Mercury Telecommunications Ltd was unable to trade legally when expelled from Otelo, the Office of the Telecommunications Ombudsman, for failing to comply with its ruling on a customer dispute.
Under General Condition 14 of the General Conditions of Authorisation, telecommunications companies are required to be part of a Dispute Resolution Scheme approved by Ofcom. There are only two such schemes, which are run by Otelo and CISAS. Each body has an agreement not to accept members thrown out of the other, leaving non-compliant operators with no alternative but to comply with the their rulings.
General Condition 14 applies to fixed and mobile telephone operators as well as Internet Service Providers.