As a neutral dispute resolution body, we help consumers and traders to settle disputes out of court. The voluntary procedure is our contribution to a simple and quick out of court dispute resolution.
We deal with disputes between consumers residing in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and traders based in Germany (statutory seat, central administration or place of business, including a branch, agency or any other establishment).
Only consumers can apply to our services. Their dispute must concern a consumer contract (or the existence of a consumer contract).
Our dispute resolution body is a so-called "residual ADR” (Alternative Dispute Resolution). We are competent if there is no sector-specific ADR body that can deal with it. However, you may file a complaint with us anyway: If it comes out that we are not competent, we will redirect you.
We do not deal with disputes concerning employment contracts. Furthermore, certain disputes are excluded, such as
- disputes concerning contracts on non-economic services of general interest
- health care services
- further and higher education by public providers
The Universalschlichtungsstelle des Bundes is run by the Zentrum für Schlichtung e.V. (Centre for Conciliation).
Please note that we are not a consumer association. We do not offer legal advice and do neither represent traders nor consumers. We serve as a neutral conciliator between the parties.
The procedure is free of charge for consumers. Only in exceptional cases the dispute resolution body can impose a fee of EUR 30, if the application must be considered as abusive.
For traders, the fee is based on the Universalschlichtungsstellenverordnung (regulation for the general conciliation body).
Generally, the language of the procedure is German, but you can contact us in English, French and Swedish. If you wish and if the other party agrees, the whole conciliation procedure can be done in one of those languages.
You can file your complaint online by clicking here (Link zu “Antrag einreichen” ] or you can file a complaint by e-mail or by post. If you need assistance, you can seek help from the European Consumer Centre in your country (see below).
You can contact us by E-mail at mail(at)universalschlichtungsstelle.de, by letter or a personal visit during opening and business hours at the following address:
Universalschlichtungsstelle des Bundes
Zentrum für Schlichtung e.V.
Straßburger Straße 8
You can also call us at 0049 7851 795 79 40 or send a fax to 0049 7851 795 79 41.
In case you need (legal) assistance
Consumers with residence in the EU, Iceland, Norway and the UK can contact the European Consumer Centre in their own country of residence. Consumers can seek legal advice and assistance in individual cross-border cases between consumers and traders. The ECC-centres in these countries collaborate within the ECC-network. Please find the contact details to your ECC-centre on the EU-commission’s website.
The contact details of your consumer centre can be found on the website of the European Commission https://commission.europa.eu/live-work-travel-eu/consumer-rights-and-complaints/resolve-your-consumer-complaint/european-consumer-centres-network-ecc-net_en
You can find all notified alternative dispute resolution bodies in the European Economic Area (EU plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) conforming directive 2013/11/EU on the ODR-platform from the European Commission https://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/main/?event=main.home2.show&lng=EN