Edited by Marc Hertogh and Richard Kirkham
Chapter 4: The private sector ombudsman
Hodges describes the remarkably fast spread of ombudsmen dealing with consumer-trader disputes, which has taken place in Europe. He identifies them as operating at the intersection of three worlds: consumer dispute resolution; market regulation and consumerism; and information technology. He describes recent EU regulation of consumer market ADR entities, especially requirements of transparency and governance, and also their highly efficient procedures in responding to any and all consumer complaints received. He notes issues of funding, criticisms of the model, and the status of research, before suggesting how this model will evolve in future, and the lessons that it bears for the more established public ombudsman model.
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