complaint form on their website which you can use to submit your complaint. After you have submitted the request, a written procedure will follow. This usually takes around 90 days.

Online dispute resolution (ODR)

The European Commission provides an online dispute resolution platform for making complaints about goods or services bought online in Ireland or elsewhere in the EU.

This platform can help you search for the right ADR body. It also allows you to contact the business directly through the platform, where you can find a solution or agree on an ADR body to help you.

To file a complaint through the ODR platform, you should fill out the complaint form. If the business is willing to talk, you will be able to exchange messages directly through the ODR dashboard.

If the business does not want to resolve the problem directly with you on the platform, they can suggest a list of ADR bodies to use instead. If they do, you will have to agree on the ADR body. At all times during ODR, either party can withdraw from the process.

Other options

If you have tried ADR or ODR, and the business has either not engaged or not agreed to a solution that you are happy with, you may wish to take further action. You can use

For claims over these limits, you should seek independent legal advice on your options.