Disputes committee

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A disputes committee makes decisions about situations when people do not agree with each other. The main reason to have a disputes committee is to reduce the number of disputes that go to court. It is faster and cheaper to use a disputes committee than to go to court. Clients can also choose to go straight to court.

Work it out together

If a client wants to bring a case to the disputes committee, the supplier must be a member of an industry association. The client must also try to work the problem out with the supplier before going to the disputes committee. If that does not work, the client can submit a complaint on the disputes committee’s website (link at the bottom of this page).

Many suppliers of products and services offer their clients the choice to submit a complaint to the disputes committee of the relevant industry association. There are committees for all kinds of industries, from floor fitters to law firms.


Binding recommendations

The disputes committee deals with complaints about the supplier. The committee includes representatives from the industry association and consumers. The disputes committee’s recommendation is binding: both the client and the supplier must do what the committee decides. The committee can decide that a complaint is inadmissible, groundless, partly well-founded or completely well-founded. The committee can also help the people who have the dispute to reach a settlement.

You cannot appeal against the disputes committee’s recommendation, but if you do not agree with that recommendation, you can still take the dispute to court. You must do this within 2 months after the committee makes its recommendation. The judge can dismiss the disputes committee’s recommendation if he or she thinks that it is not reasonable.




The dispute resolution procedure is faster and cheaper than a court case. You do not need a lawyer for this procedure. The committee also knows a lot about the specific industry. You have to pay a fee to submit the complaint. Depending on the industry, the fee is between €25 and €125.



Different disputes committees

The Dutch website of the disputes committee ( has all the information you need, and it also lists the different disputes committees for different industries.

The disputes committee is not the only official way to resolve a dispute in the Netherlands. The Health Insurance Industry Disputes Committee (SKGZ) and the Financial Services Complaints Tribunal (Kifid) also offer official dispute resolution.


Health Insurance Industry Disputes Committee (SKGZ)

You may not be happy with your health insurance provider, for example if the provider does not want to pay your doctor’s bill. If you have tried to solve the problem yourself with the provider and that has not worked, you can take the complaint to the independent Health Insurance Industry Disputes Committee (SKGZ). The Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport and the Minister of Finance have decided that the SKGZ will decide disputes about health insurance and complementary health insurance.


Financial Services Complaints Tribunal (Kifid)

If you have a complaint about a financial product or a financial service, you can take your complaint to Kifid. The Financial Ombudsman will mediate between you and the financial service provider to help you to resolve your complaint. If that does not work, or if the Ombudsman thinks that mediation will not help, then Kifid will make a decision. Kifid helps consumers, according to their legal options. Kifid is not part of the financial sector. The Minister of Finance is responsible for making sure that Kifid obeys the law and gets the right funding.



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