The Weekly Gripe

TV Licensing and the BBC sending threatening letters

Well it looks as if the TV Licensing people haven't got the message yet, even though their enforcement officers paid us a visit just over a week ago.  I moved to this house a few months ago by the way and have so far completely ignored all the warnings that they have sent demanding that I buy a TV Licence or possibly face a fine.

I don't see why I should communicate with these parasites every time I move house to tell them I still do not have a television.  Why should I?  It's a clear case of being guilty until you prove you are innocent.  As for the enforcement officer with the TV detector van that turned up last week, well he wanted to come in and take a look around to make sure we didn't have a TV.  Naturally I wasn't going to permit a stranger to come into my home without some more official looking documentation.

That TV Licensing badge looked authentic enough, but this guy could have been anyone and I didn't see a van up the street!  He could even have been there just to case the joint for some future robbery or it could have been a distraction burglary, you hear about them all the time.  I sent him away to get a warrant because he wasn't about to enter my house without one.  He mumbled something about making a phone call and that they had detected a television in my house.  I pointed out that the only thing they could have detected was the computer as I don't have a TV.

A sample threatening letter from TV Licensing

That was that I thought as I closed the door and I still haven't heard anything further regarding an inspection so who knows.  I had thought that our little conversation was enough to set the record straight, tick in the box that this house doesn't have a TV etc.  Apparently not though because I received yet another threatening letter from the TV Licensing people addressed to The Occupier.  Very strange that, because the enforcing officer that turned up on my doorstep took a note of my name.  I would have thought that information should have filtered through they system somehow.

Anyway, this letter from TV Licensing is actually the reason for writing this gripe (click on the image to read it in full).  It's the tone of it that I really don't like.  It comes across as very threatening and intimidating and if any other company were to send out this kind of material on a regular basis, I am pretty sure there would be a national uproar.  How do they get away this?

It begins with the words OFFICIAL WARNING in underlined capitals.  A warning of course means cautionary advice about something imminent (especially imminent danger).  An official warning therefore carries more weight.  It means you've done something wrong (or they think you've done something wrong).  Even the typeface comes across as a bit official and stern and this is deliberate I think.  Then there's the liberal scattering of words and phrases such as "police", "criminal" and "court appearance" in the text.

In my opinion this document isn't designed to help you buy a TV Licence, rather it is designed to SCARE you into buying one and that to me is just not on!  When did it suddenly become okay for companies to send out a threatening communication like this?

As I mentioned earlier, I don't have a TV and I don't want one.  But I also don't believe that I should have to inform these people whenever I move house that I still don't want a television.  I especially resent being harassed (yes, that is exactly what this is) and treated like a criminal because I dare to stray from the norm and not buy a TV licence.

Can you imagine how an elderly person would feel having received a threatening notice like this?  Not particularly nice is it?

By: Kenny

How to deal with TV Licensing

Avoiding TVL/BBC harassment
Someone very kindly sent in a link to this site. It contains lots of useful information about dealing with the TV Licensing people and in particular what they can and can't do. I'm inclined to draw your attention to the section called "Tips for avoiding TVL/BBC harassment" on the left hand menu at the top of the page.


Leave a comment

   

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Kevin. Kade

I have previously had an enforcement officer inspect my property and was very polite and made two cups of coffee!!yesterday I received nos 13 threatening letter , this time I did not open it, but in marker wrote return to sender!! If as and when the next visit happens they will Not be allowed to enter my property without a warrant. Considering the money they are spending harassing people who, have lived in the same property for over 20 years without a tv..... RantRant Rant. As previously mentioned these letters are very threatening , with the assumption that we are Guiltyof?? How much money will these numpties spend before they get the message????
20th Mar 14 01:03

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What are we paying for?

In 1922 a radio license cost 10 shillings In 1950s an annual B/W TV licence cost around £60 equivalent to today's money http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_licensing_in_the_United_Kingdom_(historical) It was the introduction of colour TV that caused the licence to more that double to today's licence fee, of around £145 per annum But surely the technology is cheaper today. As consumers we have not got the gain from this, instead our airwaves are filled with crap: quiz programmes, soaps, unwanted sports, poor news coverage, poor drama, crime series bought from USA. Too many overpaid TV presenters, who main aim is self glorification. BBC 2 has gone down hill Too many repeats.
10th Mar 14 08:03

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collar

They have no right to issue threats. Basically 98% of all ITV output has advertisements. And it's only by sending these letters that they annoy people to the point of distraction. They HAVE to send some letters (although some of the letters are too threatening, you've all had at least one..) But as it's such an expense, what does it say about the bad-heads who knock upon a persons door? The state of their nerves must be fragile to say the least - how many bad-heads are there that do this door knocking? Is this a new form of culture suppression? Sinister aint the word!
10th Mar 14 05:03

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collar

This is shocking - absolutely shocking. When the TV licence expired, I started doing without a TV and watched videos instead and I'm no fan of the BBC either! I simply bought a freeview box too and a few decent videos and there's not a lot theycan do about it. Anything I'm un-liking I can usually get on DVD, on YouTube or videos, of which there are many. For the three years I owned a licence I used to rent a TV from a TV dealer for a full colour set, they didn't even bother to mend the damn thing!
10th Mar 14 11:03

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marmalade

So what is the last comment supposed to be all about? Just more bull-crap if you ask me.
5th Mar 14 09:03

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vtg

Impossible to communicate with bbc so i've posted here Is it Flash player or your site? BBC iplayer, mostly plays pre-recorded tv but regularly drops out on radio. If I open three instances of iplayer and switch between them I can get continuity of audio stream but this just demonstrates that it is NOT my bandwidth that is at fault. I am going to ditch it. This is NOT public broadcasting I am having to revert to radio wave reception. Is this FLASH player or your site? It says I do not have enough band-width which is not correct as demonstrated by your own bandwidth gizmo. For your information, 4od is unplayable because of a drm or digital rights error, which is incorrect also. I now only use YouTube which works fine. This digital stuff is substandard and so infuriating that I am switching to stations other than yours. I am going to make a youtube video of how rubbish these players are and hopefully soon you will come up with a fix or ditch Flash as I am prety certain it is incompatible with your players. Please stop sending me threatening license fee reminders. These are rude and threatening even though I NEVER watch live programs. How dare you assume that I do. You are assuming I do not know or give a damn about the law! I will NOT give you my name as I do NOT want to be on your database as I don't trust you with my details and you have insulted me. Please stop the threatening letters going to xxxxxxxxxxx Your license site will not accept submissions without a name. This is wrong because I see no reason for you to HAVE my name. Do not tell me you are nothing to do with the licensing authority. You sort it as it is your service they are affecting. These problems have been happening for about six months now and I have tried all supposed fixes to no avail. You are supplying a substandard service that is NOT fit for purpose then insulting and threatening me wit NO justification or grounds. All you have done is succeed in making me very angry and to actively avoid your output.
2nd Sep 13 01:09

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jobbby

If they think I will pay them a single dime, they can kiss my white, naked ass.
9th Mar 13 05:03

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andy

hi there. i just want to make a point across. please can you try and sort out the BBC to fund themselfs like others. i dont want to pay a licence fee to fund paedoes. i just want to pay for the sky i pay for. it will be good if the BBC would scramble the signal as if they want to watch the BBC then they can pay a small price ontop of sky to watch it. many of us dont use the BBC as they are criminals and its an offence to fund a criminal.. i dont want anything to do with the BBC and if you look on my profile u will c that many others dont want to.i dont want the BBC to send letters all the time telling me i have to get a licence or i will be fined £1000. that is a threat to me. i dont want the BBC to send they poeple to my door and force me to pay a licence as that is a threat too.i dont want a licence from them , and when a letter from the BBC comes to my house its going in the bin.when they send someone to my house i wont give him/her my name and shut the door on them. im not going to sign anything or if i do then i will be fined. if not they cant fine me. please can you think about this. please can you e-mail me back. many thanks Mr A Jones... andrewjones_1973@aol.co.uk
23rd Feb 13 08:02

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Jazz the Cat

Do you realise that TV Licensing callers have no legal rights to question you or enter your property? You are not obliged to answer ANY of their question or even reveal your identity, nor whether you are the householder. Visit YouTube for a host of info and videos. The sooner the TV Licence system is removed, all the better. Also, there is no logical reason people should have to pay a fee to the BBC considering all the other channels available. The way it is, if you watch live broadcasts (any channels) the BBC wants your cash. Stuff that. Ban the license fee.
2nd Jan 13 03:01

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Nick

TVL continue to send these 'threatening and harrassing' letters (lost count of how many now), addressed to the 'Legal Occupier' to an unoccupied property, which is subject to a probate sale, following the death of my father, 2 years ago, despite my letters and returned letters stating property is unoccupied. I have even 'phoned them again, recently, explaining the situation and was assured the matter was now dealt with and they promised no further action for 12 months. Not surprisingly yet another 'threatening' letter arrived this week, dated December 2012. it is obvious they do not take any notice of correspondence or even check local Council information or Estate Agent information, so I can only conclude their 'investigations' are not worthy of any further involvement of my time and efforts to advise them of the situation with this property they continue to bombard with their threats! I wonder who they will try to prosecute if they beleive a TV is being watched because an aerial and Satellite Dish are connected to the property? I'm fed up of this constant reminder of my father's death!
2nd Jan 13 12:01

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ska

You don't need one if you watch BBC on catchup, It's that simple.
28th Dec 12 12:12

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-7

**** you!

Tv licence is a scam always has been. All there letters are just empty threats, they only have power if consent and play there game. The tv licence company have no lawful right to enter anybody's home to check anything period. Remember stay in lawful debate, it wins over legal hands down. Legislation requires your consent. Get educated.
9th Nov 12 11:11

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