Complaint And Dispute Resolution Policy

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1.    GENERAL PROVISIONS


1.1.    This Dispute Resolution Procedure (hereinafter referred to as the "Procedure") of the Crowdfunding Platform "CrowdingLab" (hereinafter "Platform"), establishes rules for settlement of complaints submitted to Platform and Counterparty Dispute Settlement Rules for securing:
1.1.1.     prompt and fair process of handling and resolving disputes between the Complaints and / or Counterparties;
1.1.2.     The storage of complaints and / or Counterparty disputes, material relating to their examination, answers, decisions or information on measures taken to resolve a complaint or dispute;
1.1.3.     regular assessment of complaints and / or disputes and effective elimination of complaints and / or disputes;
1.1.4.     an effective periodic evaluation of this Procedure and, if necessary, a review.
1.2    The procedure was prepared in accordance with the Law on Crowdfunding of the Republic of Lithuania and the Law of the Republic of Lithuania of 2013 June 6 Resolution No. 03-105 "On approval of rules for handling complaints received from Financial Market participants" and in 2012 January 26 Resolution No. 03-23 "On approval of rules of procedure for out-of-court settlement of disputes between consumers and financial market participants in the Bank of Lithuania" (as far as the provisions of this resolution apply to the Platform).
1.3.    This Order applies to:
1.3.1.     complaints regarding Platform Services and / or Platforms Contracts in relation to the Platform Operator of the Crowdfunding Platform. This Procedure does not apply to other claims, requests for performance of contracts, or information, explanations, etc. submitted to the Platform;
1.3.2.     complaints (and, as far as they are) directly related to the activities of the Counterparty Financing Operator and the Counterparty Financing Services provided to the Counterparties. This Procedure does not apply to claims, requests for fulfillment of contractual clauses submitted by other Counterparties to counterparties or information, explanations, etc.
1.4.     In implementing the Complaints and / or Dispute Resolution Policy set forth in this Procedure, the requirements of legal acts regulating the protection of personal data must be observed and the rules for the processing of personal data approved by the Platform shall be followed.


2.    DEFINITIONS


2.1.     Terms used in the procedure:
Administrator the person who is responsible for administering complaints, i.e.  receiving and registering complaints in the journal, submitting complaints to complainants, managing the journal, timely submission of answers to the applicant, submission of information on complaint and dispute resolution policy, procedure introduction to platform employees and other functions assigned.
The answer     means a reasoned explanation given to the Applicant or a written opinion on the Complaint examined.
Applicant     the person who lodged the Complaint with the Platform Services and / or the Contracts with the Platform, or the person who applies for a dispute between him and the other Counterparty Financing Party.
Complaint      written request of the Applicant to the Platform, indicating:
• that the rights or legitimate interests of his or the person whose legal representative is the Applicant are violated, related to the activity of the Platform Operator of the Crowdfunding Platform, requesting to meet the Applicant's requirements; or
• information about the dispute between him or the person whose legal representative is the Applicant and other CCP counterpart that is directly related to the activities of the Counterparty financing activities of the Platform, requesting a reasoned opinion in writing regarding a possible settlement of the dispute or helping to resolve the conflict in a peaceful manner.
Person    the person who is responsible for the handling complaints, i.e. collection of information necessary for complaints received, examination of complaints, decision-making and preparation of Answers to Applicants.
Journal       electronic Complaints Log in which the Complaints received on the Platform are registered and the other information specified in this Procedure is specified.

2.2    Other definitions in Policy are understood as defined in the Terms and Conditions of the Platform or in the Law on Crowdfunding of the Republic of Lithuania and other related legal acts, unless otherwise explicitly stated in the Procedure.


3.    SUBMISSION AND ADMISSION OF COMPLAINTS


3.1.    Complaints are submitted in writing. The complaint must contain the following information:
3.1.1.     Applicant's name (for natural persons) or Applicant's name (for legal entities);
3.1.2.    if the Applicant represents another person for violation of the rights or legitimate interests of the Complaint - the name, surname (name) and the basis of representation of this person;
3.1.3.     date of complaint;
3.1.4.     the exact address of the Applicant to receive the Response (the e-mail address can be indicated);
3.1.5.     if the Complaint filed between the Counterparty Financing Counterparties contact details of the other Counterparty Financing Party, such as telephone and / or fax numbers, e-mail address;
3.1.6.     The essence of the complaint:
3.1.6.1. complaint about the Platform's actions (omissions) as regards the activities and / or the provision of services by the crowdfunding platform operator for which the Applicant submits the Complaint and the arguments and motives on which the Applicant bases its claims;
3.1.6.2. the essence of the dispute between the Counterparties, the information as to why the dispute is directly related to the activity of the Counterparty financing by the Platform, the arguments and motives by which the Applicant justifies its claims to the other Counterparty;
3.1.7.     clear, precise and motivated requirements of the Applicant;
3.1.8.     a list of documents accompanying the Complaint to be provided;
3.1.9.     Applicant's signature.
3.2.    The Complainant must attach to the Complaint all documents confirming his arguments and requirements. If the Applicant lodges the Complaint as a representative, the Complaint must be accompanied by a valid proxy or other document confirming the delegate's authority, which will entitle the Applicant to submit a Complaint and receive a Reply from the Platform.
3.3.     It is desirable for the Complainant to also include other contact details of the Applicant, such as telephone and / or fax numbers, email address.
3.4.     A complaint to the Platform must be made in writing in any of the following ways:
3.4.1.     upon arrival at the platform office;
3.4.2.     sending by post (courier assistance, etc.) to the address of the platform's office;
3.4.3.     by sending to the platforms indicated by e-mail.
3.5.     If the Complainant submits the Application to the Platform personally upon arrival to the platform operator office, any employee shall:
3.5.1.     to accept the Complaint in the course of the actions specified in Item 4.1 of the Procedure;
3.5.2.     to provide information to the Applicant about this Procedure, and at the request of the Applicant - to submit a copy of the Order to him or to send an electronic copy of this Procedure to the e-mail address indicated by the Applicant;
3.5.3.     inform the Applicant that the Complaint Procedure is free of charge;
3.5.4.     to submit a Complaint to the Administrator in accordance with the procedure and terms established in clause 4.2 of the Procedure.
3.6.    If the Applicant submits the Complaint directly upon arrival at the platform office and the Complaint obviously does not meet the requirements specified in Item 3.1 of the Procedure, the Person shall draw the Applicant's attention to such discrepancies and propose to remove them. If, due to such inconsistencies, the Complaint cannot be accepted, the Person has the right to refuse to accept it.
3.7.     Only Complaints that are written in a legible English language and which meet all the requirements for Content of the Complaint, specified in Section 3.1 of the Procedure, shall be considered.
3.8.     If the Complaint has been returned to the Applicant, indicating the deficiencies in the Complaint, proposing to correct them, the Complaint is not deemed to be submitted and the deadlines specified in clause 5.11 of the Procedure (to provide the Answers to the Applicant) shall be calculated from the day the Complaint has been corrected and the Platform receives a Complaint fully compliant with Item 3.1 of this Procedure requirements.
3.9.     Anonymous complaints are not accepted and are not considered.


4.    REGISTRATION OF COMPLAINTS AND COMPLAINT JOURNAL


4.1.    Upon receipt of any complaint submitted to the Platform in any of the ways outlined in Clause 3.4 of the Procedure, the Person who has received the Complaint must immediately print the received complaint (if the Complaint has been received in the manner specified in Paragraph 3.4.3 of the Procedure), mark the documents ‘RECEIVED’, indicate the date of receipt, title, surname and signature.
 4.2.     The Person must immediately, but not later than the next working day, forward the Complaint and any documents submitted to it to the Administrator. If the originals of the Complaint documents are not available to the Administrator within the set time limit, electronic copies of these documents to be provided and the original documents are submitted later.
4.3.     All complaints received on the Platform are registered in the Journal, with their registration number. The registry is performed by other journal data and managed by the Administrator. If required by the Platform Manager, the Administrator provides information about Complaints received on the Platform and other Log Data.
4.4.    The following details about the Complaint are recorded and processed in the log:
4.4.1.     Applicant's name (for natural persons) or name (for legal entities);
4.4.2.     The address and other contact details of the Applicant specified in the complaint;
4.4.3.     Date and method of receipt of complaint;
4.4.4.     Complaint registration number;
4.4.5.     The essence of the complaint (brief content);
4.4.6.     Date of dispatch of the response to the Applicant;
4.4.7.     Result of the complaint handling (decision);
4.4.8.     Additional information deemed necessary by the Administrator to be entered in the Journal.
4.5.    When registering the Complaint, information specified in Items 4.4.1-4.4.4 of the Procedure must be entered in the Journal. Other Log Data may be completed later in the course of handling the Complaint.
4.6.     The log data must be stored in accordance with the procedure and terms set forth in paragraph 5.18 of the Procedure.


5.    COMPLAINT HANDLING AND DECISION MAKING


5.1.    The platform must take all possible steps to make the Complaint as expeditious as possible and fully investigated. The Platform, when investigating the Complaints, must observe the principles of respect for human rights, fairness, integrity, reasonableness, objectivity, impartiality and other principles enshrined in the legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania applicable to the Platform.
5.2.     A person investigating complaint shall endeavor to resolve the dispute between the Platform and the Applicant or between the Counterparty Financing Counterparties by means of peaceful, reciprocal concessions.
5.3.     Upon registration of the Complaint in accordance with the procedure established in Part 4 of the Procedure, the Complaint is transferred to the appointed Person by the Platform who himself examines the Complaint and writes the Response or instructs other competent Platform staff within the shortest possible time but not longer than the deadlines specified in Paragraph 5.11 of the Procedure to investigate the circumstances and requirements specified in the complaint and submit a written response. In dealing with disputes arising from Counterparty Complaints, the appointed Person by the platform or its authorized Platform staff may initiate Counterparty Meetings in order to promptly resolve the dispute and find out all the circumstances surrounding the dispute.
5.4.      Person appointed by the platform cannot investigate the actions (omissions) of the complaining person or his / her close relatives (if any, working on the Platform). In such a case, another Person must be appointed to deal with complaint by informing the Platform Manager in writing. The person whose actions (omission) are being appealed, a close relative of such person or a person directly subordinate to this person cannot be assigned to investigate the Complaint. If the persons provided for in this clause consider that in the case of a Complaint, they are not able to deal with this Complaint due to other circumstances which cause or are likely to give rise to a conflict of interest, they must immediately notify and withdraw from the particular complaint or investigation of the Complaint.
5.5.    If the circumstances provided in Clause 5.4 of the Procedure become apparent in the course of handling the Complaint, urgent action shall be taken in order to eliminate the circumstances causing or capable of causing the conflict of interest and, if necessary, another specific person must be appointed to take over the investigation of Complaint.
5.6.     The complaining party must ensure that during the examination of the Complaint, all documents and data relating to the complaint under examination, submitted by the Applicant, and which the Platform may legitimately collect on its own initiative, or seek to clarify all the circumstances surrounding the dispute between the parties, including, information that may be provided by the other party to the Counterparty as regards the circumstances specified in the complaint.
5.7.     Upon receipt of a dispute concerning a Counterparty  Complaint, the person handling the Complaint must inform the other Counterparty not later than within 5 working days from the day the Complaint is filed, indicating that it is within the set deadline, which cannot be shorter than 5 calendar days, may provide explanations on the circumstances and the reasonableness of the circumstances specified in the complaint.
5.8.     Upon request, the Complaint handling Person has the right to request from the Applicant to submit additional information and / or documents that could affect the correct examination of the Complaint within a set deadline, which may not be shorter than 5 calendar days.
5.9.     The Complaint handling Person draws up a Response in accordance with the circumstances established in the course of the examination of the Complaint and, if applicable, takes one of the following decisions:
5.9.1.     To reject the complaint;
5.9.2.     To satisfy the complaint partially;
5.9.3.     To satisfy the complaint fully.
5.10.    In the event of a dispute between the Counterparties resolved through peaceful reciprocal rebates, Platform submits a reasoned opinion on the possible dispute resolution method. The platform's opinion does not bind any of the parties and none of them is mandatory. The platform is not and will not be held liable if the Platform's opinion does not match the clarifications or decisions of other competent authorities.
5.11.     The complaint is being examined and the Response is submitted to the Applicant not later than:
5.11.1.    within 30 calendar days when the Applicant is a consumer and
5.11.2.    within 40 calendar days when the Applicant is not a consumer or in cases where the Complaint is filed between the Counterparties. If the Complaint cannot be dealt with within the period specified in this clause, the Person must inform the Applicant about this, indicate the circumstances of the delay in submitting the Response and the time until the Complaint will be examined.
5.12.    If at the time of examination of the Complaints, the Applicant who submitted the Complaint, waives his claim in writing, the Complaint handling Peron shall terminate the commencement of the Complaint. In such a case, an appropriate record of the Refusal and the termination of the Complaint must be recorded in the Journal.
5.13.    If the Complaint does not comply with the requirements specified in Sections 3.1 or 3.4 of the Procedure, or if deficiencies are not remedied within the prescribed time limit, the Person handling complaint shall refuse to process the submitted Complaint and return it to the Applicant. The return of the Complaint to the Applicant shall not prevent the rectification of the deficiencies identified in the Platform with the same Complaint.
5.14.     Written reply must always be given to the Applicant of complaint.
5.15.     The complaint is considered to be closed when a decision is made on the issues raised therein or a reasoned opinion is prepared, and a Written Response is sent to the Applicant.
5.16.     If the Complaint is not satisfied or only partly satisfied, the Platform shall indicate in its Response the refusal to comply with the grounds of the complaint, specify other remedies for the interests of the Applicant or the person represented by him, as provided in Section 8.6 of the Procedure.
5.17.     Investigated Complaints with all documentation must be kept in a separate file in the Complaint Journal or Platform in the electronic data storage system in accordance with the procedure established by laws, but not less than 3 years from the date of submission of the final Response to the Applicant.


6.    CONTROLS OF COMPLAINTS MANAGEMENT PROCESS


6.1.    The control of the complaints management process on the Platform is carried out by an authorized person appointed by the Platform Manager. An authorized person appointed by the platform manager must monitor and ensure that the Platform Complaints Management process is effective and, if necessary, provide Platform Manager with suggestions on how to improve it.
6.2.    The Platform Manager is responsible for periodic verification of the Platform for Complaints Policy, its effectiveness, and troubleshooting.
6.3.     For the purpose of controlling the complaint management process, an authorized person appointed by the Platform Manager carries out a regular evaluation of the results of the Complaints Handling:
6.3.1.    collects information on similar Complaints in relation to the activities of the Platform Operator of the Crowdfunding Platform, analyze this information in order to identify the underlying cause of the Complaints, and provide the Platform Manager with proposals for prioritizing the removal of complaints;
6.3.2.     evaluates that the material cause of the occurrence of certain Complaints;
6.3.3.     evaluates whether the underlying causes of Complaints can be eliminated and provides proposals to the Platform Manager on ways to eliminate them;
6.3.4.     if necessary, take steps to remove the identified root causes of complaints;
6.3.5.     ensures that information about recurring or systemic causes of Complaints is regularly provided to the Platform Manager;
6.4.     Assessed information and suggestions provided by the authorized person appointed by the Platform Manager, the decisions on improving the complaint management process and deficiencies, the priorities and modalities for addressing the causes of complaints and the related risk management platform are adopted by the Platform Manager.
 6.5.     Information on the decisions of the Platform Manager regarding complaints-based remedial actions and risk management should be kept for at least 3 years in accordance with the law.


7.    COMPLAINT HANDLING PROCEDURES IN OTHER COMPETENT AUTHORITIES


7.1.    If the Applicant is a consumer he may also apply to the Bank of Lithuania under the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Bank of Lithuania  where more detailed description of the disputes settlement of consumers and financial market participants can be found here - https://www.lb.lt/en/dbc-settle-a-dispute-with-a-financial-service-provider
7.2.     For claims based on the complaint, or the answer provided by the platform, the Applicant has the right to apply to the court in accordance with the procedure established by the laws of the Republic of Lithuania.


8.    FINAL PROVISIONS


8.1.    This Procedure enters into force and must always be in place and may be withdrawn, modified and / or supplemented only by Platform Manager decision. Amendments and / or additions shall come into force on the following day of their adoption. The platform manager must ensure that Platform staff are timely informed about the changes and / or additions.
8.2.     The Platform Manager is responsible for the proper implementation and control. The Platform Manager determines who performs the functions of the Administrator and Complaint handling Person. The same person cannot be assigned to perform the functions of the Administrator and the person handling the Complaints.
8.3.     The complainant should be given access to all the information required to handle the Complaint.
8.5.     The Administrator must ensure that all Platform employees are familiar with the Procedure.



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