Turkish Law Blog

European and Turkish Online Consumer Dispute Resolution

Cem Ozan Metin Cem Ozan Metin/ Karayel Metin Akbulut Attorneys at Law
05 August, 2019
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Introduction

Turkish legal system has seen positive moves in online arbitration lately for consumer disputes. Consumer dispute arbitration regulation was entered into force in line with the European Union Consumer Dispute System which has enabled Turkish consumers to resolve their issues without going through long and costly legal litigation procedures in Turkey.  

Online Dispute Resolution Practice in Europe and Turkey

Online Arbitration Resolution platforms are used in the European Union for consumer disputes. Regulation on Online Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes[1] and Directive on Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes[2] set out the general frame for online dispute resolution system for consumer disputes. Under the EU Regulation, the regulation applies to out of court resolution of disputes initiated by consumers resident in the European Union. The regulation, however, does not apply to disputes between consumers and traders that arise from sales or service contracts concluded offline.  Each member states developed certain online dispute resolution platforms with regard to this regulation. For instance, in the Netherlands there is the Foundation for Arbitration Committee for Consumer Affairs the Health Insurance Complaints and Disputes, board the Financial Services Compliant Authority and the Rent Tribunal.

In Turkey, in line with the EU’s consumer protection regulation, consumer disputes are subject to mandatory arbitration. Indeed, as of January 2019, consumer disputes up to the amount of 8.480 TRY are resolved through Consumer Dispute Committee[3]. Consumer disputes include the sale of a product, service including but not limited to movable, immoveable, vocational homes, and electronically available software, audio, video and any kind of property. These complaints can be made through the online system and offer out-of-court solutions and resolved within 6 months. However, this might be extended to six more months. Under the Consumer Dispute Law, the consumer dispute decisions are binding and regarded as court orders meaning one party can claim the dispute through execution proceedings as if there is a court order.

Conclusion

In light of the above-mentioned facts, the fast and less costly procedures for consumer disputes seem to have been implemented in Europe and Turkey. However, there has not been any developments in the online arbitration resolution platforms for commercial disputes so far. What has been done for consumer protections could be applied for commercial sales as well.


[1] Regulation No 524/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on Online Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes and Amending Regulation No 2006/2004 and Directive 2009/22/EC

[2] Directive 2013/11/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes and Amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 and Directive 2009/22/EC

[3] Regulation on Consumer Protection Committee, published in the Official Gazette dated 27 November 2014

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