In our IT Ticker Q1/2016, we had reported on the information duties regarding the online platform for online dispute resolution (ODR platform) operated by the European Commission. As of April 1, 2016, when the German Act on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Consumer Contracts entered into force, new information duties have been added by the German legislator. Accordingly, any business with more than 10 employees needs to provide information on its website and in its Terms and Conditions as to whether it participates in proceedings under the Act on ADR in Consumer Contracts. If so, the business must also indicate the competent consumer arbitration board, providing its address and website. Even though the Act on ADR in Consumer Contracts entered into force on April 1, 2016, these information duties will only be required as of February 1, 2017.
Practical tip: Use the remaining time to include the necessary information in your websites and Terms and Conditions. Otherwise, paid warnings and (pre-)contractual claims for damages may be incurred by consumers, who have not taken recourse to ADR proceedings due to lack of information.