ADR - an alternative to litigation

In case of a dispute, Alternative Dispute Resolution (“Schlichtung”) is still not a very known means of redress, although it is an expedient and free (or at least cost-effective) resolution of a dispute through an impartial third party or a decision-making body.

Approximately two million cases (not counting family matters) are treated by German civil courts each year. This estimated number gives an idea of our "culture of litigation". But there is another possibility to seek justice: an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). You have the choice!

Consumers who feel disregarded or misunderstood by traders or are not satisfied with their service don't think automatically of ADR. Still, they could try to reach an agreement by an out-of-court settlement via conciliation instead of leaving a justified complaint undecided because the value of the dispute seems to be too low or the expenses of a court proceeding too high.

But there is an alternative! more

The European Consumer Centre Germany in Kehl helps consumers who weren't successful in asserting their rights against a trader from another Member. No matter if it concerns online purchases or souvenirs shopping during vacation in a foreign EU-country.

The lawyers in Kehl assure that consumer complaints are treated properly and will help finding the competent ADR body in the country of the trader. more

Last not least, keep in mind the following three golden rules:

1. The best thing would be of course if there wasn’t a reason for complaint. So be cautious and choose your trader carefully. When purchasing via Internet, one hast to be even ore cautious.

2. Do not renounce your rights. As long as you have a good reason to complain and you can prove your claim, you don’t have to renounce your right - even if the opposing party is refusing your claim. If it concerns cross-border disputes, the European Consumer Centre can help you.

3. Take advantage of the Network of European Consumer Centres! The ECC-Net overcomes borders and language barriers as well as differences between the different legal systems. So take advantage of the generally free service of the European Consumer Centres in order to protect your rights.