The Online Dispute Resolution platform, aimed to help online shoppers settling disputes with merchants across Europe, still doesn’t offer exactly what it meant to do. The consumer tool was launched officially in February, but still five countries – including big ecommerce markets Germany and France – haven’t connected yet.
That’s the meager conclusion of Politico, an online newspaper that writes about politics in Europe. While the ODR platform (read: “What you should know about the alternative dispute resolution?” for more info) was supposed to be an easy, fast and inexpensive way to settle disputes with merchants, many consumers are still waiting for this tool or don’t even know it exists.
France, Germany, Luxembourg, Poland and Romania
The new EU legislation took effect from last February, but today not all 28 member countries are connected. At least five countries missed the deadline, Politico writes. At the moment there are no available national contact points in France, Germany, Luxembourg, Poland and Romania.
Politico asked all EU countries about the status of the implementation, but some didn’t respond. And the countries who did, said there was a lack of proper coordination and communication. For example, the director of Romania’s European Consumer Center has been trying for weeks to set up a help center in Romania, but the Ministry of Economy wouldn’t get back to her.
‘Most consumers aren’t aware of the option’
According to Politico, the majority of centers haven’t yet received a single complaints. “What’s, more, most consumers aren’t even aware of the option.” A European Commission spokeswoman acknowledges they need at least six months to a year to see if the platform will be useful to consumers. This spring the Commission will launch an advertising campaign to better inform consumers across Europe about the dispute resolution platform.