When a complaint cannot be resolved through RECC's dispute resolution process for whatever reason, RECC will offer the consumer the option of applying for independent arbitration. Alternatively, the consumer may request access to arbitration, if at least 56 days have passed since he or she first registered a complaint with the member company. The consumer is not required to refer the dispute to independent arbitration, and may choose to deal with the matter in other ways, including taking legal action. However, if the consumer submits an application for arbitration, the member must accede to the request.
The scheme administrator has appointed IDRS Ltd. (IDRS) to operate the arbitration service on its behalf. Once a consumer applies for arbitration in line with the rules set out here, IDRS will appoint an arbitrator from the panel it maintains for the purpose. The arbitration will be conducted under the Arbitration Act 1996. The arbitration process will work as follows:
An award made under the independent arbitration service will be final and binding on both the consumer and the member. It may only be challenged on certain limited grounds under the Arbitration Act 1996. If an arbitrator makes a decision in favour of a consumer, the member must comply fully with any award that may be made.