Online marketplaces and platforms can be used by both consumers and individuals involved in business transactions, such as someone offering their home for rent. Unfortunately, most of the arbitration clauses seen by AAA do not clearly distinguish between commercial and non-commercial use of a marketplace or platform. This has led to confusion because a person using a platform for commercial purposes does not meet a consumer`s definition of AAA. AAA will therefore apply the Commercial Arbitration Rules and the Schedule of Trade Fees, unless the clause expressly requires the application of the Consumer Rules or any other set of AAA Rules. If consumer applicants do not believe they can afford the AAA fee, they can file a difficulty waiver for the AAA. In general, if a person`s gross monthly income does not significantly exceed federal poverty guidelines, the AAA may decide to waive the administrative costs of the consuming party. In particular, the AAA has demonstrated its commitment to more transparent and balanced consumer arbitration. Following the initial submission of the case, the AAA will conduct an administrative review of the company`s consumer arbitration agreement to ensure it meets minimum standards of due process under the Consumer Due Process Protocol (Consumer Protocol). The Consumer Protocol, developed in 1998 in collaboration between the AAA and representatives of government agencies, consumer groups, educational institutions and businesses, sets standards for the due process of arbitration under consumer agreements. The AAA`s Consumer Arbitration Rules require the AAA to appoint a single neutral arbitrator to oversee the resolution of its dispute. The AAA`s Panel of Consumer Arbitrators has decades of experience in the consumer goods and services industries and truly understands the nature of commercial litigation. The list includes industry experts as well as lawyers and former federal and state judges. To ensure fairness and objectivity, AAA-appointed arbitrators must adhere to a code of ethics available to the parties to the case, and they must sign an agreement on standards of accountability each year they serve on the AAA committee.

Arbitrators must also provide the parties with full disclosure of a potential conflict or the occurrence of a previous conflict or contact between the arbitrator and the parties. The arbitrator`s disclosure obligation remains in place throughout the arbitration. The arbitrator has no personal or financial interest in the matter. In addition, the parties also have the option of opposing the appointed arbitrator on the basis of bias or lack of independence; inability or refusal to perform his or her duties with care and good faith; or any ground for forfeiture provided for by applicable law – and such objections will be decided by the AAA. Alternative dispute resolution allows consumers and traders to resolve disputes quickly and cost-effectively without resorting to the courts. In recent decades, suppliers of consumer goods and services for personal and personal use have begun to include alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures such as binding arbitration or mediation in their model contracts with customers. These contractual provisions, which require customers and businesses to resolve disputes without going to court, are often included in contracts for mobile phones, credit cards, car purchase agreements, insurance policies, and other consumer goods and services. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) means the out-of-court resolution of a complaint with the assistance of an impartial dispute resolution body.

Resolving consumer disputes in this way is easier, faster and less expensive than going to court. Technological innovation from modern third-party ADR service providers has simplified the process of online filing of a request for arbitration by consumers and/or their lawyers. For example, in our organization, the American Arbitration Association® (AAA), a nonprofit organization that has facilitated adr services for more than six million disputes since its inception in 1926, consumers can file arbitration lawsuits against service providers through the easy-to-navigate AAA® WebFile portal®. Many consumer arbitration actions involve small amounts of $1,000 or $1,200, and if parties choose to do so under the AAA rules, they can ask arbitrators to decide the outcome of a case solely on the basis of the documents filed. This process is much shorter and does not require consumer plaintiffs or defendants to take time off work. In addition, going to Small Claims Court may require consumer plaintiffs involved in smaller claims to pay more fees during the settlement process. Millions of consumer purchases take place every year. During the pandemic, more and more of these transactions took place online. A number of widely used marketplaces or online platforms, such as Airbnb and Expedia (VRBO), include an arbitration clause in their terms of service that references the American Arbitration Association (AAA) Consumer Arbitration Rules and mentions the transfer of fees and/or reimbursement of fees.

The Consumer Arbitration Rules apply when a dispute arises between a business and individual consumers and the terms of purchase of consumer goods and services are standardized and primarily non-negotiable. Examples of contracts that generally meet the criteria for the application of consumer protection regulations include credit card contracts, leases, car loans, etc. AAA is at its discretion to apply or not to apply the Consumer Arbitration Rules, subject to a final decision by the arbitrator. For those who are not familiar with ADR to resolve consumer disputes, resolving these disputes through arbitration or mediation can be cheaper, faster and more convenient than going to court. In most cases, dispute resolution with uninsured motorists in California arises from consumer agreements and is therefore administered by the AAA and other ADR providers as a consumer case, with parties able to ask arbitrators with specific expertise in the insurance and auto industries to oversee these claims. The consumption fee plan contains a different fee schedule for several consumer case requests. The multi-case filing fee applies to all cases set by the AAA to meet the requirements for filing multiple cases. A multiple filing consists of 25 or more cases with similar claims filed against or on behalf of the same party or parties, and counsel for the parties is consistent or coordinated in all cases. The filing fee for the non-commercial entity and the corporation is staggered based on the total number of cases filed, which ranges from $100 to $50 per case for the non-commercial entity and from $300 to $75 per case for the corporation. In view of the move towards online shopping, effective alternative dispute resolution of cross-border disputes has become more relevant for the proper functioning of the internal market. However, the data show that consumers do not opt for alternative dispute resolution of cross-border disputes for a variety of reasons, including complex legal, linguistic and procedural issues, a low awareness of the benefits of ADR or because the complaint can only be resolved through the complaint mechanism operated by the online platform chosen by the consumer.

1 These standards apply if an undertaking systematically inserts an arbitration clause into its agreements with individual consumers and there are only minimal negotiations between the parties on the procedures or other terms of the arbitration clause. A consumer is defined as a natural person who seeks or acquires goods or services primarily for personal family or household purposes, including credit transactions or personal banking operations associated with such purchases. These Standards do not apply to the use of arbitration in the settlement of disputes arising from commercial transactions between a lender and commercial borrowers or a company and commercial customers, for other financial services such as investment transactions, real estate transactions or for matters involving uninsured motorists. They also do not apply if the arbitration agreement was negotiated by the individual consumer and the business. If you want improved consumer protection, make sure you are up to 27 years old. June 2022 Give your opinion on alternative dispute resolution and the public enforcement of consumer rights in your country. The Network of European Consumer Centres (ECC NETWORK) and the European Commission organised a round table on alternative dispute resolution for cross-border disputes. ADR bodies, alternative dispute resolution authorities, CVEs, academic, consumer and trader organisations were invited.

Thanks to technological innovations developed by alternative dispute resolution service providers, more consumers can try to resolve their disputes with providers of household and personal goods and services through arbitration, saving them money and time and helping them achieve a fair and equitable outcome. The ADR Assembly is the largest ADR event for consumers in the EU. For the second edition of the biennial event, held on 28 and 29 September 2021, the Commission invited more than 400 alternative dispute resolution bodies and other consumer protection stakeholders to a virtual event. The event documents can be found under the following links. For an individual consumer, the AAA charges a capped $200 case processing fee, whether the arbitration is conducted solely through document review or through in-person, virtual or telephone hearings.