This article examines the effectiveness of out-of-court procedures, in particular in theform of online dispute resolution (ODR) mechanisms, in the settlement of business-toconsumer (B2C) disputes. It offers a comparative perspective of two public ODRinitiatives: Consumidor.gov.br, a Brazilian ODR platform, and the EU-provided ODRplatform. Focusing on the institutional and procedural design of these two platforms, wehighlight the factors and incentives that might contribute to increasing consumers’ trustand traders’ engagement in ODR procedures. The article relies on a large dataset fromConsumidor.gov.br, consisting of a sample of more than 800,000 consumer complaints.While the EU ODR platform is not yet very well known among EU consumers, theBrazilian platform is becoming widely popular among Brazilian consumers. It is putforward that this popularity could be the result of the procedural design of the Brazilianplatform, which serves as a direct communication channel between the trader and theconsumer. Furthermore, we argue that the EU ODR platform could be more effective ifthe incentives for both parties, traders and consumers, to use ODR were reinforced. Thearticle provides further policy recommendations on how the potential of ODR can bebetter exploited in light of the two ODR platforms examined.
Bibliographical notePublished online: 12. February
- Business-to-consumer disputes
- Consumer protection