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Consumer ADR Guidance

Contact Us: 0203 621 3908 OR 0782 796 1764 OR enquiries@promediate.co.uk
 

click2resolve


GUIDANCE FOR CONSUMERS

ProMediate operates 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 Limited and authorised by Chartered Trading Standards Institute as competent authority as an ADR body.

We will accept any complaints about a business, and lawyers, subject to the terms of acceptance, to include both domestic and cross-border disputes.

ProMediate’s charges must be paid by the consumer when the complaint is submitted to us  (except in the case of lawyers’ complaints or OfCom/communications where there is no charge to the consumer, or if the business agrees to pay the consumer’s share of the mediation costs).

We do not make a decision about your dispute but conciliate and mediate between you and the business 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.

We do not propose a solution but any mediation will take into account consumer law to ensure neither party is deprived of the protections those laws allow.

The outcome is binding on the parties if they reach agreement.

The participants do not have to seek independent advice or third party assistance in order to access the ProMediate ADR procedure but they may do so if they wish.

Participation in the procedure does not prevent the possibility of seeking redress through court proceedings; and the proposed solution may be different from an outcome determined by a court applying legal rules.

If the Business refuses to pay any charges the process will be terminated and the customer will be refunded. The consumer indicates agreement to the terms of the mediation process when submitting the Complaint Form or details of the complaint. The nominal charges for the service can be paid through Paypal.  Payment is per complaint on the basis of the value of the goods or services in dispute.

Our Charges

Our charges start at £5 for consumers complaining about goods or services costing up to £250.

The costs are as follows:

dispute/complaint value

up to £250 – £5

up to £500 – £10

up to £1,000 – £25

up t0 £2,500 – £40

up to £5,000 – £65

up to £7,500 – £90

up to £10,000 – £115

 

PLUS VAT

 

Value of dispute




 

 

Low value dispute/complaint



Mediation Set up Service – (not part of the approved ADR Process under the Alternative Dispute Resolution (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015.)

In addition, ProMediate can contact the other party to set up the mediation if they have not yet confirmed whether they will do so. The mediation set up charges can be paid through PayPal also.

We will contact the other party and invite them to use mediation to resolve the dispute.

We will also put forward a “without prejudice” offer to resolve matters for you if you wish to make one at this stage.

If the other party refuses to mediate or ignores our invitation, within 7 working days then we will produce a certificate for you to demonstrate to the Court that you have acted reasonably and as to the other party’s unreasonable conduct and behaviour which may result in the Court penalising the other party.

Payment for the set up service is deducted from the cost of the ADR process if the other party is willing to use alternative dispute resolution.

Please note that this set up service is not part of the approved ADR Process under the Alternative Dispute Resolution (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015.

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

£25 plus VAT for complaints up to £1000 in value. £50 plus VAT for complaints over £1000


 

 

Mediation Set Up Fee



Who makes the decision in relation to my dispute? Click2Resolve does not make a decision about your dispute but conciliates and mediates between you and the business 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 email, uploading them to the website, (or by post)

Participation in the procedure does not prevent the possibility of seeking redress through court proceedings; and the proposed solution may be different from an outcome determined by a court applying legal rules.

The customer will also indicate their chosen method of communication for the process and make payment. After you have submitted your complaint form and any supporting documents, we will forward these to the Business within 7 calendar days.

The business will then submit its response form and supporting documents, within 7 calendar days and we will then contact the parties by telephone or email to try to resolve the case. Upon receipt of the Complaint Form, a mediator will be allocated to deal with the case, after checking that they do not have any conflict of interest and that the Refusals Policy does not apply (see below).

ADR Officials – The Mediator

Your claim will be dealt with by a professional, fully trained mediator (ADR Official) who will be completely independent and impartial as well as being knowledgeable regarding the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and other consumer legislation.  If the matter concerns a postal or communications business regulated by OfCom, the mediator will have a knowledge and understanding of the Postal Services Act and Communications Act as well as experience of postal and communications litigation.

A list of Our 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. We 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 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

We do not propose a solution but any mediation will take into account consumer law to ensure neither party is deprived of the protections those laws allow.

The outcome is binding on the parties if they reach agreement.

The participants do not have to seek independent advice or third party assistance in order to access the ProMediate ADR procedure but they may do so if they wish.

Participation in the procedure does not prevent the possibility of seeking redress through court proceedings; and the proposed solution may be different from an outcome determined by a court applying legal rules.

The mediator will act as a go-between between you and the business, discuss the details of the complaint and see whether there is any scope for agreement between you. All communications between you, the business 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 and if the complaint settles, will help draw up an agreement. If, at the end of 28 calendar days from receipt of the Complaint Form and Response Form (or 90 day long stop), no solution has been agreed, the mediator will confirm that no settlement has been reached in durable format. During the process they will consider the evidence submitted by the parties and the Complaint and Response Forms, all relevant law, when considering what is most fair and reasonable in light of all of the circumstances before them. The process can be extended by consent of both parties, upon payment of a further fee. There is a long stop deadline of 90 days to complete the process.

Can I talk directly to the mediator?

Yes, after you have submitted your Complaint Form and supporting documents (online or by post), the mediator will forward these documents to the business within 7 days and the business will submit its Response Form and documents (or in some cases, the business may respond by telephone).

The mediator will then email or telephone you within a further 7 days after the business has submitted its Response Form and documents.

The mediator will send you a copy of the business’ response, or summarise this if provided by telephone.

During mediation the mediator is available to discuss the matter further by telephone (without the business hearing what you have to say) or will use the preferred means of communication. The 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.

When will the dispute be resolved?

We will deal with your dispute within 28 calendar days of receiving your completed Complaint Form and the Response Form. If the claim has not settled, to assist the parties, the mediator will issue confirmation that the matter has not been resolved. There is a long stop deadline of 90 days to complete the process from receipt of the Complaint Form.

Do I have to use us?

No, you are not obliged to make an application to us in order to resolve your dispute.

Do I have to pay to use the scheme?

Yes, consumers do pay a nominal fee to use Our services, per complaint, as set out in the schedule of charges, below (unless the complaint is about a lawyer or the business agrees to pay all the mediation charges). The Business also pays a fee to Us.

Can I recover the costs of preparing my case?

No, you must pay any costs you incur in preparing and submitting your case, 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 Us

When can I make an application to Us? An application to can be made after:

  1. you have exhausted the business’ complaints procedure; and
  2. you have been told by the business that that you are eligible to apply to us in an email or “deadlock” letter (where you have come to the end of the internal process and the dispute has not settled).

What should I consider before making my application?

You should read these guidance notes carefully before making an application to ensure your claim can be dealt with by Us.

What kind of disputes can we deal with?

We can deal with disputes related to any consumer issues relating to the provision of goods and/or services which have been the subject of an internal business complaints procedure. We will assess your application against the Refusals Policy criteria (see below) and if your dispute does not fall within the scope of the scheme, you will be told by us and your application will not be referred to a mediator.

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

What kind of disputes cannot be dealt with by Us?

Refusals Policy

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

  • if prior to submitting the complaint, the consumer has not attempted to contact the business concerned in order to discuss the customer’s complaint and sought, as a first step, to resolve the matter directly with the business.
  • any dispute or disputes that are and considered by us 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 than £10,000.
  • the customer has not submitted the complaint within 12 months from the date upon which the business has given notice to the customer that the business is unable to resolve the complaint with the customer.

You should only apply if your dispute falls within the criteria of acceptable cases detailed above. If you are unsure, you can contact us

What is the maximum amount I am able to claim under the scheme?

The maximum claim amount is £10,000 per purchase or per transaction (except in the case of complaints about lawyers where the maximum is £50,000). Claims with a higher value can be dealt with by ProMediate outside the scheme.

Refusals

Where, in accordance with the policy on refusals we are 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 should I put in my application?

You will need to include the letter or email from the business telling you that you can apply to us. You should set out what your dispute is about and your application should include details of:

  • the company’s goods or services which the dispute is about;
  • the events leading to the complaint;
  • the precise issues in dispute;
  • the steps already taken to attempt to reach a resolution with the business;
  • the relevant dates for the service issues and prior steps taken to seek resolution;
  • the reasons for requesting the remedy or remedies sought;
  • the reasons and evidence in support of any compensation claimed;
  • the remedy or remedies being sought;
  • any relevant supporting documents – remember it will help your application if you can provide evidence to support your claim.

Finally you must let us have your authority to allow the company to release all information on their files relating to your claim. We have designed an application form that will take you through these requirements step by step.

Can you help me with my application?

Yes, our team is available to offer guidance about how to make your application. We are committed to providing appropriate accessibility for everyone it deals with. We will not, however, be able to tell you how to set out your claim or offer any advice about the claim you wish to make.

Settlements

The business made me an offer before I made my application, can I still accept it? Yes, any offer or offers made by the business before you made your application are open and you can accept them after you have made your application, unless the business has withdrawn the offer.

What if the business makes me an offer after I have made my application?

You can accept any offer made by the business after you have made your application. This is called an agreed settlement.

Will you negotiate with the business for me?

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

Mediation Settlement Agreements

What can We make the business do? Whilst it is anticipated that businesses will comply with settlement agreements, We 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). During the process, 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 or services;
  • do something about your bill or bills;
  • take some specified action ;
  • provide financial compensation

Remember that in all cases the mediator cannot order the business to pay you or to take any action or provide any goods or service. If the business does not honor any agreement reached, you will need to take Court action or use other agencies to enforce the agreement.

It is important to note that participation in the procedure does not prevent the possibility of seeking redress through court proceedings; and the proposed solution may be different from an outcome determined by a court applying legal rules.

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

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

What should I do when I receive a settlement proposal?

You are free to take the matter further at any stage (before settlement). You have 5 calendar days to tell us whether you accept any proposal (unless we agree a longer acceptance period). If you accept a proposal, it will be binding on the business and the customer.

Service: What if I want to complain about You?

We have a set complaints procedure which can be found on the website. ProMediate (UK) Limited which is registered with the Civil Mediation Council as an ADR Provider and complies with the EU Code of Conduct for Mediators.

Are you registered under the Data Protection Act 1998?

ProMediate (UK) Limited, is registered under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Any Queries? Contact Us: Promediate Brow Farm Top Road Frodsham WA6 6SP Tel: 0203 621 3908 Email: enquiries@promediate.co.uk

Table of Charges – Payment Per Complaint

Value of Goods or Services – cost in GBP Low Cost to Consumer – cost in GBP
Up to £1,000 £25 plus VAT
£1,000 – £2,500 £40 plus VAT
£2,500 – £5,000 £65 plus VAT
£5,000 – £7,500 £90 plus VAT
£7,500 – £10,000 £115 plus VAT
Disputes above this value can be dealt with by ProMediate’s general mediation service

Alternative Dispute Resolution privacy notice

We keep this privacy notice under regular review and it was last updated in 2022.

ProMediate respects your privacy and is committed to protecting your personal data. This privacy notice will inform you as to how we look after your personal data and tell you about your privacy rights and how the law protects you.

Who we are

ProMediate collects, uses and is responsible for certain personal information about you. When we do so we are regulated under the United Kingdom General Data Protection Regulation (‘UK GDPR’) and the Data Protection Act 2018. We are responsible as ‘controller’ of that personal information.

ProMediate is a registered Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Entity with the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, delivering a scheme to resolve disputes between consumers and traders/businesses in relation to goods or services bought.

Our Data Protection Officer is Peter Causton.

Personal information we collect and use

Information collected by us

In the course of dealing with your consumer complaint and mediating with the trader, we collect the following personal information when you provide it to us:

Name
Contact details (address, email address, telephone numbers).
How we use your personal information

We use your personal information to deliver our ADR scheme to resolve disputes between consumers and traders/businesses in relation to goods or services you have bought.

Reasons we can collect and use your personal information

We rely on Article 6(1)(c) as the lawful basis on which we collect and use your personal data ie ‘processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation’. The legal basis for this is The Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015.

As we have a statutory basis for collecting your personal data if you do not provide all of the personal data requested, we may be unable to process your application and deliver dispute resolution.

How long your personal data will be kept

We will hold your personal information for six years following the resolution of the case, after which time, the entire file will be securely destroyed.

Where any fee for providing the service is not paid, the application and all personal information will be destroyed once a period of reasonable notice is given.

Who we share your personal information with

Your personal data is shared only for the purposes of providing a dispute resolution service, and only with those delivering this service (namely ProMediate ADR service or mediation and any appointed approved contractor). As per the process, personal details will be shared between the two parties who are in dispute.

The results of the dispute resolution will be shared with both parties to the dispute and any subscribing organisation through whom you have accessed the scheme.

Due to the regulatory nature of the ADR scheme, the information provided may be shared with bodies who audit the scheme for purposes of accreditation.

We will share personal information with law enforcement or other authorities if required by applicable law or in connection with legal proceedings.

Your rights

Under the UK GDPR you have a number of rights which you can access free of charge which allow you to:

know what we are doing with your information and why we are doing it
ask to see what information we hold about you
ask us to correct any mistakes in the information we hold about you
object to direct marketing
make a complaint to the Information Commissioners Office.
Depending on our reason for using your information you may also be entitled to:

object to how we are using your information
ask us to delete information we hold about you
have your information transferred electronically to yourself or to another organisation object to decisions being made that significantly affect you
stop us using your information in certain ways.
We will always seek to comply with your request however we may be required to hold or use your information to comply with legal duties. Please note: your request may delay or prevent us delivering a service to you.

For further information about your rights, including the circumstances in which they apply, see the guidance from the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on individuals’ rights under the United Kingdom General Data Protection Regulation.

If you would like to exercise a right, please contact the Information Resilience and Transparency Team at admin@promediate.co.uk

Keeping your personal information secure

We have appropriate security measures in place to prevent personal information from being accidentally lost, or used or accessed in an unauthorised way. We limit access to your personal information to those who have a genuine business need to know it. Those processing your information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.

Who to contact

Please contact the Information Resilience and Transparency Team at admin@promesiate.co.uk to exercise any of your rights, or if you have a complaint about why your information has been collected, how it has been used or how long we have kept it for.

You can contact our Data Protection Officer, Peter Causton at petercauston@btinternet.com

 

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