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Resolving disputes

Resolving disputes

As with all consumer claims, the ultimate recourse is an action in the civil courts.  Additionally, many disputes of this kind will be covered by a form of “alternative dispute resolution” (ADR) which can be a quicker and easier alternative to considering court action.  One type is the online dispute resolution systems operated by many multi-seller e-marketplaces.  Another is the Financial Ombudsman Service, which can be used for disputes which are fully or partially financed by credit (such as a bank credit card) and for which the total amount paid (price of goods plus delivery charge) is £100 or more.  Rather than only deal with the seller, a consumer can refer a case to a relevant ADR.  Not all purchases are covered, but many are.

Example 5

Alternative Dispute resolution

The consumer in Example 2  uses his credit card to purchase the TV.

Consumer Rights

All the rights listed under Example 2 can be claimed against the seller OR the credit card provider (i.e. a bank or other financial institution) and ultimately the Financial Ombudsman Service can rule on the case.

What can consumer do?
  • Instead of taking steps in relation to the seller, the consumer can hold their credit card provider liable.
  • If the card provider fails to resolve the matter in the prescribed time-scale, the consumer can refer the case to the Financial Ombudsman Service.  In addition to actual losses, this can include a claim for compensation for inconvenience.