Helpdesk

December 14, 2016

1. What makes Online Consumer Mediation Centre (OCMC) unique?

OCMC is an innovative online mediation tool that affords consumers access to easy and quick redressal of their complaints against e-commerce portals and at the same time provides opportunity for businesses to maintain good customer relations.

2. What are the services offered?

The Centre provides for a state-of-the-art infrastructure for resolving consumer disputes both through online as well as physical mediation.

3. How are the services provided?

For online mediation – the consumer registers complaint with the online portal https//onlinemediationcenter.ac.in. The Centre invites the e-commerce company to participate in the dispute resolution through the online platform. Parties are provided a text-based service to discuss the issues and resolve.
For physical mediation- the consumer shall register the complaint through an email to the Centre at ocmc@nls.ac.in. The Centre on receipt of the complaint invites the e-commerce company to participate in the dispute resolution.

4. What matters can be referred to the Centre?

All disputes that arise out of “Consumer Complaint” as defined under Section 2(1)(c ) of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 can be referred to the Centre for resolution.
Some common complaints in e-commerce transactions include:
–   Product not received
– Item Significantly Not as Described
– Item  not replaced/exchanged
– Item returned but money not refund.

5. Should I compulsorily approach the business/Court/Commission/Fora before coming to the centre?

No.

6. Is online mediation better than physical mediation?

Yes. The online mediation provides a smart way to settle your dispute at your time and convenience at the click of a button.

7. Should I directly ask for appointment of mediator?

No.

8. Should I contact and request the business to come to the Centre?

No.

9. What is the role of the Centre in the process of dispute resolution?

The Centre acts as an impartial and neutral party throughout the process of dispute resolution. The task of the Centre is to only enable the parties to discuss and arrive at workable solutions.

10. Is Platform and website different?

Yes. The website is the first point of contact for the consumer to register. Only after registering with the website, the party/parties are allowed to use the online platform for the purpose of dispute settlement.

11. Is the website secured?

Yes. The website is SSL secured.

12. How many cases can I file against a business?

You can file as many complaints as you want against the e-commerce business.

13. How does online dispute resolution work on the platform?

The Online dispute resolution involves a six step procedure to resolve your complaints:
i. Registration(for first time users)/ Sign up (for subsequent users)
ii. Select E-commerce Company
iii. Payment
iv. Complaint Intake
v. Negotiation with E-commerce company
vi. Mediation
(For more details on each step, please visit Online Services)

14. What are the details to be filled during the registration process?

You need to furnish the following details:
i. Customer First name
ii. Customer Last name
iii. Gender
iv. Date of birth
v. Email
vi. Mobile Number
vii. Address
viii. City
ix. State
x. Country
xi. Create Password
xii. ID Proof (Aadhar/Passport/PAN card/ Voter’s ID/Driving License)

15. Is it mandatory to upload ID Proof?

Yes.

16. Is registration mandatory for filing a second case?

No. You can sign in directly with your registered email id and password.

17. Can I file a case against a company not listed in your website?

No. You cannot file a complaint against companies that are not listed on our website. You will have to intimate us through email at ocmc@nls.ac.in prior filing your complaint against such companies.

18. Does the business have an obligation to resolve the disputes through the Centre?

No. The process of negotiation/mediation is a completely voluntary process and the business has no obligation to resolve the dispute.

19. What is the fee for registration?

The registration fee for online filing of case is Rs.100. The fee is subject to change from time to time. Any such change will be reflected in the Fee Schedule.
The fee for physical mediation is as provided under the Fee Schedule from time to time.

20. What are the modes of payment?

You may pay through credit card/debit card or net banking.

21. Does the platform provide for a secured payment gateway?

Yes.

22. What information needs to be provided for completing the payment?

You need to provide the following details:
– Mobile number
– Email Id
– Credit Card number
– Name on Card
– Card Expiry
– CVV
– Name of Bank

23. Is the fee applicable to one case only?

Yes.

24. Is the registration fee refundable?

No. The registration fee is not refundable except in the event of any technical snags between the users network and/or the Centre and/or the issuing bank wherein the User’s transaction did not complete, whereby the User was/ were charged twice for a single transaction (duplicate processing) or for any other reason/s decided by the Centre at its sole discretion. Such request for refund shall be processed if it is made within a stipulated period of 30 days of payment.
(For any Policy change in Refunds, please refer to Terms of Use)

25. What information should I keep handy before I proceed with the registration of my complaint?

You need to furnish the following details in the Intake form:
Transaction Details-
i. Date of Purchase of the Product/Service
ii. Date the Product/Service was received
iii. Value of the Product/Service
iv. Transaction ID/Order No./Invoice No.
v. Complaint Details
vi. Description of Complaint
vii. Supporting documents
viii. Relief sought
If you have already filed a case before the Court/Commission/Forum, you need to furnish the following additional informations:
– Name of the Court/Commission/Forum
– Complaint Reference Number Issued by the Court/Commission/Forum
– District/State where the Court/Commission/Forum is located Current stage of case/complaint/dispute.

26. What are the documents that I can upload?

Purchase Invoice/ Correspondence with Business/Photograph/Receipt etc. Please note, the documents that you upload shall be in PDF/PNG/JPG/JPEG/GIF only. No document shall be uploaded in .doc or .docx.

27. Is there a timeline within which I should submit the above mentioned details?

Yes. You are given 15 minutes from the time you click the ‘File a Case’ button to fill the complaint details. Once your time is out, you will have to start the filing afresh.
Please DO NOT ‘Refresh’ the page or go ‘Back’ to the previous pages.

28. Can I authorize a legal representative/advocate/Counsel to settle the case on my behalf?

Yes. But it is important that such person shall have the appropriate authority to represent and settle the dispute.

29. Is it mandatory for me to produce any document supporting proof of ‘Authority to Represent and Settle’?

The Centre may request parties to produce such document at any stage in the process of dispute resolution.

30. What is the duration within which the Centre processes the complaint to the E-commerce company?

The Centre shall notify through email and invite the e-commerce company to settle the dispute within 7 Business days.

31. Within what time is the E-commerce expected to respond/participate in the dispute resolution process?

The e-commerce company is expected to respond within 10 business days from the date of receipt of complaint.

32. What if the e-commerce company does not respond/refuses to participate within the stipulated period?

The case closes if the e-commerce company does not respond within the stipulated period or refuses to participate in the dispute resolution process through the Centre.

33. Is there a mediation agreement that the parties have to enter into to participate in the mediation process?

No. As and when the e-commerce company accepts to participate in the dispute resolution process, it is implied that the parties have agreed to settle dispute through mediation.

34. Will the Centre review the case prior to allowing the parties to resolve dispute?

Yes.

35. What are the circumstances under which my case may be rejected?

– Issues relating to payment
– Use of abusive or offensive language
– Matter outside the scope of mediation
– Matter that does not fall within the ambit of ‘Consumer Complaint’ as described in FAQ 4.

36. How does the dispute resolution take place through the Platform?

The parties may first attempt to resolve their dispute amicably by mutual negotiations through text-based discussions, failing which such dispute may be referred to the Centre’s mediation process.

37. Can I use video conferencing for my case?

No.

38. Should I first negotiate with the e-commerce company and then opt for mediation?

No. You may directly request the Centre to appoint a mediator at the beginning of the dispute resolution.

39. Is there a settlement agreement in negotiation?

No.

40. How is a mediator appointed to my case?

On request by the party/parties to mediation, the Centre appoints a mediator from among the empanelled mediators with the Centre.

41. What is the role of a mediator in the case?

The mediator is a neutral-third party who assists the parties to negotiate and reach an amicable settlement. He is neither a judge nor an arbitrator, who decides the matter on any party’s behalf nor gives any arbitral award.

42. Under what circumstances can I request the Centre to change the mediator?

You can request the Centre to change the Mediator under circumstances provided under Mediation Rules and Code of Conduct. The request shall be through a separate mail to the Centre through ocmc@nls.ac.in.

43. Are my documents/files uploaded viewable by the parties to the dispute?

Yes.

44. Does the Centre keep record of all my documents and communications made in the Platform?

No.

45. Can I modify my complaint at any stage of the proceedings?

Yes. You can modify your complaint at any stage during the proceeding. You may also upload new files.

46. Is settlement compulsory in the resolution process?

No.

47. Can I withdraw from the case at any stage during the dispute resolution process?

Yes.

48. What happens if the parties reach a settlement in the mediation process?

On reaching a settlement, the parties shall with the help of the Mediator, draw up a Settlement Agreement ( a prototype of which is provided in the Platfrom). The Settlement Agreement can be downloaded by the Parties and duly signed for the purpose of authentication.

49. What happens if the parties do not settle the matter?

The case closes and the parties may choose to resort to other dispute resolutions.

50. What is the stipulated time for dispute resolution through the process?

The parties are required to settle the dispute within 30 days from the date of first discussion through the platform. However, a one-time extension period of 15 days is given to the parties if they are of the opinion that there is likelihood to settle. After the stipulated time for settlement, the case becomes invalid and the parties are not allowed to further discuss on the case.

51. Can I reopen a case after it is closed/withdrawn?

No.

52. What is Settlement Agreement?

A Settlement Agreement is an agreement entered into between parties to mediation at the stage of resolving the dispute, which underlines the terms and conditions settled through the process. The Agreement shall be signed by the parties. The Settlement Agreement is valid and binding on the parties.

53. Can a Settlement Agreement be enforced before a Court of law?

Yes. The settlement agreement shall have the same status as that of a settlement agreement that can be executed as provided under Section 73of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.

54. What is the procedure for enforcement of Settlement Agreement in cases which have already been filed before the Court?

In case of court-referred mediation, where an agreement is reached between the parties in regard to the issues referred, the same shall be reduced to writing and shall be submitted by the Parties to the Court/Commission/Forum in which the suit is pending.