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There is a variety of ADR mechanisms that businesses and consumers can access. More common forms include:
- mediation, where an independent third party helps the disputing parties come to a mutually acceptable outcome
- conciliation, a process whereby the parties use a conciliator who meets with the parties both separately and together, in an attempt to resolve their differences
- arbitration, where the outcome is decided upon by a third party. Parties agreeing to arbitration usually agree to the decision being binding and therefore enforceable through the courts
The Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015 only apply to consumer contracts where a trader is in contract with a consumer and are not applicable for business-to-business contracts. For instance, where a consumer buys a TV from a trader, the regulations would apply. If, however, a garage bought a TV from a trader to use in a waiting area, the regulations would not be applicable.