Consumers residing in the European Union can ask an ADR entities for help in order to solve disputes between them and traders stablished in any Member State of the EU, Norway or Iceland concerning contractual obligations stemming from sales or services contracts and regardless of whether the purchase or the contract was done in person or online.
All ADR bodies have been accredited with high quality standards in order to guarantee consumers access to out-of-court procedures with which they can assert their rights in the field of consumption. Each of these bodies have their own rules and procedures, but all share the common objective of resolving both domestic and cross-border disputes with the same guarantees and rapidity.
Each Member State must guarantee the existence of ADR bodies in order to cover, at least, the resolution of disputes involving traders established in their territory. In the event that there was no competent accredited ADR entity established in Spain to resolve a dispute, consumer will have access to another entity from another country.
The complaints must be submitted by consumers against traders. In this sense, complaints cannot be submitted by traders.
The participation in this system is voluntary for both parties, with the exceptions provided by law. For instance, in Spain, in the financial or air transport field, participation is mandatory for financial entities and airlines. In no case, the binding decision that terminates a mandatory participation procedure shall prevent the parties from accessing to the court.