Frequently asked questions (ADR)

I am afraid I will not be able to initiate a procedure. Can the ADR entity help me with this?

a) Initiation of an ADR procedure does not need to contain links to provisions of laws applicable for the particular consumer’s request or claim, and there is no need to provide legal justification of the claim. The consumer is only expected to describe in his own words what the issue is and what they request;

b) The best way is to use the online form for procedure initiation that leads the consumer through the process of the initiation of the ADR procedure, so it is not possible to omit information necessary for the start of the procedure;

c) If a submission is unclear, incomplete or missing required documents from the very start, the ADR entity will not refuse such submission, but it will – if possible – ask the consumer to fix the problems. It will also help remove flaws from the submission.

If I am involved in an ADR procedure, will I pay for it?

The procedure is free-of-charge . There is no fee required for initiation of the procedure and each party bares their own costs for participation in the ADR procedure. Hence, it is not possible to ask the other party for reimbursement of costs, e.g. for an attorney.

Do I have to be represented by an attorney or somebody else?

A consumer does not need to be represented within the ADR procedure.

How should I sign a completed submission concerning initiation of the procedure on the ADR’s website?

If the consumer does not hold an electronic signature or data box, it is necessary to print the e-mail sent confirmation of the submission and send it to the ADR entity’s address within the next 10 days.

What are the areas in which ADR is usually used by consumers?

Claims concerning consumer goods, non-delivery of goods or failure to return respective amounts paid for goods after withdrawal from a contract, disputes related to performance of contracts for work or various services, claims concerning transport, package trips, and so forth.

Which cases are out of the scope of the ADR?

The ADR entity does not deal with disputes in the area of financial services (consumers can turn to the Financial Arbitrator), electronic communication and postal services (consumers can turn to the Czech Telecommunication Office), electricity, gas and heat industry (Energy Regulatory Office). Contracts on provision of health services provided to patients by medical professionals in order to provide health-care, contracts concerning non-economic services of general interest and public providers of further and higher education are also excluded from potential proceedings.

What is the deadline for initiating a procedure? What is necessary?

A consumer can initiate an ADR procedure maximally 1 year after they made a claim against a vendor for the first time. When initiating the procedure, it is necessary to prove an unsuccessful attempt to resolve the particular dispute. The issue must not be already decided about by court or any other ADR body. The ADR entity must be competent in the respective field to be able to carry out a procedure, see above.

In which languages is it possible to initiate an ADR procedure?

It is possible to initiate the procedure in Czech or English.

What is the average duration of a procedure?

The duration of the procedure depends on cooperation from vendors and on other procedural steps. Maximal period is 90 days. In especially difficult cases the period can be extended for another 90 days.

Who carries out the ADR procedure?

Employees of the Czech Trade Inspection Authority who are usually recruited for an indefinite period of time under the conditions of Act No. 234/2014 Coll. on Civil Service, as amended.

What is the result of an ADR procedure?

The objective of an out-of-court resolution of consumer disputes is to bring the parties together and facilitate an amicable solution of a dispute. If one party is not willing to accept a suggested ADR mediated agreement, the ADR can issue a legally non-binding justified statement which can be used by the other party for possible further steps concerning enforcement of their claim.

What happens if a vendor does not communicate with the ADR entity and, thus, agreement cannot be reached?

Vendors are obliged to cooperate with the ADR entity. If they do not cooperate with an out-of-court resolution of a dispute the Czech Trade Inspection Authority can impose sanctions in administrative proceedings. However, the consumer subsequently has to enforce their claims by different means, usually by taking the case to court.

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