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Alternative Dispute Resolution – new rules have been in force for a year now

Alternative Dispute Resolution – new rules have been in force for a year now

Dodano: 2018-01-16
Publikator: Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

For a year now instead of waging a court battle an unsatisfied consumer can take advantage of out-of-court proceedings (Alternative Dispute Resolution). It’s faster – takes a maximum of 90 days – usually free and less stressful. Such a possibility was introduced by the Act on Out-of-Court Consumer Dispute Resolution, which came into force on 10 January 2017.

 

Many consumers are interested in it. In the past year, the Contact Point at the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection provided over 800 pieces of information on ADR proceedings. The disputes usually concerned shoes, clothes, audio/video devices and white goods, as well as air travel. Consumers also reported problems with utility suppliers, telecommunications companies, railway operators and banks.

“It’s a significant success”, emphasises Marek Niechciał, President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. “UOKiK neither conducts ADR proceedings, nor accepts applications. It’s done by authorised entities. However, our Contact Point provides advice, and can help fill in documents, as well as indicate at which institution they need to be submitted”.

Who conducts ADR proceedings?

  • Financial Ombudsman. Financial and insurance disputes. The institution currently is in charge of approximately 3,500 cases.
  • The arbitration court attached to the Polish Financial Supervision Authority. Financial disputes. By November 2017 it had received 2,380 applications and is in charge of 900 proceedings.
  • Banking Arbitrator attached to the Polish Bank Association. Only disputes with banks. By the end of the 3rd quarter of 2017 it had received 884 applications.
  • The President of the Office of Electronic Communications. Telecommunications and postal services disputes. In November 2017, it was in charge of approximately 1,400 proceedings.
  • The Negotiation Coordinator attached to the President of the Polish Energy Regulatory Office. Disputes with electricity, gas and heating suppliers. By November 2017, it had received approximately 300 cases.
  • The Rail Passenger Rights Ombudsman attached to the President of the Office of Rail Transport. Disputes with railway operators. In November 2017, it conducted approximately 130 ADR cases.
  • “Friendly flying” Passenger Rights Association. Disputes with airlines. From April to mid-December 2017, it was in charge of 10 mediation proceedings.
  • Trade Inspection Authority. Disputes connected with selling goods and services, e.g. with sellers, developers, refurbishment companies or travel agents. From 10 January to 15 December 2017, the Trade Inspection Authority received, in total, 7,970 applications for ADR proceedings. In mid-December 2017, the Trade Inspection Authority conducted, in total, 1,013 proceedings in the area of consumer conciliation and mediation.

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