What is ADR?

ADR stands for Alternative Dispute Resolution, of which arbitration and ombudsman schemes are examples, and is promoted by Government via the EU ADR Directive. ADR is usually cheaper and quicker at resolving disputes than going to court. Whilst the Directive does not make the offering of ADR mandatory, from 1st October 2015 all traders who sell to consumers must comply with the “business obligation” of the ADR Directive.

So, even if a trader does not offer ADR, from 1st October 2015 where they reach the point with a consumer where their complaint procedure has been exhausted and there is still a dispute, the trader must legally provide the consumer with the following:-

  • a statement that they cannot settle the complaint with the consumer
  • the name and website address of an ADR provider in their product sector that could deal with the complaint, if the consumer wishes to use ADR
  • whether they are obliged or prepared to submit to an ADR procedure operated by that provider

    (in other words, the trader has to give the consumer details of an ADR provider but does not have to agree to use ADR)

The Glazing Arbitration Scheme (TGAS) is an ADR Scheme which provides an easy solution. This scheme complies with the ADR Directive, and is the primary ADR Scheme for the glass and glazing industry, and related home improvements.

GGF Member companies who sell to consumers are automatically TGAS registered traders by belonging to the GGF Consumer Code of Practice. Joining TGAS is also available to FENSA registered firms who wish to “opt in”.