Regulators that can't tell you if you need a licence?

We get this crap with OFCOM all the time - they are the only body able to actually enforce several regulations which apply to telcos, and the regulations are ambiguous at best in many areas.

They have to be able to interpret the regulations and understand if a telco is complying or not in order to enforce them.

The same is true with the OFT and the consumer credit licences.

Yet, if you ask - do we comply? or do I need this licence? or whatever - they say they cannot advise us!

But they are the only people that know for sure, short of a court case. If they say "no, we are not going to prosecute you" then that is definitive as they are the only body that can.

So why the hell will they not say.

Latest stupidity is a consumer credit licence. We have one, but the renewal is nearly three times the cost of last time, and we wonder if we need one. We don't lend money. We sell ongoing services on an ongoing account cleared every month by DD. Their own literature only talks of selling goods on credit, not services, and various services about lending money which is not what we do generally. If we could understand their rules we could work out if we need a licence, or change the way we do business in some cases to ensure we don't need one. But they are no help.

Yet they cannot answer, even telling them clearly what we do and how we do it, they refuse to say. They say they cannot know the ins and outs of a business. When WTF, (a) we just told them, and (b) they have to be able to assess the ins and outs of a business and interpret the Act in order to do their job. They must have those skills...

What is worse, they send a document with advise that specifically lists and email address we can contact to ask about interpretation of the Act. Yay! But it is a broken email address, and they won't tell us the correct email address, just that they cannot advise.


So, blackmailed in to getting a licence renewal. Not amused.


  1. Don't renew and see if they even bother enforcing?

  2. I may have to stop reading your blog. It frequently makes me despair.

  3. That's why there are lawyers and consultants!


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