Process Overview
  Process in Details
  ECODIR Resolution Rules
  How to File a Case

ECODIR Resolution Rules


Article 1. Application of the Rules

  1. The ECODIR Rules apply where the Parties have agreed to submit to the ECODIR process to try to resolve their dispute.
  2. The ECODIR process deals exclusively with disputes arising out of Internet transactions involving at least one consumer (e.g. a consumer and a business or two consumers). Disputes related to illicit content are excluded from its scope as are issues related to corporal damages, family, taxation and intellectual property.


Article 2. Definitions

  1. “ECODIR” designates the online consumer dispute resolution organisation whose services are available at the following address:
  2. “ECODIR process”, designates ECODIR’s online process composed of three phases, namely negotiation, mediation and recommendation.
  3. “Form” designates electronic document forms provided by ECODIR and completed by the Parties and the Mediator during the process.
  4. “Secretariat” designates the office of the Clerk of ECODIR.
  5. “Secure Site of the case in question” designates the private website storing the set of data, documents and information relevant to the case to which only the Secretariat, the Mediator and the Parties have access with a username and a password.
  6. “First Party” designates the party filing an Invitation to Negotiate.
  7. “Second Party” designates the party responding to the Invitation to Negotiate.
  8. “Mediator” designates the individual appointed by ECODIR, to assist the Parties during the Mediation and the Recommendation Phases.
  9. “Settlement” designates the agreement reached by the Parties regarding a dispute.
  10. “Consumer” designates an individual.


Article 3. The Process

  The Negotiation Phase

  1. In order to access the ECODIR platform, the First Party must create a confidential user account.
  2. Once the user account is created, the First Party completes the Description and Proposal form available on ECODIR’s website, stating his/her version of the facts and one or more proposed solutions to resolve the dispute. Once completed, this form is submitted to the Secretariat.
  3. Once the form is received by the Secretariat, a message is sent automatically to the Second Party. Upon receipt of the invitation to negotiate message, the Second Party shall have seven (7) calendar days to respond to it.
  4. If the Second Party does not respond to the invitation within the seven (7) day period, he/she is presumed to have refused to negotiate and the case is terminated.
  5. If the Second Party responds to the invitation to negotiate within the seven (7) day period and accepts one of the solutions proposed by the First Party, a message is sent automatically to the First Party and the case is terminated. An Agreement form formalizing the Settlement is generated by the system.
  6. If the Second Party responds to the invitation to negotiate and does not accept any of the solutions proposed by the First Party, the Second Party shall indicate his/her allegations and proposed solutions.
  7. If none of the solutions proposed initially by the Second Party are accepted by the First Party, one of the Parties can ask for the appointment of a Mediator or both Parties can continue to negotiate.
  8. From the creation of the First Party’s user account, the Parties have eighteen (18) calendar days to negotiate and exchange as many proposals and as much information as they wish. After the eighteen (18) day period, if the Parties have not reached a Settlement, a message will be sent to give them the opportunity either to start the Mediation Phase or to terminate the process.

   The Mediation Phase

  1. Once the Parties have agreed to participate in the Mediation Phase, a Mediator is appointed to the case in question by the Secretariat and the Parties are automatically notified. The Mediation Phase begins on the date of the appointment of the Mediator to the case in question.
  2. The Mediator is given access to the Secure Site of the case in question to review the information, proposed solutions and arguments exchanged by the Parties during the Negotiation Phase.
  3. The Mediator invites the Parties to communicate, exchange documents and arguments.
  4. The Mediator’s proposed solutions are submitted to the Parties for their comments.
  5. If the Parties select one common solution, the dispute is considered resolved. An Agreement form is prepared by the Mediator to formalise the Settlement. At this stage the case is terminated.

   The Recommendation Phase

  1. If the Parties did not select a common solution among the solutions proposed by the Mediator within fifteen (15) days from the beginning of the Mediation Phase, the Recommendation Phase is initiated.
  2. Within four (4) days from the beginning of the Recommendation Phase, the Mediator makes a recommendation and indicates the reasons therefor.
  3. Except when the Parties have entered into a valid prior agreement to be bound by the final recommendation of the Mediator, it shall not be legally binding.
  4. If the Parties do not approve the final recommendation of the Mediator within seven (7) days following the Recommendation, the case is terminated.
  5. If both Parties accept the final recommendation of the Mediator, the recommendation becomes a Settlement. An Agreement form is prepared by the Mediator to formalize the Settlement. At this stage the case is terminated.


Article 4. Implementation of the Settlement

Thirty (30) calendar days after the settlement of a case, the Secretariat contacts the Parties to enquire if the Settlement has been implemented. If not, the Parties are invited by the Secretariat to provide reasons.


Article 5. Appointment of Mediator

The Mediators field of expertise, geographic location and language proficiency are taken into consideration in their appointment.


Article 6. Role of the Mediator

  1. The Mediator assists the Parties in an independent and impartial manner in their attempt to reach an amicable settlement to their problem.
  2. The Mediator will be guided by principles of fairness and justice, giving consideration to, among other things, the rights and obligations of the Parties and the circumstances surrounding the dispute.
  3. The Mediator undertakes not to act as a representative or counsel of a party in any arbitral or judicial proceedings in respect of a dispute that is the subject of the process.


Article 7. Replacement

  1. A Mediator may be replaced in case of death, incapacity, or resignation that is accepted by the Secretariat.
  2. As quickly as possible, the Secretariat shall proceed with the appointment of a new Mediator.
  3. The new Mediator shall review the information exchanged and continue the process where it was interrupted.


Article 8. Parties’ Representation and Assistance

During the ECODIR process, the Parties may be represented or assisted by persons of their choice.


Article 9. Role of the Parties

  1. The Parties shall exercise their best efforts to reach an agreement.
  2. The Parties shall submit proposed solutions for the settlement of the dispute.
  3. The Parties shall co-operate in good faith with the Mediator and the other party
  4. The Parties shall respect the confidentiality of the process and information provided by the other party, as established in Article 10 of the present Rules.


Article 10. Confidentiality

  1. Except if the Parties decide otherwise all settlements reached through ECODIR's website will be kept confidential.
  2. Except if the Parties decide otherwise, the Secretariat, the Mediator and the Parties must keep confidential all matters relating to the process and all communications exchanged during the process. Confidentiality extends also to the Settlement, except where its disclosure is necessary for purposes of implementation or enforcement.
  3. When the Mediator receives information from a party, he/she will disclose the substance of the information to the other party, unless the party specified that the information must be kept confidential.
  4. The Secretariat, the Mediator and the Parties will not disclose any information acquired during the course of the proceeding to any person unless compelled to do so by a court of law.
  5. Data might be extracted from cases for the purpose of publishing and circulating anonymous dispute resolution information and statistics.


Article 11. Communications

  1. The Parties shall communicate with the Secretariat and the Mediator through the case site messaging system.
  2. All communications with the Secretariat and the Mediator must be transmitted using the applicable forms when such forms exist. In all cases, the Mediator shall communicate with the Secretariat through the case site messaging system.


Article 12. Language of the process

  1. The communications coming from ECODIR’s Secretariat are available in English.
  2. The language of resolution of the dispute is the common language of the Parties. By default, the language of resolution of the dispute will be the language of the transaction that gave rise to the dispute.


Article 13. End of process

The process ends:

  1. When the Parties reach a Settlement.
  2. When one party or all Parties ask for the termination of the process or otherwise fail to participate in the ECODIR process.
  3. If the Parties do not accept the final recommendation made by the Mediator.


Article 14. Settlement

  1. At any stage of the process, the Parties may reach a Settlement. The Settlement shall not be legally binding for the Consumer.
  2. By agreeing electronically to a solution, the Parties put an end to their dispute.
  3. The Settlement is archived and accessible for a period of sixty (60) days.


Article 15. General provisions

The Secretariat may amend the ECODIR Rules in consultation with the partners of the ECODIR Project . The Rules in effect at the time of the submission of the Invitation to Negotiate continue to apply until the end of such case.


Online Dispute Resolution Process | Policies | About us

© Copyright 2001 -2003 ECODIR. All rights reserved.