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Annual and Biannual Report

Schedules 5 and 6 of the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations

This was the second year of operation and again there was minimal publicity given to the Regulations and no enforcement of any breach of the Regulations that we were aware of.  There has been no planning for dealing with the EU Platform following Brexit.  Nonetheless we have seen an increase in ADR mediations carried out.

1. Number of Domestic Disputes and Cross Border Disputes “Received”.

Since 1 October 2016 – 1 October 2017

68 disputes received.

0 cross border

2. Types of Complaints to which the domestic disputes and cross-border disputes relate

Travel/holiday

Gambling – 0

Carpet/flooring purchase/fitting

Domestic Building – bathroom and kitchen fitting

Car servicing/motor purchase

Wedding transport

Credit hire and repair

By far the majority of complaints were those from customers who had purchased vehicles or regarding servicing, as well as domestic building disputes.

3. Systematic or significant Problems that occur frequently and lead to disputes between consumers and traders of which we have become aware due to our operations as an ADR entity

Too few dealt with to comment on any systematic or significant problems that occur frequently. We received many complaints about motor purchase and servicing, but the disputes could not be dealt with through ADR as the traders would not agree to use ADR. The same issue arose regarding domestic building disputes and vehicle purchase or repair. We received many complaints from customers but the traders would not engage in the ADR process.  These are areas where there is a real need for ADR that is not being met.  We also received 5 complaint enquiries concerning solicitors by clients but the solicitors were unwilling to use ADR despite notifying the clients about our service.  This proved to be very confusing to clients who could not understand why the solicitor was mentioning us, only to decline to use us.  This involved significant wasted time on our part and also the clients’ parts.

4. The number of disputes that we have refused to deal with, and percentage share of the grounds set out in paragraph 13 of schedule 3 on which we have declined to consider such disputes.

0 – We did not decline to deal with any disputes.

5. Percentage of adr procedures which were discontinued for operational reasons and, if known, the reasons for the discontinuation.

0 – We did not discontinue any procedures.

6. The average time taken to resolve domestic and cross border disputes

23.5 days (increase in resolution time owing to retailers delays in responding to complaints)

7. The rate of compliance, if known, with the outcomes of the adr procedures

100% complied

8. The cooperation, if any, of the ADR entity within any network of ADR entities which facilitates the resolution of cross-border disputes.

We were not aware of any network of ADR entities which facilitates the resolution of cross border disputes.

9. any recommendations the ADR entity may have as to how any systematic or significant problems that occur frequently and lead to disputes between consumers and traders could be avoided or resolved in future;  The Regulations should be amended to make use of ADR compulsory for retailers and garages.

10.  where the ADR entity is a member of any network of ADR entities which facilitates the resolution of cross-border disputes, an assessment of the effectiveness of its co-operation in that network; – not applicable.

11.  where the ADR entity provides training to its ADR officials, details of the training it provides; – we do not provide training other than shadowing opportunities for new mediators.  All our ADR officials are members of the Civil Mediation Council and certify that they have completed Continuing Professional Development annually.

12.  an assessment of the effectiveness of an alternative dispute resolution procedure offered by the ADR entity and of possible ways of improving its performance.  We have assessed our performance and the feedback received and consider that we are performing well.  This is demonstrated by our 4.9 star feedback on google reviews.  There is always room for improvement and we intend to focus on the following areas:

  • Shortening completion times – by pressing traders for a response within the 28 days we aim to resolve disputes and emphasising this objective.