Professor Amy Schmitz contributed Chapter 13, “Building Trust in Ecommerce Through Online Dispute Resolution,” to Research Handbook on Electronic Commerce Law, which was edited by Professor John Rothchild of Wayne State University Law School and was recently published.
The book serves as an authoritative research handbook comprised of chapters by leading scholars covering topics including contracting, payments, intellectual property, extraterritorial enforcement, alternative dispute resolution, social media, consumer protection, network neutrality, online gambling, domain name governance and privacy.
In the chapter on dispute resolution, Professor Schmitz aims to explain the benefits of online dispute resolution (“ODR”) systems for resolution of low-dollar disputes in business-to-consumer (“B2C”) transactions. ODR systems lower the costs and burdens of pursuing complaints so that all consumers, regardless of power and resources, feel comfortable and able to seek assistance. Online complaint centers also foster transparency and empower consumers to share information about products and services. The chapter discusses how ODR systems expand and equalize remedy systems in B2C exchanges and invites continued development of such ODR systems in an effort to foster revived corporate responsibility and empower all consumers regardless of their resources, power or status.