Alternative Dispute Resolution - how to apply

The application process for the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service.

Ways to apply

Apply using the on-line form:

or alternatively, complete the ADR application form and send a copy to us by post (address at bottom of page) or by email to

or telephone 01302 737573 and the application form will be sent by post.


There is no cost to consumers for the ADR scheme. However, claims which are not of a serious purpose, or are to simply cause annoyance and frustration may be declined.

ADR process

The ADR process is in two stages.

  • Stage 1 - Mediation: This attempts to find a mutually acceptable solution to both parties. If that is not possible within a reasonable period of time cases are escalated to Stage 2.
  • Stage 2 - Adjudication: This is a decision based on a careful consideration of all the evidence from both parties to the case. The decision is binding on the Trader.

All ADR Officials at both stages are suitably qualified and experienced Trading Standards professionals,and work for the local Trading Standards Authority.

The average length for both stages ADR is 34 days.

Types of evidence required

You can submit evidence to support your application. Examples of evidence include:

  • the contract between you and the business you are in dispute with
  • a report from an independent, qualified professional like a surveyor, architect, engineer or similar
  • photographs
  • signed witness statements
  • correspondence between you and the business
  • correspondence between you and other parties about the dispute
  • official reports (for example, from a planning officer, building control officer or a police officer)
  • electronic media, such as photographs or videos.

At stage 2 your evidence, and any evidence provided by the business, is the only information used to inform the decision so please make sure you include everything and that the copies are legible.

We are unable to return evidence to you.

Contact details

If you have any questions about the application process please email or telephone 01302 737573.

You can contact us by post at:

Trading Standards Service
Civic Office

Last updated: 17 April 2024 07:53:19

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