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Communications Complaints and Postal Operators- Guidance for Service Providers

Contact us: 0203 621 3908 or 07827 961764 or by email to enquiries@promediate.co.uk

GUIDANCE FOR BUSINESSES

We are certified by OfCom as an ADR Provider to deal with disputes between communications providers and postal operators falling outside OfCom’s compulsory scheme.  Details of the types of dispute that we deal with are set out on our main page.

What is Click2Resolve?

Click2Resolve is an independent alternative dispute resolution service, which is the trading name of ProMediate (UK) Limited, which has been set up to resolve disputes between customers and businesses in the UK in accordance with the ADR Directive and ODR Regulations.

ProMediate (UK) Limited is registered with the Civil Mediation Council and authorised by OfCom as an ADR entity to deal with disputes falling outside its compulsory schemces..

Click2Resolve will accept any complaints about a business, subject to the terms of acceptance, to include both domestic and cross-border disputes, including disputes referred via the new online dispute resolution platform.

Click2Resolve is a voluntary mediation process, as opposed to an Ombudsman or Arbitration style process where a decision is imposed on the parties.

What is the cost to businesses?

There are membership fees of £100, £250 and £500 available as set out on our website in return for which ProMediate will provide suggested wording to insert into the business’ terms and conditions and regular newsletters as well as other member benefits. Alternatively, larger businesses can agree an all inclusive membership fee to include a number of mediations. Membership is not obligatory. It speeds up the process as we know that if a complaint is made about a member, that member has already agreed to mediate.

Details of ProMediate’s charges are set out below.  ProMediate’s charges must be paid before the business submits any response to a customer complaint registered with Click2Resolve and the process continues. If the Business refuses to pay any charges the process will be terminated. The Business indicates agreement to the terms and conditions of the of the mediation process when submitting the Response Form.

The Click2Resolve scheme is designed to save businesses and consumers the cost of bringing Court proceedings, which can be expensive.

Who makes the decision in relation to my dispute?

Click2Resolve does not make a decision about your dispute but conciliates and mediates between the business and customer in an attempt to help you to reach a settlement.

The process is entirely voluntary and non-binding until any agreement is reached between you.

The process begins with the customer submitting a Complaint Form and supporting documents, by post, uploading them to the website, or emailing them. The customer will also indicate their chosen method of communication for the process and make payment.

After the customer has submitted their Complaint Form and any supporting documents, by post or online, we will forward these to the Business within 7 calendar days. The business will then submit its Response Form and supporting documents within 7 days (or in some cases respond by telephone or email), and we will then contact the parties by telephone or email to try to resolve the case, within a further calendar 7 days.

Upon receipt of the Complaint Form a mediator will be allocated to the case, after first checking that they have no conflict of interest and that the Refusals Policy (see below) does not apply.

The mediator will provide the consumer with copies of the business’ response to the complaint, or summarise this if provided over the telephone.

ADR Officials/Mediators

The complaint will be dealt with by a professional, fully trained Click2Resolve mediator (ADR Official) who will be completely independent and impartial as well as being knowledgeable about the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and other consumer legislation. Disputes falling within Ofcom’s remit will be dealt with by a mediator with knowledge and understanding of the Postal Services and Communications Act as well as having experience in the postal and communcations litigation field.

A list of Click2Resolve’s current mediators can be found on the website, with details of their experience and qualifications.

The mediators possess a general understanding of the law and the necessary knowledge and skills in the field of out of court or judicial resolution of consumer disputes, to be able to carry out their functions competently.

Each mediator is a permanent appointment to the panel of mediators and an independent contractor, ensuring the independence of their actions and they cannot be relieved of their duties without just cause.

Click2Resolve will replace a mediator who declares that they have a conflict of interest in relation to a dispute with another mediator.

If a mediator who declares a conflict of interest cannot be replaced by another mediator, then the mediator will stop conducting the dispute resolution procedure. Where possible, a proposal will be put to the parties that they submit their dispute to another ADR organisation competent to deal with it. Where this is not possible, a declaration will be put to the parties as to the circumstances of the conflict of interest declared by the mediator, that they have a right to object to that mediator continuing to handle their dispute and that the organisation can only continue to deal with the dispute if no party objects.

The Mediation Process

The Click2Resolve mediator will act as a go-between between you and the customer, discuss the details of the complaint and see whether there is any scope for agreement between you. All communications between you, the customer and the mediator during the process will be “without prejudice” (that is, that they cannot be referred to elsewhere, for instance in court proceedings) and are non-binding. You are free at any stage to terminate the mediation process.

How will the mediator assist in resolving the case?

The mediator will negotiate between the parties to find an amicable solution. During the process, the mediator will consider the evidence submitted by the parties and their Complaint and Response Forms. They will also consider all relevant law and will consider what is most fair and reasonable in light of all of the circumstances before them when negotiating.  If, at the end of 28 calendar days from receipt of the Complaint Form or details of the complaint and Response Form, no solution has been agreed, the mediator will confirm that no settlement has been reached in durable format.

The parties can agree to extend the period of 28 days in which case there is a long stop deadline of 90 days to complete the process.

Can I talk directly to the mediator?

Yes, the mediator will email or telephone you after you have submitted your response to the claim (online, by email or by post), within 7 days. During the mediation the mediator is available to discuss the matter further by telephone (without the customer hearing what you say) or by email.

The Click2Resolve process is flexible and therefore communications between the parties and the mediator can take place by telephone, email, or post and documents can be uploaded onto the website. The mediator will adopt the means of communication with the customer indicated as preferred by the customer when submitting their Complaint Form.

Will there be a hearing for me to provide evidence?

No, there is no hearing as such where a decision is made. Instead, the mediator will communicate with you and the business separately in confidence to try to resolve the case, using your chosen means of communication.

How will the mediator assist in resolving the case?

The mediator will email or telephone you within 7 days after you have submitted your Response Form and supporting documents.

During the mediation, the mediator is available to discuss the matter further by telephone (without the customer hearing what you say) or by email.  The Click2Resolve process is flexible and therefore communications between the parties and the mediator can take place by telephone, email, or post and documents can be uploaded onto the website.

Do I have to use Click2Resolve?

No, there is no obligation to use Click2Resolve in order to resolve your dispute. There is an obligation to nominate an ADR Entity in your terms and conditions and website, however, under the EU Directive.

Do I have to pay to use the scheme?

The scheme for OfCom cases is free to consumers. Only the Business pays a fee to Click2Resolve based upon the value of the dispute, unless it has agreed an all-inclusive membership package, as set out below.

Can I recover the costs of preparing my Click2Resolve case?

No, you must pay any costs you incur in preparing and submitting your case to Click2Resolve, which include any incidental or third party costs. If, for example, you decide to take legal advice about making an application you must pay for that yourself.

Do I need a lawyer?

No, you do not need a lawyer but you can choose to use one if you wish, but you will have to pay all of the legal (or other professional) costs you incur in making your application yourself.

Referring a Dispute to Click2Resolve

The customer refers the dispute to Click2Resolve after they have been notified that the dispute cannot be resolved and as to your nomination of Click2Resolve.

An application to Click2Resolve can be made after:

  1. The customer has exhausted the business’s complaints procedure and
  2. you have told the customer that they are eligible to in an email or “deadlock” letter (where you have come to the end of the internal complaints handling process and the dispute has not settled).

What should I consider before responding to a customer’s application?

The customer should have read these guidance notes carefully before making an application to ensure their claim can be dealt with by Click2Resolve.

You should consider the contents of the customer’s complaint form and supporting documents, how you will respond and whether you are prepared to compromise.

What kind of disputes can Click2Resolve deal with?

We can deal with disputes related to any consumer issues relating to the provision of goods or services which have been the subject of an internal business complaints procedure without being resolved.

Click2Resolve will assess the customer’s application against the Refusals Policy criteria (see below), and if the dispute does not fall within the scope of the scheme, they will be told by Click2Resolve and their application will not be referred to a mediator.

The business will also have the opportunity to object to the acceptance of the application if it considers that the dispute is outside the scope of the scheme. In such circumstances Click2Resolve will rule on the validity of the application and the decision of Click2Resolve will be final.

What kind of disputes cannot be dealt with by Click2Resolve? – Refusals Policy

If any of the following apply then Click2Resolve cannot deal with the complaint:

  • if prior to submitting the complaint, the consumer has not attempted to contact the business concerned in order to discuss the complaint and sought, as a first step, to resolve the matter directly with the business.
  • any dispute or disputes that are and considered by Click2Resolve to be frivolous and/or vexatious.
  • the dispute is being or has been previously considered by another ADR entity (such as a different mediator or Ombudsman) or by a Court
  • the value of the claim is worth more £10,000.
  • the consumer has not submitted the complaint within 12 months from the date upon which the business has given notice to the consumer that the business is unable to resolve the complaint with the consumer.

The customer should only apply if their dispute falls within the criteria of acceptable cases detailed above. If you consider that the dispute falls outside the scheme, you can contact Click2Resolve

What is the maximum amount the customer is able to claim under Click2Resolve scheme?

The maximum claim amount is £10,000 per purchase or transaction. Disputes over this value can be dealt with by ProMediate outside the Click2Resolve scheme.

Refusals

Where, in accordance with the policy on refusals Click2Resolve is unable to consider a dispute submitted to it, we will provide both parties with a reasoned explanation of the grounds for not considering the dispute within 3 weeks of receiving the ‘complaint file’, unless we have been misled by one of the parties into considering a dispute.

What does the customer put in their application?

They will need to include the “deadlock” letter or email from the business telling them that they can apply to Click2Resolve.

They should set out what the dispute is about in their application and provide any supporting documents.

The business will then have an opportunity to explain their response to the claim in the Response Form and to provide any documents upon which they rely.

The Response Form should include details of:

  • the business’ service which the dispute is about;
  • the events leading to the complaint;
  • the precise issues which are in dispute;
  • the steps already taken to attempt to reach a resolution with the customer;
  • the reasons for rejecting the complaint;
  • proposals for resolving the claim;
  • and any relevant supporting documents – remember it will help if you can provide evidence to support your response.

Click2Resolve has designed a response form that will take you through these requirements step by step.

Can Click2Resolve help me with my response?

Yes, the Click2Resolve Team is available to offer guidance about responding to an application. Click2Resolve is committed to providing appropriate accessibility for everyone it deals with. Click2Resolve will not, however, be able to tell you how to set out your response.

Settlements

The business made the customer an offer before they made their application, can they still accept it?

Yes, any offer or offers made by the business before the customer made their application are open and they can accept them after they have made their application, unless the business has withdrawn the offer.

What if the business makes the customer an offer after they have made their application?

The customer can accept any offer made by the business after they have made their application. This is called an agreed settlement.

Will Click2Resolve negotiate with the customer for me?

Yes, Click2Resolve is an impartial, independent dispute resolution service; it will not act for either you or the customer. However, negotiations will only take place during the mediation process and Click2Resolve cannot be asked to take extra steps outside the mediation process.

Mediation Settlement Agreements

What can Click2Resolve make the business do?

Click2Resolve cannot make the business comply with any settlement agreement reached, but a settlement agreement will be binding on the parties (and is enforceable using other agencies, including the Court).

During the process, the mediator may make suggestions for resolving the dispute. We can, if appropriate, suggest that the business provide or do any or all of the following:

  • provide an explanation and/or an apology;
  • provide replacement goods and/or a service;
  • do something about the bill or bills;
  • take some specified action;
  • provide financial compensation

Remember that in all cases the mediator cannot order the business to pay the customer or to take any action or provide any goods or service. The parties have to apply to other agencies to enforce the agreement if it is not honoured.

Can Click2Resolve fine the business and/or take any punitive action against it?

No, Click2Resolve is not a regulator and cannot impose fines on businesses. The role of Click2Resolve is to resolve individual disputes between customers and businesses in an impartial manner.

What should I do when I make a proposal to the customer or receive a proposal from the customer?

You are free to take the matter further at any stage (before settlement).

The customer and business have 5 calendar days to tell Click2Resolve whether they accept any proposal (unless we agree a longer acceptance period). If both parties accept a proposal, it will be binding on the business and the customer.

Service: What if I want to complain about Click2Resolve?

Click2Resolve has a set complaints procedure, details of which appear on the website. ProMediate (UK) Limited complies with the EU Code of Conduct for Mediators and is registered with the Civil Mediation Council as an ADR Provider.

Is Click2Resolve registered under the Data Protection Act 1998?

Click2Resolve is operated by ProMediate (UK) Limited, which is registered under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Any Queries? – Contact Us

Click2Resolve – ProMediate – Brow Farm Top Road Frodsham WA6 6SP

Tel: 0871 268 9828 Email: enquiries@promediate.co.uk

Schedule of Charges

  1. Voluntary Membership fees: £100/250/500 plus VAT per annum to include wording for inclusion of Click2Resolve in terms and conditions. – not obligatory.
  2. Businesses may negotiate an all inclusive package to include a certain number of disputes to be dealt with per annum or alternatively, the cost per consumer case is as follows:
Value of Goods or Services in GBP Cost to Business in GBP
Up to £1,000 £100 plus VAT
£1,000 – £2,500 £125 plus VAT
£2,500 – £5,000 £150 plus VAT
£5,000 – £7,500 £200 plus VAT
7,500 – 10,000 £250 plus VAT
Above this can be referred to ProMediate’s general panel

 

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ProMediate is certified by CTSI to provide mediation services for consumer/business disputes in the UK. The charges that ProMediate is authorised to raise for each dispute dealt with are as follows:

Cost to businesses:

Value of Goods or Services

Up to £1,000                                         – £50 plus VAT

– £2,500                                                  – £75 plus VAT

– £5,000                                                  – £100 plus VAT

– £7,500                                                   – £125 plus VAT

– £10,000                                                 – £150 plus VAT

Payment can be made here for individual disputes:

Business Membership fee £100 plus VAT – sign up here……

Cost to Consumers:

Value of Goods or Services

Up to £1,000                                          – £10 plus VAT

£2,500                                                     – £25 plus VAT

£5,000                                                      – £50 plus VAT

£7,500                                                       – £75 plus VAT

£10,000                                                    – £100 plus VAT

The above charges are based upon 1 hour of mediator time. Disputes above this value can exit the scheme and be dealt with by ProMediate’s general mediation service.

It is a term of the Click2Resolve scheme that the business and consumer must consent to use the service, before instructing us.

Payment by Consumers can be made here……

Mediation Set up Service

If you contact us without first getting the other person or business to agree to use our service, we will contact them to try to obtain their agreement.

In those circumstances we do charge a set up fee for this service. It is sometimes possible to resolve your dispute informally after one or two calls without even booking a mediation appointment!

When we receive an initial enquiry we crack on immediately trying to make contact with the other side in the dispute, emailing info, leaving messages on the telephone and even text messages. Our working hours are never 9-5 and we will often make contact at a time that meets the needs of our clients, evenings and weekends included.

Sometimes one side requires key information before they will agree to mediate. We will often liaise with all concerned to make sure this is shared. Once contact is made there will be further to-ing and fro-ing to set up the appointment, documents sent out and making sure everyone is comfortable with the process.

We charge the following fees for contacting the other party in this way:

Value of Goods or services:

Up to £1,000 – £10 plus VAT

– £2,500       – £25 plus VAT

–  £2,500 upwards – £50 plus VAT

If you have already discussed your case with one of our mediators and need to pay your set up fee click below to pay by PayPal (if you need an alternative payment method please contact our office on 01928734630). (click below to make a payment)