Research from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has investigated the impact and effectiveness of alternative dispute resolution and the court system.
Compiled earlier this year, the report looks at the two above processes when resolving consumer disputes with traders.
Not only did the study from the BEIS assess the impact of the court system and alternative dispute resolution in resolving any issues, it suggested indicators that could be used for ongoing monitoring of the effectiveness of consumer alternative dispute resolution in the UK.
Disputes cost companies of all sizes; research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has previously revealed disputes are costing small firms in England and Wales at least £11 billion per year.
And in recent years, 70% of SMEs have had to deal with at least one dispute.
It is makes the BEIS report, called Resolving Consumer Disputes, an even more important piece of research.
The study found that most consumers who used the alternative dispute resolution or courts had a positive experience.
Figures show 76% of consumers who used the courts, and 69% using alternative dispute resolution would do so again in the future if similar problems were experienced in the future.
Elsewhere, the study highlighted that both of these resolution processes were deemed as simple and fair, with 62% of respondents who used alternative dispute resolution finding the process simple, as did over half (53%) who went through the courts.
The majority of traders and consumers did not experience problems with using either of these methods.
Research shows that traders tend to honour agreements reached; in cases of alternative dispute resolution and when the courts were used, both revealed that the vast majority of cases (93% and 84% respectively) saw decisions implemented.
The research may be able to help businesses in future in terms of how they resolve disputes, either through courts, alternative methods, or by calling on the help of specialist companies.