Category Archives: Online Dispute Resolution

While you can mediate on-line is this the best solution?

In a previous blog we indicated that mediation is occurring on-line. Organizations such as e-bay are using this medium to settle disputes. However, in the U.S. on-line dispute resolution has recently come under fire. The concern is that consumers must use the dispute resolution on-line process to resolve their disputes and they cannot use any other method such as litigation.
In the U.S., litigation and class action law suits generally occur more frequently than in Canada. The concern in the U.S. is that companies are removing these options for consumers by making it mandatory for them to mediate or arbitrate without the other option to litigate.
Luckily, Canadian consumer protection law addresses this concern. Consumers in Canada cannot be forced into one method of dispute resolution.
The U.S. concern is interesting. It is an important point and why alternative dispute resolution should be just that, an alternative but not a mandatory means to dealing with a dispute.

Online Dispute Resolution – How Will it Work?

Can disputes really be settled online? The answer is yes, dispute resolution is already occurring online. The British Columbia Civil Resolution Tribunal provides online service that is the alternative to going to court to settle disputes. The process takes place on an online platform, phone or by video conferencing. If the dispute cannot be settled the parties can move to an adjudication process. A roster of mediators will assist in moving the dispute towards settlement.
eBay also uses an online dispute resolution service. eBay has settled over 60 million disputes online between buyers and sellers. There are different processes to settle disputes depending upon the nature of the dispute. The process tries to get parties to settle on their own. If it fails, then the parties present arguments to an adjudicator who considers each parties’ position and then makes a decision.
As Marshal McLuhan said: The medium is the message. It would appear that the time has come where some disputes can be resolved online. A great cost effective solution for some consumers but can all disputes be you resolved this way? Perhaps in some situations but not in all scenarios.

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