Useful informations for consumers about ADR procedures
- Jul 26, 2017
- In Information
We found that clarifications are required as regards the two procedures managed by the Alternative Banking Dispute Resolution Centre: the alternative resolution procedure concluded with proposing a solution – Conciliation -, and alternative resolution procedure concluded with imposing a solution – Arbitration.
Further to the review of the applications filed by the consumers who approach the Alternative Banking Dispute Resolution Centre (ABDRC), we found that clarifications are required as regards the two procedures managed by the Alternative Banking Dispute Resolution Centre: the alternative resolution procedure concluded with proposing a solution – Conciliation -, and alternative resolution procedure concluded with imposing a solution – Arbitration.
This procedure is preferred by consumers, because it fosters for the parties easier communication, negotiation and specific and free discussions about their complaints, in an attempt to reach a common and mutually agreed solution.
Negotiations are conducted under the guidance of the ABDRC conciliators. The discussions with the parties and the exchange of documents take place in meetings in the premises of ABDRC, or just online, by email, by phone or by courier. The procedure is highly flexible, the meetings are set subject to agreement of the parties according to their availability, and the solution is presented and thus worded so that to be easily understood by consumer.
The consumer may be assisted and/or represented by an attorney, the fee of which they will bear. Similarly, representation may be also provided by a consumer association they are part of. When a consumer wishes to be represented by a third person, they can issued a notarized power of attorney in this respect.
As we speak of conciliation, the consumer and the trader may withdraw from the procedure at any time, or choose whether to accept or not the solution proposed by the conciliator. Consumers may then also go to courts of law.
The name of this procedure – alternative resolution concluded with IMPOSING A SOLUTION – regards exclusively the fact that the solution rendered by the Arbitral Tribunal is binding on both parties. Therefore, it is important to understand that ABDRC cannot impose traders to participate on this type of resolution, as many consumers wrongly understood (participation in this procedure is also voluntary in nature).
Arbitration is a more stringent procedure, which resembles more to legal proceedings, and the parties may only withdraw before formation of the Arbitral Tribunal. Like with the conciliation procedure, the consumer may be represented and/or assisted by an attorney, a consumer association, or a third person. Similarly, resolution via ABDRC does not preclude the possibility to lodge claims afterwards under legal proceedings.
Both procedures are free of charge and may only be commenced by consumers by filling in and submitting to the registered office or by email or courier the application which is available on the website www.csalb.ro. To have a dispute resolved via ABDRC (under any of the two procedures explained above), the agreement of the trader is also required, because the procedures are optional and voluntary, pursuant to Directive 2013/11/EU transposed in the domestic legislation under the Government Decision no. 38/2015.
For this reason, the staff and the collaborators of ABDRC may only provide legal advice in matters in connection with the ADR procedures. The consumers who approach the Center are those who have noted potential irregularities in their agreements executed with the lending or leasing institutions, and report these in writing when filling in the application. The Alternative Banking Dispute Resolution Center provides the platform and the necessary support for a smooth performance of the conciliation or of the arbitration.
Please be reminded that ABDRC is an independent apolitical not-for-profit entity of public interest established under the Government Ordinance no. 38/2015. The purpose of ABDRC is to manage the infrastructure required for alternative resolution of the disputes between consumers and the banking and financial institutions in a balanced, reasonable, expeditious and out-of-court manner, working with experts in the banking and financial sector (Conciliators) who, according to the procedure Conciliators by the parties, may either propose or impose a resolution solution for the dispute.