Alternative dispute resolution could be the answer, avoiding legal proceedings, and reducing cost and stress. It’s simpler than you think. And it can be quite quick too. Here’s how it works.
Complaint is made against the seller. The seller has 14 days to acknowledge your complaint.
Upon receipt of the complaint, the seller has 56 days to either resolve your complaint, request an extension, or advise deadlock is reached and signpost you to an approved ADR provider. Sellers using Dispute Assist can offer our assistance after 28 days.
Once a dispute has been raised, Dispute Assist will look to mediate the case informally in the first 7 days.
If we cannot resolve the case in the first 7 days, we will move to our formal conciliation stage. We have up to 90 days to resolve/close the dispute. We averaged 4.4 days in 2021. Our goal to work with you both to prevent the need for costly, time-consuming litigation.
Once we have resolved, the case will be closed and both parties will receive communications outlining what has been agreed and the timelines involved.
If at the end of the process, agreement cannot be reached, at our discretion, we may provide both parties access to our exclusive Expert Determination panel, independent from Dispute Assist, who will hear the case and issue a decision legally binding on both sides.
Through our process, our officers use a range of tools and resources to ensure they, and both parties, have all the information they need in order to reach a sensible outcome. Both parties also have access to our independent contractor network if required, in order to fulfil any remedial works.
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Dispute resolution is often free to consumers, when it involves a company displaying the Dispute Assist badge, or who confirm that we are their providers.
Mediation is designed to bring about a mutually agreeable solution between both parties within a speedy time frame. The process is voluntary and is non legally binding on both parties.
Both parties can negotiate using an impartial mediator in order to try and resolve the dispute.
It can prevent the dispute being elevated to legal proceedings/court which can be an expensive and lengthy process.
It can prevent further stress, upset and frustration.
ADR is quick so should reduce the time to resolve the dispute.
The company the complaint is against and the customer who has made the complaint. If the customer wishes to have a representative to act on their behalf, they will be required to provide authorisation to do this.
It depends on the circumstances as the purpose of mediation is to gain all the necessary information to gain an amicable conclusion between both parties, therefore, neither party can keep adding to their complaint as this can and will frustrate the process.
However, if there are further issues encountered when the contents of the agreement is being carried out, this will need to be reported to the mediator and a new agreement will need to be drafted and signed by both parties.
In ADR, mediation involves an impartial professional guiding parties towards a mutually agreeable solution through open dialogue, without legal binding. This 'soft' process challenges viewpoints and fosters compromise. At Dispute Assist, our mediators specialise in home improvement and renewable energy disputes, ensuring efficient, industry-focused resolutions.
Conciliation, a more assertive ADR approach, brings parties closer to resolving disputes outside court. An experienced officer proposes potential solutions if parties struggle independently. Dispute Assist excels in this, leveraging our industry-focused ADR Officers to facilitate fair settlements by drawing on their industry expertise.
A couple of choices here. Continue utilising our service where we will escalate your dispute to arbitration or expert determination.
Alternatively, you can progress to the more expensive litigation route.
Under the Consumer Rights Act of 2015, traders are required to 'signpost' consumers to an ADR provider in the event of a dispute.
Consumers and installers and businesses must provide the dispute resolution officers with evidence.
The officer will ask both parties for this information if required. On some occasions it is not always required if the complaint is something that can be done with just a couple of phone calls.
The ADR process has a 90-day resolution time with extensions if necessary and both parties agree.
However, at Dispute Assist our aim is to resolve complaints quickly and fairly and our average dispute resolution time is industry-leading at just 5.6 days.
Any compromise agreement is binding on both parties providing both parties have read, digested, and signed the agreement.
Should the dispute be escalated to arbitration or expert determination, the outcome is legally binding on both parties.
Our services provide unwavering support across diverse situations, ensuring transparency, accuracy, and reliable insights when crucial.
Engaging means accessing a tailored framework for claims, legal actions, home projects, or moves. Our commitment remains steadfast.
In vital moments, we offer clarity and align offerings with values, providing expertise and empowering insights for confident decisions.
Quick to arrange
Recorded and file provided
Suitable for minor complaints
Our most popular inspection
Within 7 working days
Digital report supplied
Within 14 working days
Useful for legal interpretation
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