Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a means of settling disputes without resorting to the courts.
Settling disputes is typically faster and cheaper for both the consumer and trader when using ADR.
There are different levels of ADR available through the NCS:
- Conciliation: where an independent third party helps the disputing parties to come to a mutually acceptable outcome.
- Arbitration: Where an independent third party considers the facts and takes a decision that is often agreed to be binding on one or both parties.
When to use ADR
Consumers should always try and to resolve a complaint with a trader directly before referring your case to an ADR service. Many traders have their own internal processes and policies and will look to come to an agreeable arrangement before using ADR.
However, if you have exhausted all internal processes and a suitable agreement cannot be reached, then ADR can help settle your dispute.
If a consumer is dissatisfied with the NCS at any point, the consumer can withdraw their case from us and is free to pursue other forms of redress, including court action.