New online tool helps consumers resolve disputes
Contributed/Government of British Columbia
June 19, 2013 - 1:40 PM
A new online self-help tool offered by Consumer Protection BC will offer British Columbia consumers a modern and alternative way to resolve disputes with businesses focused on making it easier and cheaper to resolve differences.
Currently in the pilot stage, Consumer Protection BC developed the platform for Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) in consultation with the Ministry of Justice, which is leading and supporting dispute resolution innovations as part of its justice reform initiative.
In the past month, Rogers Communications Partnership (Rogers), Robbins Parking and SHAW have committed to using the ODR platform with their B.C. consumers to continue to improve the customer experience, resolve issues fairly, and complement other complaint-handling processes.
As an alternative dispute resolution option, the ODR platform can be accessed online at any time. During the pilot period, ODR is free for consumers and businesses to use.
During the ODR process, consumers and businesses work together to reach mutually agreed-upon resolutions. In specific situations, Consumer Protection BC, acting as a neutral third-party, can be called upon to lend assistance and mediation.
Through the justice reform initiative, the government is working to create a transparent, timely and balanced justice system for British Columbians.
Businesses serving B.C. consumers who are interested in participating in the ODR pilot are invited to contact Consumer Protection BC.
* Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) is an innovative project being
managed by Consumer Protection BC, the body established by the province
of British Columbia to promote a fair marketplace for B.C. consumers
* ODR helps further Consumer Protection BC's vision of "confident
consumers and trusted businesses in a thriving marketplace."
* Businesses that participate in ODR show their commitment to business
excellence and dedication to customer service. ODR can be complementary
to other complaint-handling processes that businesses may already have
* Consumer Protection BC is a not-for-profit corporation that was
created to strengthen consumer protection in B.C. and enforce consumer
* In 2012, the B.C. government passed legislation to allow the creation
of the Civil Resolution Tribunal. Once operational, it will also use
online dispute resolution as an alternative option for citizens dealing
with strata property and small claim disputes.
For more information about the Online Dispute Resolution program, go to: www.resolveyourdispute.ca
If you have questions about your rights and responsibilities as a consumer in British Columbia, please contact Consumer Protection BC toll-free at 1 888 564-9963 or visit: www.consumerprotectionbc.ca
For more information about the B.C. government's Civil Resolution Tribunal initiative, go to: www.ag.gov.bc.ca/legislation/civil-resolution-tribunal-act/
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