Alternative Dispute Resolution

The Consumer Protection Association

The Consumer Protection Association team

If you’ve received a complaint about an installation, product or service and you’ve been unable to directly resolve the issue; an independent third party could provide the solution. At the CPA, we provide an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service. Depending on your specific problem we can offer:

  • Conciliation
  • Mediation
  • Adjudication
  • Arbitration
  • Ombudsman schemes

Avoid a costly court battle

ADR involves meeting together with the consumer and an independent third party to try to reach an agreement. A typical ADR scheme will include support from caseworkers, confidential proceedings, and a quick resolution. It is important to note that judges now generally expect disputes to have tried to be resolved using ADR before going to court. It is beneficial for both parties to resolve any disputes outside court to avoid expensive court fees and lengthy legal complications.

Conciliation and mediation

Conciliation and mediation are often offered before arbitration. Conciliation focuses on the relationship between the trader and consumer and seeks to find a way of solving the problem in the fairest way. Mediation focuses on the problem and finding the best solution.

During the process the mediator will ask questions to both parties to try to find out as much information as possible. They will then usually offer several options to try to resolve the dispute.

Adjudication and arbitration

The processes of adjudication and arbitration are very similar. Both look at written evidence from both parties and try to make a fair decision based on this evidence and their knowledge of the industry involved.

There is, however, an important difference between the 2 processes. With adjudication, if the outcome is unsatisfactory to either party then they can decide to take the matter to court. With arbitration, the arbitrator’s decision is final and must be accepted even if one or both parties are not in agreement with the decision.

Ombudsman schemes

If 2 parties have reached a deadlock or if the dispute has lasted for longer than 8 weeks; the ombudsman will consider the dispute. The ombudsman will look at evidence from both sides and make an impartial decision based on this. An ombudsman’s decision can be legally binding and may be different from a court room outcome.

Promoting industry impartiality

At the CPA, we work directly with the retail ombudsman to find fair resolutions to any disputes. We have extensive knowledge of the Consumer Rights Act and we’ll always work with integrity to protect both traders and consumers from unfair complaints and sub-standard work. Save time, money, and unnecessary stress with expert impartial help from the CPA. Lengthy court battles can become a thing of the past with ADR from the CPA.