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ISO 10003:2018 Quality management — Customer satisfaction — Guidelines for dispute resolution external to organizations

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Table 1: Data sheet for Quality management — Customer satisfaction — Guidelines for dispute resolution external to organizations
Title Quality management — Customer satisfaction — Guidelines for dispute resolution external to organizations
Version Version 2
Document Number ISO 10003:2018
Release Date 2018-07
Note: The following is an excerpt from the official ISO catalog. It is provided here as a convenience and is not authoritative. Refer to the original document as the authoritative reference.


This document gives guidelines for an organization to plan, design, develop, operate, maintain and improve an effective and efficient dispute-resolution process for complaints that have not been resolved by the organization.

This document is applicable to:

  • complaints relating to the organization's products and services, the complaints-handling process or dispute-resolution process;
  • resolution of disputes arising from domestic or cross-border business activities, including those arising from electronic commerce.

This document is intended for use by any organization regardless of its type or size, or the products and services it provides, and deals with:

  • guidance on determining when and how organizations can participate in dispute resolution;
  • guidance on the selection of providers and use of their services;
  • top management involvement in, and commitment to, dispute resolution and deployment of adequate resources within the organization;
  • the essentials for fair, suitable, transparent and accessible dispute resolution;
  • guidance on management of an organization's participation in dispute resolution;
  • monitoring, evaluating and improving the dispute-resolution process.

This document is particularly aimed at dispute resolution between an organization and

  • individuals purchasing or using products and services for personal or household purposes, or
  • small businesses.

This document does not apply to the resolution of other types of disputes, such as employment disputes. It does not apply to complaints handling within an organization.


0.1 General

This document provides guidance for organizations to plan, design, develop, operate, maintain and improve effective and efficient external dispute resolution for product- and service-related complaints. Dispute resolution gives an avenue of redress when organizations do not remedy a complaint internally. Most complaints can be resolved successfully within the organization, without the need for further time-consuming and more adversarial procedures.

NOTE 1 Organizations are encouraged to develop an effective and efficient internal complaints-handling process consistent with ISO 10002.

There are different methods for resolving disputes and different terms used to describe them. These methods are facilitative, advisory or determinative (see Annex A). Each method can be used by itself or the methods can be used in sequence.

This document can be used to:

a) design a dispute-resolution process and decide when to offer dispute resolution to complainants; b) select a dispute-resolution provider (hereinafter referred to as “provider”; see 3.9) that is able to meet an organization’s specific needs and expectations.

NOTE 2 Providers from the public and private sectors can take various forms around the world, including industry-sector specific associations, ombudsmen and multi-sector associations.

While this document is directed towards organizations, providers can also benefit from knowing what guidance is being given to organizations. Providers can also use the guidance in their dispute-resolution process.

Organizations are encouraged to plan, design, develop, operate, maintain and improve a dispute-resolution process in conjunction with a customer satisfaction code of conduct and internal complaints-handling process, and to integrate them with the organization’s quality or other management systems.

This document can assist individuals and organizations in evaluating the effectiveness, efficiency and fairness of an organization’s dispute-resolution process. Implementation of this document can:

  • provide flexible dispute resolution that, in comparison with court-based processes, can be less expensive, easier and quicker, especially in disputes across borders;
  • help to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty;
  • provide a benchmark against which individuals and organizations can evaluate claims by organizations and providers that they operate in an effective, efficient and fair manner;
  • help to inform potential users of dispute resolution about the conditions of access, cost and the legal consequences;
  • enhance the ability of the organization to identify and eliminate causes of disputes;
  • improve the way complaints and disputes are handled in the organization;
  • provide additional information that can contribute to improvement of the organization’s products, services and processes;
  • improve the organization’s reputation or avoid damage to it;
  • improve domestic and international competitiveness;
  • provide confidence of fair and consistent treatment of disputes throughout the global marketplace.

NOTE 3 External dispute resolution can be the subject of statutory and regulatory requirements.

NOTE 4 The satisfaction of persons or organizations that could or do receive a product or a service from a public or a private organization is the focus of this document.

dido/public/ra/xapend/xapend.b_stds/tech/iso/customer_dispute.txt · Last modified: 2021/09/28 05:39 by
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