In accordance with recent European Union legislation, it is possible to use alternative dispute resolution to resolve contractual disputes between a consumer and a trader established in the EU.
In this context, we provide you with all the information you need to exercise your right to complain to an official and impartial “alternative dispute resolution body”, which will help you settle the dispute in question.
What is alternative dispute resolution?
Alternative dispute resolution gives consumers the opportunity to turn to official organisations to help them resolve or steer conflicts, before judicial options are considered.
Alternative dispute resolution is, as a rule, less expensive, less formalised and quicker than the judicial process.
Most of these organisations intervene free of charge or at a reduced cost compared to judicial channels.
In most cases, they reach a result within 90 days.
The procedure involves the intervention of a third party who acts as an intermediary between the consumer and the trader concerned by the complaint.
This intermediary is specialised and impartial, and can suggest solutions or impose decisions, in the task of mediating the conflict between the trader and the consumer, reconciling the parties towards an amicable solution.
In cases where such an agreement is not reached, the parties can still resort to the arbitration court, through a faster and more simplified process.
You should bear in mind that the judgement handed down by the arbitration court is binding and is equivalent to a decision by a court of first instance.
What is the consumer arbitration network? The consumer arbitration network is made up of neutral extrajudicial bodies such as conciliators, mediators, arbitrators, ombudsmen and dispute resolution commissions that are obliged to meet strict quality criteria established by the EU, guaranteeing that the dispute will be dealt with effectively, fairly, independently and transparently.
Its aim is to ensure coordination, the use of common systems and the harmonisation of procedures followed in the information, mediation, conciliation and arbitration of consumer disputes by the consumer arbitration centres it aggregates. The consumer arbitration network is also responsible for promoting the integrated operation of consumer dispute arbitration centres.
Online Dispute Resolution Platform:
The European Union has set up a platform to help consumers submit complaints about any dispute in which they are involved.
If you have been dissatisfied with the purchase of a product or service, or if you have not found a satisfactory solution through our proposals, we invite you to access this official platform in order to submit your complaint:
Other means of resolving consumer disputes:
In addition to the platform provided by the European Union, consumers can also use the following national alternative dispute resolution organisations:
- CNIACC – Centro Nacional de Informação e Arbitragem de Conflitos de Consumo (National Consumer Conflict Information and Arbitration Centre)
- CACCL – Centro de Arbitragem de Conflitos de Consumo de Lisboa (Lisbon Consumer Conflict Arbitration Centre)
- CACCVA – Centro de Arbitragem de Conflitos de Consumo do Vale do Ave/Tribunal Arbitral (Vale do Ave Consumer Conflict Arbitration Centre/Arbitration Court)
- CICAP – Centro de Informação de Consumo e Arbitragem do Porto (Tribunal Arbitral de Consumo) (Oporto Consumer Information and Arbitration Centre (Consumer Arbitration Court)
- CIMAAL – Centro de Informação, Mediação e Arbitragem de Conflitos de Consumo de Algarve (Algarve Consumer Conflict Information, Mediation and Arbitration Centre)
- CIAB – Centro de Informação, Mediação e Arbitragem de Consumo (Tribunal Arbitral de Consumo) (Consumer Information, Mediation and Arbitration Centre (Consumer Arbitration Court)
- CIMPAS – Centro de Informação, Mediação e Provedoria de Seguros (Insurance Information, Mediation and Ombudsman Centre)
National Consumer Conflict Information and Arbitration Centre:
If you need the intervention of the National Centre for Information and Arbitration of Consumer Disputes to resolve a particular dispute, please consult:
- CNIACC – Telephone: 253 619 107
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://www.cniacc.pt/
- Address: Rua D. Afonso Henriques, 1, 4700-030 Braga
- Law on mechanisms for out-of-court resolution of consumer disputes – Law no. 144 of 8 September 2015
- Justice of the Peace Law – Law no. 78/2001, of 13 July
- Mediation Law – Law no. 29/2013, of 19 April
- Arbitration Law – Law no. 63/2011, of 14 December
- Establishing of institutionalised arbitration centres – Decree-Law no. 425/86, of 27 December