General questions

    • It's a way of resolving disputes without going to court. A neutral third party – a dispute resolution body – helps you find an out-of-court settlement. There are different types of these bodies, e.g. mediators, arbitrators, ombudsmen, conciliators, consumer complaint boards. They each act in a different way, but generally help you and the trader find a solution you're both happy with. It is easier, faster and cheaper than going to court.

    • This site is for online consumers and traders in the EU. It helps you settle disputes about online purchases – without going to court. If you are a consumer, it can help you resolve a complaint about goods or services purchased online in the EU – without going to court. In some countries, it can also help EU traders who have a complaint about a customer. The site is free to use & is managed by the European Commission.

    • It's simple: 1. You enter some details about your complaint. It must be about goods or services bought online in the EU. 2. If the person or business you're complaining about agrees, the site puts you both in touch with a neutral third party – a dispute resolution body. 3. The dispute resolution body helps you negotiate an out-of-court settlement. It's quicker and easier than going to court & often leads to a better outcome.

    • No. You can submit a complaint without registering. But we will ask you to register later – if the trader agrees to proceed.

      This is so we can check your identity. Registering will also help you track your complaint. We will store your details securely.

      To register, fill in the registration form. We'll send you an e-mail, asking you to confirm your registration.

    • To retrieve your password click on the 'I forgot my password' link.

    • The national contact point (in your own or any other EU country).

      The national contact point can:

      • Explain how the website works.
      • Tell you what dispute resolution bodies do.
      • Help you communicate with the trader/dispute resolution body.
      • Help you submit your complaint.
      • Give you basic information on your rights.
      • Suggest other ways of resolving the dispute, if this process doesn't work for you.


      You can contact an advisor at any point in the procedure. Send a message through the site or contact them by e-mail or phone.

    • Fill in the online complaint form. We'll ask you for: the trader's contact details, information about your complaint and your contact details.

      You'll also find step-by-step instructions in the user manual.

    • Yes, some EU countries let you do this. These countries are Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Poland.

    • Yes, a representative can do this. Your representative could be: a lawyer, legal advisor or any other person (e.g. family member, friend).

    • Don't use this site if:

      you're a consumer living outside the EU; you're a consumer complaining about a trader established outside the EU; you're a consumer complaining about another consumer; you're a trader complaining about another trader; your complaint is about goods or services bought offline (e.g. physically in a shop); your complaint is about higher education or healthcare services

    • You can try:

      • their website
      • the terms and conditions of your purchase
      • the invoice


      If you still can't find it, an advisor may be able to help.

    • Yes, under EU law they must be: transparent, independent, impartial, fair, effective.

      We only list them on this site once they've been approved by their own EU country.

    • When you submit a complaint, the site automatically sends it to the person you're complaining about. They have 10 days to reply to you. If you do not receive a reply within 10 days, you can contact an advisor.

      If the person you are complaining about agrees to take part in the process, they will suggest one or more dispute resolution bodies that can handle your complaint. Sometimes, there is an obligation to use one particular dispute resolution body. If so, the site  will explain this to you.

      The site will send you the list of suggested dispute resolution bodies. You can accept or reject the suggestions.  

      After submitting your complaint, you have 30 days to reach agreement on which body will handle your complaint. If you don't agree within 30 days, we will close your complaint. If this happens, you can contact an advisor.

    • No, this site is free to use. However, a dispute resolution body may ask you to pay a fee if it agrees to handle your case.

      How much will I have to pay? Each dispute resolution body charges different fees. You can also find out the fee: by clicking on "read more" next to the name of the dispute resolution body/bodies suggested by the trader. when the dispute resolution body agrees to handle your complaint – they'll tell you what the rules are, including how much you have to pay.

    • The resolution body has up to 90 calendar days to decide the outcome.

      It may need longer if your case is very complex. The resolution body will always tell you how much extra time it needs

    • Check whether the information you gave in the complaint form – especially the e-mail address – is correct.

      The other party has 10 days to reply. If you don't receive a reply within 10 days, you can contact an advisor.

      You have 30 calendar days after you submit your complaint to agree on a resolution body. After that your complaint will not be processed further. You can also contact the advisor at the end of the 30 days to enquire about other means of redress.

    • It depends on the type of dispute resolution body and their rules. Usually, you can pull out at any time. But some resolution bodies don't allow this.

      The dispute resolution body will always tell you its rules and procedures when it accepts your complaint.

    • The site is available in 23 EU languages.

      This site also has an automatic translation tool to help you communicate with the trader and/or the resolution body if you do not speak the same language. At the end of the procedure, you can ask for the final outcome to be translated by a professional translator.

    • You can:

    • It will be automatically deleted from the site 6 months after your case has been closed.

      Before that time, your data will be protected under the relevant EU data protection laws.

    • No, you can reject this body. The trader will be notified and can then suggest a different body.

      After you make your complaint, you have 30 days to agree on the body that will handle your complaint. After this time, we will close your complaint. If this happens, you can contact an advisor.

      If you reject the suggested resolution body, the trader can also decide not to proceed further. In that case, your complaint will not be processed further. If this happens, you can contact an advisor.

    • You can decide to not yet send your selected dispute resolution body/bodies to the other party. You can click on the button 'save and continue later'.

      This action will save the information you entered in the complaint. You can come back to the complaint and send your selected dispute resolution body at a later stage.

    • No, you can use the search function to find other dispute resolution bodies.

    • The party you are complaining about will receive a notification and can then suggest a different resolution body.

      If you reject the suggested dispute resolution body, the other party can also decide not to proceed further. In that case, your complaint will be closed in the site. If this happens, you can contact an advisor.

    Submitting a complaint

    Agreeing on a dispute resolution body

    • No. It will be a dispute resolution body listed on this site. The Commission runs this site, but doesn't handle the individual complaints.

    • Yes, under EU law they must be: transparent, independent, impartial, fair, effective.

      We only list them on this site once they've been approved by their own EU country.

    • When you submit your complaint, the site automatically sends it to the trader you're complaining about. The trader has 10 days to reply to you. If you do not receive a reply within 10 days, you can contact an advisor.

      If the trader agrees to take part in the process, it will suggest one or more dispute resolution bodies that can handle your complaint. Sometimes, the trader must use one particular dispute resolution body. If so, it will explain this to you.

      The site will send you the list of suggested dispute resolution bodies. You can accept or reject the suggestions.  

      After submitting your complaint, you and the trader have 30 days to agree on which dispute resolution body will handle your complaint. If you don't agree within 30 days, we will close your complaint. If this happens, you can contact an advisor.

    • The site automatically sends the complaint to the agreed body.

    • Information on all the resolution bodies linked to this site. This information will include:

      • any fees they may charge
      • their rules and procedures
      • possible outcomes.
      Other ways to find this information: Click "More information" next to the name of the resolution body/bodies suggested to you. The body will tell you its rules and procedures when it takes on your complaint.

    • The site is available in 23 EU languages.

      You can also use the site's translation tool to translate information the trader/resolution body sends you. And you can write to them in your own language, because they can also use the tool to translate what you send them.

    Complaint handling by a dispute resolution body

    • They have 3 weeks to tell you if they will handle your complaint. During that time, they may ask you for more information or documents. If you need to do anything, you'll receive an e-mail.

    • Yes, usually. But some resolution bodies prefer to use their own system. If so, they will contact you in another way. The final outcome will always be available on this site, however.

    • Yes. The complaint might be refused for one of these reasons:

      • the consumer did not contact the other trader first to sort out the matter bilaterally
      • the complaint is deemed frivolous or vexatious;
      • the complaint is being/has been handled by another resolution body or a court;
      • the value of the claim is below a specified amount;
      • the value of the claim is above a specified amount;
      • the complainant didn't complain to the resolution body within the specified time limit;
      • handling this type of complaint would make the dispute resolution body less effective.

    • The dispute resolution body has up to 90 calendar days to decide the outcome.

      It may need longer if your case is very complex. It will always tell you how much extra time it needs.

    • The dispute resolution body might ask you for extra information or documents. You could be invited to a meeting (e.g. a conference call). You'll always get an e-mail if there is something you need to do.

    • We'll e-mail you every time the case is updated. You'll also see a progress bar when you view the complaint – so you can check how things are going.

    • Yes. You can use the special discussion forum that appears on your screen when you view the complaint.

    • It depends on the type of dispute resolution body and their rules. Usually, you can pull out at any time. But some resolution bodies don't allow this.

      The dispute resolution body will always tell you its rules and procedures when it accepts your complaint.

    • The dispute resolution body has up to 90 calendar days to decide the outcome.

      It may need longer if your case is very complex. The dispute resolution body will always tell you how much extra time it needs.

    • It depends on the procedure that the dispute resolution body follows. It might:

      try to bring the consumer and trader together to find a solution, make a recommendation or make a decision that's binding on one or both of them.

      Ways to find out which outcomes are possible for the complaint: Check the list of possible outcomes by dispute resolution body. Click on "More information" next to the name of the dispute resolution body. The dispute resolution body will also tell you its rules and procedures when it accepts to deal with the complaint.

    Outcome and closure

    • No, not always – it depends on the type of resolution body.

      Ways to find out which outcomes are possible for the complaint: Check the list of possible outcomes by dispute resolution body. Click on "More information" next to the name of the dispute resolution body. The dispute resolution body will also tell you its rules and procedures when it accepts to deal with the complaint.

    • Not always – it depends on the type of dispute resolution body.

      How to find out: Check the list of possible outcomes – by resolution body Click 'More information' next to the name of the body/bodies suggested to you. When the resolution body takes on your complaint, it will tell you its rules and procedures – including whether the outcome is binding.

    • It depends on the type of dispute resolution body and their rules & procedures. You might be able to appeal the outcome or take your case to court. Sometimes there may be nothing more you can do.

      The dispute resolution body will tell you its rules & procedures when it takes on your complaint.

    • You can:

    • You can use the automatic translation tool on the site. You can also ask for the outcome to be translated by a professional translator. You will only be able to ask for the outcome to be translated once and into one language.

    • The complaint won't be processed further and has been archived on the site. Sometimes this happens automatically (e.g. if the consumer and the trader do not agree on a dispute resolution body in 30 days). The resolution body can also close the complaint when it has dealt with it. You'll receive an e-mail to tell you this.

      You can still access the complaint up to 6 months after it has been closed. After that, it will be deleted for data protection reasons. If you want to keep a copy of the outcome for your records, please download it from the site.

    • If you need help, contact an advisor. There is a national contact point in every EU country. They can help you with issues related to the complaint. You can approach the contact point in your own country or in any other EU country. 


Get support

If you can't find the answer to your question, contact your national contact point - there's one in every EU country. To find your national contact point, click the button below.