Step 2: Asking a Third Party to Help
The Context you’re in
If clarifying and discussing things with “the other side” was either not possible or not completely fruitful, then it is time to see if there is a 3rd party person or organisation who can help.
The Best Outcome from these activities
With the help of the 3rd party, you take into account the perspectives and views of all parties directly involved in the situation and you resolve the dispute without moving into formal Alternative Dispute Resolution.
The Next Best Outcome from these activities
You have a chronological and detailed document trail which you can expand and elaborate on in preparation for moving into formal Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Why You Are Here
You are here because you have tried talking with friends and family and also with the other side and you have been unable to reach a satisfactory resolution or compromise. You are willing to see whether a 3rd Party individual or organisation may be able to informally help you resolve the dispute without moving into formal Alternative Dispute Resolution.
What You Can Do
You can identify and approach 3rd Party individuals or organisations who may be able to play an informal role in resolving the dispute. These 3rd Parties may already be on the periphery in some way and can be asked to help.
How You Can Do It (in 4 steps)
1. Think about which 3rd Party organisations are already involved in some way in the relationship between you and the other side. For example, a credit card company, a bank or a local council.
2. Make a list of these organisations and any individuals you may know within them who could be in a position to help resolve the dispute. For example:
Credit Card company in the case of consumer dispute
CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau)
Letting agent in the case of a rental disput
AA / RAC in the case of a motoring disput
A respected professional or professional body that you both know
3. The other side may also be able to help you resolve the dispute by identifying 3rd Party individuals or organisations that can help you both “referee” the situation.
4. When selecting a 3rd Party to be informally involved, consider the following;
You need to be clear what powers the 3rd Party has to resolve the dispute, if any. For example, a Credit Card company has the power to intervene on the behalf of a consumer if the consumer believes they have a complaint.
If you involve a 3rd Party individual or organisation in resolving the dispute, you need to be very clear on what terms they can help you, and the limitations of their intervention.
If both you and the other side are willing to take the advice of a 3rd Party to help you resolve the dispute, and avoid the costs and time of going into formal Alternative Dispute Resolution, then you may both need to compromise to some extent.
You need to find out whether the involvement of the 3rd Party will involve any costs for you and also how long it is likely to take.
Do you, or a family member or friend, know anyone who works for or belongs to a relevant 3rd Party organisation? If so, can you meet with them to discuss the situation informally?
What’s Next If You Do This
You may find that by involving a 3rd Party in an informal way, that you will have resolved your dispute. If not, then you will at least have refined your recorded set of parameters that you can now take into a formal Alternative Dispute Resolution process.
Check out the other buttons above for additional support in this step.