Posted: 9/6/2018

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When you enter into a contract, you have every hope that all will go well. But what happens if a dispute arises? Is going to court the only way to resolve the issue? No. Many are turning to arbitration as an alternative to litigation. It can be more cost effective and speedy than going before a judge. Here’s how arbitration can be beneficial to both businesses and consumers alike.

arbitration mediation dispute resolution

When you enter into a contract, you have every hope that all will go well. But what happens if a dispute arises? Is going to court the only way to resolve the issue? No. Many are turning to arbitration as an alternative to litigation. It can be more cost effective and speedy than going before a judge. Here’s how arbitration can be beneficial to both businesses and consumers alike.

What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution. It allows two or more parties to have their dispute heard by an impartial intermediary that renders a decision. Instead of enduring court hearings and trials, the parties meet and have a conversation relating to what occurred. The arbitrator takes into consideration the basic facts of the dispute and then issues a final decision. Many deals have arbitration clauses, including contracts for home repair, phone service, warranty programs, credit cards, financing, or even health insurance agreements.

Is Arbitration Mandatory and Binding?

Arbitration is only mandatory if all parties of the contract agree to resolve disputes by arbitration in advance. If there is not an advance agreement, both parties will have to voluntarily agree to arbitrate.

The decision the arbitrator makes can be binding and final. If it is binding, it typically cannot be reviewed and overturned by a court, unless there are circumstances of fraud or misuse of power. Binding decisions can be entered into and enforced through the court, if necessary. Nonbinding arbitration decisions may be rejected by either side, and brought to trial.

How is Arbitration Beneficial?

Through arbitration, both sides can avoid paying for filing fees, service fees, attorneys’ costs, and other court expenses. In addition, the process saves time. Generally, the proceedings take days instead of months and years as some court cases may take. The atmosphere of arbitration proceedings is also less formal than courtroom trials. In addition, the flexibility of arbitrations makes scheduling much simpler for the customer/client and the business. Plus the private setting can help either side avoid the embarrassment of having to reveal details of a private nature in a public setting or revealing confidential information in a courtroom.

Business Consumer Alliance Arbitration Services

For several decades, Business Consumer Alliance has administrated an exclusive and successful arbitration program that has helped many businesses efficiently resolve disputes. Our binding arbitrations are heard by skilled and experienced arbitrators that have expertise in rendering fair decisions. We offer a comfortable, relaxed setting in which the parties can discuss their dispute. Each side is given adequate time to present their case. Arbitrators normally render their decisions within five days after the hearing is closed.

Protect Your Business

All businesses need to be mindful that we live in a litigious society where one can easily be sued. Taking the time to consider how you will legally protect your business is vital. In addition, you want to demonstrate to your consumer and client-base that you agree to act ethically and fairly in your dealings. If disputes should arise, instead of enduring the many obstacles that litigation can bring, consider signing up for BCA’s Business Arbitration Program. We are qualified and eager to assist in resolving marketplace issues. Contact us to discuss how we can help.

About Business Consumer Alliance

Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) is a non-profit company that started in 1928. The broad purpose of BCA is to promote business self-regulation. BCA's mission is achieved by assisting consumers in resolving complaints with businesses and using that complaint information, along with other relevant information such as customer reviews, to forecast business reliability. With community support, BCA can identify trustworthy and ethical businesses and warn the public to avoid unscrupulous businesses whose purpose is to defraud the marketplace. BCA also helps businesses promote themselves by providing services and tools to protect their business and reach out to their customers. BCA obtains its funding from member businesses who support the mission and purpose of the organization and who agree to abide by high standards of ethical business practices.

Tags: contracts, arbitration

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