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CEDR can provide dispute resolution services for business in most sectors.

Further information

Consumer FAQs

We provide independent Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for consumers when they experience problems with traders

Depending on the Scheme, there are three options for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). These are Adjudication, Arbitration and Conciliation. 

Adjudication is a process by which an adjudicator, who is usually legally qualified, weighs up the documents and evidence provided by the customer and the company in order to reach a decision. The adjudicator will take into account the law relevant to the subject matter of the dispute at hand. The adjudicator’s decision is binding upon both parties* if the customer chooses to accept it. If the customer chooses not to accept the decision, it will have no binding effect on either party.

Arbitration is a legal process carried out in line with the Arbitration Act 1996 by which a third party arbitrator determines the outcome of a dispute. The arbitrator has wide discretion to determine the way in which the case will run. The arbitrator’s award is binding on both parties upon its publication, and it can be enforced directly in the courts in the event that either party does not comply with it.

Conciliation is an informal process for settling disputes through direct negotiations. A conciliator contacts the parties directly, usually by telephone, to attempt to encourage a negotiated settlement between them. The conciliator allows the parties to reach their own resolution to a dispute, although the conciliator has the power to recommend a particular solution in the event that the parties are unable to reach one themselves. Any settlement reached through conciliation will become binding as a contractual agreement once both parties sign a copy of it.

Alternative Dispute Resolution is a way to resolve disputes with a company when you have exhausted their complaints procedure. Evidence is weighed up by someone who is independent and impartial to CEDR and the company you have a dispute with. 

Find the Scheme you are looking for using the icons above. You will find all relevant information to the Scheme on the page, including application forms and guidance notes. Use the complain now button to submit your complaint when you are ready. 

When you refer a claim to CEDR you can expect us to be polite and professional and that we will adhere to the following service standards:

  • When you call us your call will be answered within 2 minutes
  • Any correspondence will be replied to within 10 days (usually 5 working days)
  • We will use “simple English” where ever possible and try to avoid the use of jargon
  • We want to ensure that you understand our procedures and will provide assistance whenever that is possible
  • We aim to be open to everyone and can provide information in different formats on request
  • We complete cases within the required timeframes as stipulated by the regulators and within an overall 90 calendar day timeframe. For some schemes, this may take longer if the matters are complex or the adjudicator/ arbitrator needs to get more information from either party.

CEDR is fully committed to providing independent and impartial dispute resolution. In achieving this, CEDR will:

  • Demonstrate that we have treated both parties to a dispute fairly so that neither is unduly disadvantaged.
  • Remain objective and promote neither the position of the consumer nor that of the trader.
  • Consider the evidence presented by the parties, the specific circumstances, and other information directly relevant to the dispute and whether to request further information from either party.
  • Be mindful of, but not bound by, past rulings in similar cases.
  • Have regard to relevant regulations, laws and terms and conditions.
  • Ensure that all outcomes are based on the balance of probabilities, giving full reasons for all decisions made.
  • Ensure that fees charged to traders are not linked in any way to the outcome of cases.
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