FTC to Host OECD Workshop on Dispute Resolution and Consumer Redress

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On April 19-20, 2005, the Federal Trade Commission will host a workshop to examine approaches to consumer dispute resolution and redress around the world. The workshop, sponsored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), will examine ways consumers in the 30 OECD member countries can resolve disputes and seek redress for problems that arise in transactions with foreign merchants. Participants will examine the advantages and disadvantages of current approaches and consider ways to improve the effectiveness of consumer redress in cross-border cases.

Today’s global marketplace enables consumers to purchase goods from merchants around the world. While advances in technology have made cross-border transactions, especially electronic transactions, convenient for consumers, the increase in global commerce has complicated consumers’ ability to resolve disputes with foreign merchants or obtain redress when something goes wrong.

The workshop will bring together experts from governments, businesses, consumer groups, and the academic community to explore new developments in dispute resolution and redress; examine small claims procedures in different countries; discuss different types of class action procedures; discuss the role consumer protection agencies can play to assist consumers in obtaining redress; and examine mechanisms for enforcing judgments obtained on consumers’ behalf.

The workshop will be held at the FTC’s Conference Center, 601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC. It is free and open to the public, but requires advance registration with the OECD.

For more information, including the agenda, visit http://www.oecd.org/document/33/0,2340,en_2649_34267_34409185_1_1_1_1,00.html.

The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish (bilingual counselors are available to take complaints), or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/complaint.htm. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Contact Information

Media Contact:
Jen Schwartzman
Office of Public Affairs
Staff Contact:
Maneesha Mithal
Bureau of Consumer Protection