We transact online every day, hoping that no problems will occur. However, our purchases are not always perfect: goods may not arrive; products may be faulty; expectations may go unmet. When this occurs, we are often left frustrated, with no means for seeking redress. Phone calls to customer service are generally unappealing and ineffective, and traditional face-to-face or judicial processes for asserting claims are impractical after weighing costs against likely recovery. This is especially true when seeking redress requires travel, or for crossborder claims involving jurisdictional complexities. This situation has created a need for online dispute resolution (“ODR”), which brings traditional dispute resolution methods into the digital age. ODR systems that utilize negotiation, mediation and arbitration are paving the way for consumers to access the remedies they crave in the borderless Internet marketplace.
Amy J. Schmitz, Empowering Consumers Through Online Dispute Resolution, 1 The International Dispute Resolution News 14 (2017).