{July 17, 2015} VICTORIA BC – Consumer Protection BC is pleased to announce that it is piloting Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) to select debt collection agencies as an early resolution tool.

Online dispute resolution (ODR) is a web platform where consumers can go to resolve issues with a business easily and conveniently, with the benefit of having records of all correspondence in one place.

“We have been offering ODR to all consumers since 2011 as alternative to small claims court. We recently reevaluated our program and decided to make our ODR platform available as an early resolution tool for our licensees,” says Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith, spokesperson for Consumer Protection BC.  “We chose the debt collection industry as the first industry to try this tool as it’s one of our regulated industries and we get a high volume of questions from consumers regarding their rights under the law.”

Four debt collection agencies licensed with Consumer Protection BC, ARO Inc., CBV Collection Services Ltd., Collections With Class (International Credit Assistance Ltd.), and Credit Bureau of Canada Collections (Collectcents Inc.) have agreed to use the ODR platform during this test phase and provide feedback on the process.

During this time, ODR cases are limited to situations where consumers wish to:

  • Request communication in writing only,
  • Dispute an alleged debt
  • Request communication through a lawyer only
  • Notify that agency that you are not the debtor, or
  • Request written notification of an alleged debt.

To find out more about ODR or to use the platform, please visit our website at www.resolveyourdispute.ca.

About ODR
ODR is easy to use and can be accessed day or night from any location where there is internet access.  Consumers enter their case information into the ODR platform and the business is notified.  We review the case to ensure it meets the eligibility criteria. During the process, both parties have the ability to upload documents and communicate in the platform.  Once the business has complied with the consumer’s request, the case is closed.  In the unlikely event that the business has not complied with the request, the case will be escalated to the Consumer Protection BC Compliance and Enforcement Team for further action.

About Consumer Protection BC
Consumer Protection BC is the regulator for a variety of industries and consumer contracts in BC. We licence and inspect our regulated businesses, respond to inquiries through our Inquiry Centre, investigate alleged violations of consumer protection laws and educate consumers and businesses about their rights and responsibilities under the law. For more information about our organization, please visit our corporate website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca. You can also follow Consumer Protection BC on Twitter @ConsumerProBC, like us on Facebook and read our blog for valuable consumer tips and resources.

For questions about ODR and the pilot program:
1-888-564-9963
odr@consumerprotectionbc.ca

Media Contact Only:
1-888-564-9963 ext. 2824
media@consumerprotectionbc.ca