e.g. disputing goods/services not delivered or not delivered as promised
Buyers can only take a purchase dispute to arbitration if the purchase was made using a Trelis payment link showing the Seller's ENS domain or Urbit ID.
The dispute resolution process is not guaranteed to result in a refund - even if the jury votes in the buyer's favour. However, Trelis will refund the buyer's Arbitration Deposit and the outcome of past disputes are shown on a Seller's payment links. This is what provides for seller reputation and an incentive for the Seller to respect the dispute resolution process.
The buyer of a product/service using a Trelis payment link may initiate a dispute with a seller of that product/service, e.g. in the case the product/service is not delivered. Disputes may only be initiated for payment links showing an ENS or Urbit ID.
As a first step, the buyer must engage with the seller (e.g. via the seller's website or Twitter account) to request resolution of the dispute.
If the dispute is not resolved to the buyer's satisfaction, the buyer may file a request for arbitration with Trelis using this link.
Public Nature of Arbitration.
Trelis' arbitration process is public (just like a public court), and all evidence submitted (including prior correspondence between the buyer and seller) will become a matter of public record. Even if you feel it is unlikely you will file for arbitration, it is to your benefit, as buyer, to communicate clearly and respectfully with the seller at the early stages of directly seeking dispute resolution.
To file a request for arbitration, the buyer must complete a Request for Arbitration (form here), which includes:
- 1.Paying a deposit of 20 USDC (the "Arbitration Deposit") to Trelis (refundable if the Buyer's case is upheld)
- 2.Providing an Etherscan link to the payment under dispute.
- 3.Providing the amount of compensation requested ("Compensation Amount"), which may not exceed the sum of the purchase amount and which must be in the same currency as the original purchase ("Purchase Currency").
- 4.Providing a description of the basis for the dispute and the losses suffered.
- 5.Uploading a copy of all correspondence with the seller relating to this dispute.
Once submitted, the request for arbitration shall be shared with the seller, who shall have 72 hours to either:
a. Pay the buyer the Compensation Amount plus refund the Buyer their Arbitration Deposit (payable in the Purchase Currency with exchange rates based on the date/time of payment of the deposit).
b. Pay an arbitration fee of 150 USDC and upload a copy of all correspondence with the buyer. In this scenario, the dispute moves to arbitration.
Trelis makes use of Kleros - a decentralised dispute resolution platform - for arbitration. Trelis has no say in the selection of jury/court members or on their decision.
Kleros’ independent courts shall make a determination - based on Buyer and Seller submissions - whether the buyer's claim is accepted, rejected, or whether they "refuse to arbitrate".
The arbitration process takes two weeks to reach a decision.
There are four outcomes that can arise from a Request for Arbitration:
Seller refuses to engage in arbitration. If the Seller does not respond to a Request for Arbitration within 72 hours, and, provided there is no evidence of foul play on the part of the Buyer, Trelis will:
- 1.Display a warning on future payment links created by the Seller.
- 2.Trelis will reimburse the Buyer for the Arbitration Deposit.
Arbitration ruling in favour of the buyer. If Kleros Courts accept the buyer's claim, Seller will pay Buyer - within 72 hours - the Compensation Amount plus a refund of the Arbitration Deposit (payable in the Payment Currency based on the exchange rate at the time the Arbitration Deposit was paid).
If the Seller does not pay the Buyer the Compensation Amount within 72 hours, and, provided there is no evidence of foul play during the arbitration process or on the part of the Buyer, Trelis will:
- 1.Display a warning on future payment links generated by the Seller.
- 2.In this scenario, Trelis will reimburse the Buyer for the Arbitration Deposit.
Arbitration ruling in favor of the seller. If Kleros Courts reject the buyer's claim, no further action is required of the Buyer or Seller, and no further action is taken by Trelis. There is no refund of the Arbitration Deposit in this case.
Arbitration returns a 'Refuse to Arbitrate' Verdict. In this scenario, which occurs if there is foul play on the part of the Buyer and the Seller, no compensation is required to be paid by the Seller, no further action is taken by Trelis, and there is no Arbitration Deposit refund to the Buyer.
Should the Buyer wish to further appeal beyond arbitration, they may wish to resort to off-chain courts.
If you made a payment using a Trelis payment link showing the Seller's ENS or Urbit ID, then you are entitled to use the Trelis Dispute resolution process.
Examples of where you can take a dispute to arbitration include situations where you paid for a product/service, but the product/service was not delivered, or not delivered as promised.
If the arbitration jury rules in the buyer's favour, the buyer is entitled to receive compensation from the seller and a refund (also from the seller) of the Arbitration Deposit. If the seller does not pay and/or is unresponsive during the arbitration phase, the seller's Trelis Profile is deactivated for one year and Trelis will refund the buyer the arbitration deposit.
If arbitration goes in the seller's favour, no dispute fees or arbitration fees are refunded, neither to the buyer nor to the seller.
Cases in arbitration are not decided upon by Trelis. Rather, Trelis submits cases to Kleros' decentralised courts, where jurors are selected from Kleros' pool of jurors to rule on the case. Each juror must put funds at stake that may be slashed if the juror submits fraudulent rulings. Trelis has no influence on the voting of jurors, and jurors are paid by the Kleros protocol at the same rate as for other similar cases.
The Kleros arbitration ruling - as with any arbitration - may not be correct in all judgements. However, this form of arbitration provides for dispute resolution at much lower cost than traditional governmental courts or traditional arbitration. Sellers and buyers are, of course, entitled to pursue cases via governmental courts at any time, in parallel or in series to the Trelis Resolution process.