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Aggrieved by TV Licensing

johpal
Grafter
Posts: 550
Registered: 20-04-2008

Aggrieved by TV Licensing

My mother died in January of this year; her house has been unoccupied and empty since and is for sale.
On a regular basis, the TV Licensing people send reminders that the premises are unlicensed for receiving television. However, their last 2 communications have warned of the threat of a visit by inspectors and the consequences of being guilty of  viewing without a license. They demand an explanation why I don't have a licence and give an 0844 number to call.
The TV License authorities have no proof I have been breaking the law. If their inspectors call, they will find a deserted, unfurnished house, with a "For Sale" sign at the gate.
Am I wrong to feel aggrieved by their style of communication? What happened to the presumption of innocence, until proven guilty? In the second world war, these were Gestapo tactics.
50 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,551
Thanks: 195
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Aggrieved by TV Licensing

You have every right to feel aggrieved especially under your circumstances.  You have no liability to inform the TV Licensing people of your situation and I would be inclined to ignore them. If they want to waste their time let them. 
Community Veteran
Posts: 13,929
Thanks: 515
Fixes: 8
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Aggrieved by TV Licensing

I wouldn't worry about it. Their inspectors are actually commission based salesmen designed to try and make you buy a licence. Yes they do have power to inspect to but there used to be ads all over this area for commission based inspectors paid on the licence sales basis.
I've also suffered years of abuse from these people. Ended up writing a letter to them once accusing them of obtaining money by deception. Needless to say they've never troubled me since. Funny how you're not breaking the law when your licence has another address on it and they've made an error but if you've made a mistake they'll string you up by the balls for it.
Funny bunch that crowd. As artmo says, ignore them. If you tell them the place is empty they'll still continue with the threats anyway so the entire thing is rather pointless. If they try any legal action at any point you have paper work to prove the place has been on the market since a family member passed. Lets face it, these days the word of an unqualified estate agent who generates lots of valuable tax for HM's Gov't means a lot more than most folks!
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 16,571
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Fixes: 125
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Aggrieved by TV Licensing

When I moved to a new premises in 2006 my wife and I didn't have a TV or any other kind of receiving equipment.
I received a letter from TV licencing asking me to contact them to confirm whether I had a TV or not. There was a threat of investigation and so forth.
I never replied and never heard any more from them.
It's just a form of bullying. Let them waste their time.

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Aggrieved by TV Licensing

I agree with the other replies here, but when my mother died - the solicitors handling the estate for us - sent certified copies of the death certificate to all creditors.
We received refunds from many such accounts - but ironically one of the worst companies was Saga - with whom Mum had a holiday booked. You would think they would know better as they claim to specialise in products fro retired / older people.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,100
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Aggrieved by TV Licensing

This is exactly what I do with regard to my works premises. Each time I receive a letter from TV Licensing it goes straight in the bin.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,154
Thanks: 54
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Aggrieved by TV Licensing

Yes it can certainly be a nuisance. When we moved into this property it was brand new and we were and still are the only occupants. In their wisdom the Postcode commissioner no less altered our postcode by one letter a while after we moved in but after a licence was taken out. No amount of begging and pleading to TV licensing will stop annual visits to enforce the licence at the wrong postcode in spite the the correct licence is paid by DD directly to them, and has the same number.
Thinks; actually, mentioning it I don't recall a visit this year, maybe perhaps they've got the message at long last. 
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Aggrieved by TV Licensing

Maybe a letter to our MP's in order - after all you don't hounded by DVLC is you keep a car off the road for a few months - just declare it off road and that's it .
Statutory Off Road Notification online
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Aggrieved by TV Licensing

about a year after i moved in i had a visit from a pleasant gentleman who verified that i do not have television.  a couple of years after that, i started receiving what amounted to just-this-side-of-legal threatening letters asking me to 'update our records'.  i ain't yer unpaid clerk.
from about 2006 i have collected these letters against the time one of their inspectors turns up.  i want to ask him how those who do pay licences feel about having so much money wasted on intimidation efforts against those who have no television and therefore no need for a licence?
once a month these letters come, often marked 'immediate attention required'.  i don't like their tone and resent their presumption that we are all criminals until grudgingly acknowledged otherwise.
i would be amused if those who do pay the fee were to refuse to pay one year and see how the beeb got themselves out of that mess.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Aggrieved by TV Licensing

I'm guessing most forum-goers won't have spotted the fact that someone (who's not a forum member) actually posted a blog comment on the Community in response to this thread. Here's what it says:
Quote
Merry Christmas plusnet!
I'm not a member and so I couldn't post on the thread about TV Licensing. To johpal and Petlew I extend my sympathies. I have had trouble with TV Licensing and their curious behaviour too. After many years of trouble, I decided to sort them out. I know a little bit of law and I have friends in the right places.
They don't like it up 'em and I'll be happy to act on behalf of others until they get the message. Please contact me at dailyturnout@googlemail.com
Best wishes
Liz Church
Glasgow
craigyoung
Grafter
Posts: 208
Registered: 06-09-2007

Re: Aggrieved by TV Licensing

I get the monthly threatening letters too,  I have a licence, but they also hold an address which has a different (incorrect postcode).  I did try writing to them but it made no difference.  So, knowing that I do have a licence, now I just sit back waiting for the long threatened visit.  Good job I haven't been waiting in the whole time, as it's been two and a half years so far.  Perhaps they can't find the house - I may need to send them directions.
I agree that the letters are very offensive and threatening.  I accept that the majority of unlicenced properties probably do have TVs, but there is no room for presumption of innocence in the letters at all.
nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
Thanks: 46
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Aggrieved by TV Licensing

Just made my last but one TV Licence quarterly DD payment  Cheesy
From next June I'll only be charged for the quality of reality shows etc  Roll eyes
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,154
Thanks: 54
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Aggrieved by TV Licensing

This thread reminded me of an ageing aunt who before her death a couple of years ago still had an annual B&W licence. She had a couple of calls to check she wasn't secretly using an illicit colour set.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,699
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Aggrieved by TV Licensing

I'm still a little bit unclear as to when a licence is required.  As I understand it you need a licence if you can access TV content (so in theory you don't need a TV, just a video recorder is sufficient - why you would want a recorder, without a TV is unclear)  I also believe that if you stream or download TV content, you still need a licence.
So if you have a broadband connection, but no TV, how do convince these people that you don't watch TV over the internet?
John
johpal
Grafter
Posts: 550
Registered: 20-04-2008

Re: Aggrieved by TV Licensing

My thanks to all for your comments / support. @Be3G, thank you for bringing my attention to the blog posting. I intend to contact Liz Church and post back, if anything significant happens.
I actually wrote a letter to TV Licensing and to the BBC Trust (who employs the company behind the scheme). Then I discovered they receive some 23,000 complaints per year, so decided to save myself the postage. However, I did feel better for having written everything down and getting it out of my system. I had already considered writing to my MP (Angela "4 beds" Smith), but I didn't vote for her in the first place and she sure won't be getting my support this time around either! Maybe after the Election...