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Abstract

It is generally agreed that ordinary legal procedures are not the most appropriate way to resolve consumer disputes. Due to the disparity between the economic value of the claim itself and the disproportionate cost and duration of court proceedings many consumers forego claiming their rights through these procedures.1 Therefore, it was vital to seek alternative models of conflict resolution that would not deter consumers from exercising their constitutionally recognized rights, of course, without prejudice to administrative or judicial pro-cedures.2 Although arbitration was, and still is, the most widely used model for resolving consumer disputes, me-diation is becoming increasingly more relevant, as dem-onstrated by successive reports published by the National Consumer Institute.3 The special feature of consumer mediation relative to other types of mediation is that the conflict is between a consumer or a user and company or a tradesperson. Both parties need to have that status according to the law (Royal Legislative Decree 1/2007 of 16 November, approving the Revised Text of the General Law on the Protection of Con-sumers and Users and other complementary laws). The or-igin of the dispute must be a legal relationship in the area of consumption, for example purchasing a product or con-tracting a service. The mediator will offer help and guide the conflicting parties to narrow the gap between them and adopt a mutually acceptable agreement

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oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.921.931Last time updated on 11/1/2017

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