Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumers
Law No. 144/2015, of 8th September, was published in the Official Gazette, transposing Directive 2013/11/EU of the European Parliament and Council of 21st May 2013, on alternative dispute resolution, and sets out the legal framework of mechanisms for out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes, and creates a Consumer Arbitration Network.
What is the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumers and what are the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumers Entities?
The Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumers (ADR) comprises mediation, conciliation and arbitration. ADR entities are authorised to perform mediation, conciliation and arbitration in consumer disputes in Portugal, and must be listed on the ADR entities list under law no. 144/2015. They are independent bodies with specialised personnel, who, on one hand, equitably help both the consumer and the company reach an amicable solution, through mediation or conciliation, or, on the other hand, when the settlement cannot be reached, allow the decision to be made by arbitrators in a simple and fast process, through arbitration.
When can I invoke extra – judicial dispute resolution through an ADR entity?
You must always contact the provider first, in order to try to solve the problem. In case you cannot reach an settlement, you can start a process against the supplier with an ADR entity if:
You respect the contractual obligations resulting from purchase, sell or service contracts;
The contract is made between a goods supplier or a service provider and a consumer who is established and inhabits, respectively, in Portugal and the European Union.
Which are the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumers Entities and which can I contact in case of a dispute regarding my contract with Valados de Melgaço, Lda.?
The General-Directorate for the Consumer is the competent authority to monitor and organise the listing and disclosure of ADR entities. Thus, you can refer to the updated list of ADR entities at www.consumidor.pt, where you will also find the types of disputes covered.
Valados de Melgaço, Lda., according to Law no. 23/96, of 26th July, is liable to the necessary arbitration when, by stated choice of users who are natural persons, the consumer disputes are submitted for appreciation to the Arbitration Court of the centres for consumer disputes arbitration legally authorised.
The Arbitration Centres which form ADR enitites, and with whom Valados de Melgaço is associated, were, in March 2016, the ones in the following list:
CIAB – Centro de Informação, Mediação e Arbitragem de Consumo
Address: Rua D. Afonso Henriques, n.º1, 4700-030 Braga
Phone no.: 253 617 604 Fax: 253 617 605