There are always huge chances of consumer disputes that can be settled in a court or through an arbitrator. Parties can agree to arbitrate a particular dispute for a good solution to the dispute. Consumer arbitration is an independent dispute resolution scheme dealing with disputed matters between consumers and traders. Consumer disputes always need fair administration. In the Consumer Arbitration process, a claimant submits their claim to the arbitrator. The opposing party answers the claim. A neutral arbitrator will collect the evidence and listen to the answers and arguments from both parties. He then gives an award after careful consideration. Consumer arbitration is an alternative method to resolve disputes on behalf of consumers if they are not satisfied with the trader’s goods or services.
Arbitration is a process for dispute settlement in which an independent third party can make a final decision on behalf of both parties in dispute. An arbitrator plays the role of the judge. The arbitration process is not so formal. An arbitrator is an expert in settling disputes. Complaint starts and ends with the arbitrator, who is independent in his decisions. No one else can influence his decision.
Whether you have construction contracts, workplace issues, labour issues, divorce problems, or any personal issue, you can go to court by paying huge legal fees for the consultancy lawyers and judges. You put your fate in the hands of the judge. Instead, you can contact a consumer arbitration authority to save your precious time and money.
Purpose of Arbitration
The basic purpose is the receipt of disputes that two parties do not resolve. They need to administer the activities and provide remedies to resolve the disputed matters. They have to make recommendations to all members about their rules, regulations, provisions, procedures, and policies.
Structure of Consumer arbitration
Consumer arbitration is set up with a structure of three parts as given below:
- Arbitration office
- The office of the arbitrator
- Consumer arbitration standard board
An arbitrator must be committed to integrity, openness, honesty, and reliability.
Kinds of Disputes
Most of the matters related to the consumer and trader can be resolved in consumer arbitration. These disputes can be related to:
- Returning goods
- Missing parts
- Leisure services
- Defected items
- Wrong items
- Consumer goods
- Consumer services
- Customer service
- Product description
There are a few complaints that consumer arbitration doesn’t deal with:
- Financial institutes like banks
- Sales of vehicles
- Services related to vehicles
- Utility providers like gas, electricity, and water providers
- Phone service providers
A consumer and trader can bring their complaint to the consumer arbitration in three ways:
They can visit the authorised Consumer Arbitration office or the arbitrator’s office.
They can fill out the form and send it to the office by post.
They can apply through the online application system to file their complaint. To access the online portal, you can simply go to the official website.
Check the application requirements and fill out your application form to file your complaint. Once you have submitted your application form with the processing fee, the administrative team will have a detailed review to verify that the claim is genuine or not. They usually take 48 hours for the verification of the claim.
If you pass the review step, the team will send your application to the trader for further review. The deadline to respond to the claim is 21 days. The trader must provide a defence to the claim with this given time.
When the trader submits their response or defence, you will get a notification to comment further on the trader’s response. You can submit your reply within seven days. In the same way, a trader will have the next seven days to respond to your reply.
Later, they will send your case and the trader’s and consumer’s comments to the arbitrator. The arbitrator will carefully review the application and the replies of both parties to give a final written decision.
Before you file your complaint to the consumer arbitration office, you must complain to the business directly about the goods and services they sold you. You can submit your complaints without any advice from a third party.