Alternative Consumer Dispute Resolution (called ADR) covers mediation, conciliation and arbitration.
Independent entities, with specialized staff, impartially, help the consumer and the company/professional to reach a friendly solution through mediation or conciliation. If such an agreement is not reached, the arbitral tribunal may also be appealed to the arbitral tribunal, through a simple and rapid and most often free procedure. The arbitral award has executive force (mandatory characteristic) and is equated to a decision of a court of first instance.
Most Consumer Dispute Arbitration Centres are resolving disputes through mediation, conciliation and arbitration procedures, free of charge or at reduced costs. They provide free information on consumer issues.
ADR entities registered as Alternative Consumer Dispute Resolution entities can be found on the Consumer Portal at www.consumidor.pt