October 23, 2004

TV Licensing – LEAVE ME ALONE!

Am I alone in becoming thoroughly annoyed at the endless stream of letters threatening fines if I do not choose to buy a television license? In the hope that someone from TV Licensing will one day read this blog, I hereby submit the following!

"It might be hard for you to believe but it is quite possible for a person to live without a television. I am perfectly within my rights to decline such a puerile form of entertainment without fear of being intimidated by your company.

You have an extremely unusual method of selling your product. Nowhere in your letters do you extol the virtues of a TV Licence; you simply claim all sorts of ridiculous consequences if I fail to buy one. I am presumed guilty of law-breaking simply because I am not one of your customers.

So most people in this country own a television; that is your problem, not mine. If I don't buy a licence then I don't have a television – it really is that simple. The DVLA do not send letters accusing me of speeding simply because most drivers exceed the speed limit!

Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act (1988) makes it an offence to send a letter with the intent of causing “distress or anxiety to the recipient”. Your firm is in flagrant breach of this legislation.

Should your Enforcement Officers choose to “visit” me as stated in your letters then they should bring a search warrant as they will otherwise be disappointed".


- 52 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. Thorwald Stein

    And if you want them to leave you alone, you have to call them (50p a minute?) or send them a letter (postage+envelope) – cannot do it per email, but you can pay for your license online strangely enough?! Anyway – thanks for your post coz I like recognising the rough times I went through last year :)

    23 Oct 2004, 01:52

  2. Just ignore them. Like you said, if they want to come visit, let 'em. That's what I did, and they never came…

    23 Oct 2004, 08:03

  3. Armin

    No, you aren't. I receive one a month, the latest one came with registered mail:

    link

    24 Oct 2004, 09:21

  4. You could pave the nation with the amount of unsolicited rubbish that lands on my doormat every morning: small-scale research revealed the following as the most effective method of dealing with it.

    Cross out the address and bar code, circle the first class postage and write "refused: return to sender". Drop in any mail box, it will be returned to the sender and they'll have the hassle of dealing with it.

    Personally, I'd include 20 grams of weapons grade anthrax in the envelope too, or am I being unreasonable?

    26 Oct 2004, 13:08

  5. Amy (not signed in)

    I got lots of threatening letters last year, (I didnt actually have a tv) when I phoned to shout about the threatening nature of the letters I had received I was told – wait for it, you have to register NOT owning a tv.

    01 Nov 2004, 10:08

  6. Richard

    They are my major enemy this term. If you have a flat with seperate rooms then they send letters to every room. We are building up quite a collection. The funny thing is – i hate them so much I almost enjoy getting the letters to add to my campaign. At least you can use them to get rid of your anger!

    12 Nov 2004, 00:57

  7. Ed

    Well, I don't go to Warwick Uni any more, but I'm currently getting grief from the TV licenseing people. For some reason, they don't seem prepared to accept that I just don't have a TV.

    So I've finally gotten as far as writing to them – well, I've drafted the letter, and posted it for comment on link and will probably get as far as posting it in the next few days.

    I figure that I'm prepared to show them around my house. Provided that they are prepared to pay my 'half day' rate.

    23 Nov 2004, 09:15

  8. While writing to Valerie Smith at the TVLA, please ask her about the signatures with which she signs her letters. They are a little inconsistent as you will see from the following link

    Anyway good luck with your correspondence. To their credit, the TVLA do write personal replies although they of course fall short of justifying their actions. I send copies of every letter I write them to my MP. Just a thought :)

    23 Nov 2004, 15:40

  9. I Hate the TVLA

    I wrote to those bastards last year and they sent some snivelling letter back to try and explain why they felt the need to to be such bastards it was a load of crap. They automatically send those aggravating letters to everyone, theyr'e a machine that's gone out of control and someone needs to pull the plug otherwise there will be bloodshed. Someone should definetely destroy those assholes over the malicious communications act (1988).

    04 Dec 2004, 15:38

  10. TOM

    THOSE TWATS ARE TAKING ME TO COURT, EVEN THOUGH I HAVE A TV, I DONT HAVE ANYTIME TO WATCH THE CRAP THAT IS BROADCASTED ANYWAY, AS I WORK 12 HOUR SHIFTS, SO SCREW THEM, WHEN I GO TO COURT I AIM TO FIGHT THEM ALL THE WAY.

    29 Dec 2004, 02:32

  11. David Metcalfe

    You need the license to own the receiving equipment regardless of whether you watch television or not. Bad luck Tom.

    29 Dec 2004, 15:29

  12. annon

    quite often you can tell if someone is genuine or not when you ask them if they have a tv or not by their body language, I do deeply sympathise with the minority of people who do not require a tv license.It is a sad reflection on society that many people lie to us to avoid paying the license i,d say 90% of people I visit are more than happy to alow me in to carry out a lets say 20 second look inside to comfirm they have no tv ,I can then put a guard on the address to prevent futher visits.and no more correspondence from tvl which keeps everyone happy and alows me to concentrate on visiting people who do decide to break the law.

    11 Jan 2006, 20:00

  13. annon

    oh and p.s wouldnt it be great if yahoo had a chat room where people could discus the tvl issues

    11 Jan 2006, 20:02

  14. Brian

    As far as I can tell, from my admittedly hasty research, a person is presumed INNOCENT until PROVED guilty under the law in this country. Why are the TV Licensing Offices allowed to disregard the most fundamental civil liberty afforded citizens of this country by presuming all those who don't have a license must be breaking the law!?

    16 Mar 2006, 17:24

  15. Ixent Galpin

    I have decided that next time a TV licensing officer tries to inspect my house I will not allow him or her to enter unless they have a warrant. I consider that we are being harassed by TV licensing, who have been sending us rude, threatening letters. Furthermore, we have had our house inspected twice (December 2005 and March 2006), and I believe this should be sufficient to establish that we do not have a television in the house.

    I have refused to answer any of their letters which they have sent, because I feel that:
    •First and foremost, they should write in a courteous, respectful and non-threatening way, in particular, they should not assume that I am “guilty” of TV license evasion from the outset. In they same way that they apologise to people who have paid for a license since the letter was sent, they should also apologise for the inconvenience caused to those who do not have a television.
    •Provide a free means for a reply to be made about whether there is a TV or not in the house. This should be either (1) a freephone number, or (2) a stamped, self-addressed envelope. In the letters I have received they provide an 0870 number; I deem this unacceptable as it costs 8 pence/min to call [2].

    The actions I have described are intrusive and an invasion of our privacy. The Right to Respect for my Private and Family Life is enshrined under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and has be incorporated into UK law by the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA). It states quite clearly that while an infringement of privacy may be necessary in accordance with the law, it must be ‘proportionate’, and the actions of TV licensing to date have already been disproportionate. I also note that I am not alone [3,4,5].

    If the inspector has a warrant, I will be legally obliged to allow them to enter, and as a law abiding citizen, I will abide by the law. I do, however, hope that the magistrate involved in granting the search warrant considers the information I will provide and does not grant the warrant. In case that the warrant is granted, at least I will have the satisfaction of knowing that TV licensing has had to waste license payer’s money in order to circumvent the obstructions I have placed (which in my view, merely constitute defending my right to privacy and not having to receive rude letters).

    References

    [1] link

    [2] link

    [3] link

    [4] link

    [5] link

    21 Apr 2006, 22:08

  16. Notv

    Take the TVLA/BBC to court - claiming infringement of your human rights – if you do not require a TV Licence

    Basis for the claim (in lay-person terms)
    I do not require a TV Licence.

    Unless the TVLA (Capita acting for the BBC) have specific evidence that a TV is being used illegally at my home, I consider that they infringe my human rights protected by the Human Rights Act 1998 if they:

    1.Send threatening letters
    2.Authorise Enforcement Officers to visit my home, to interview me under caution and attempt to gain access to my home
    3.Obtain a search warrant to enter my home

    This amounts to institutionalised bullying.

    The appropriate sections of the Human Rights Act 1988 are quoted in another note.

    Suggested actions (in brief)

    1.Raise the profile of the issue – it is currently a minority issue
    2.Clarify the process steps and costs – to take the TVLA to court
    3.Inform CAPITA shareholders – of the company’s potential abuse of human rights in maximising its profits

    21 Apr 2006, 23:21

  17. Notv

    1. Raise the profile of the issue

    • Use your local and national press and media to raise the profile by developing some interest in stories considering how most people would feel if they were treated as described below:
    • Illustrate what the abuses would mean to the wider public by considering the case where the TVLA use their current methods to ensure that all homes comply with the terms of the TV licence, not just check that you have a licence.
    • The bottom line is that a complete stranger will be allowed to enter your home every year or so – using force if necessary - and look round every room to check that you are complying with the terms of the licence
    • For all homes, what would happen over a period of time is as follows:
    • TVLA would send you a string of threatening letters asking you to confirm that you are “complying with the terms of the TV Licence”. If you
    • Do respond, saying that you are complying
      TVLA will inform you that an Enforcement Officer will visit your home to check that you are telling the truth
    • Do not respond
      TVLA will send you more “legalistic” letters threatening you with “Authorised” visits to your home by Enforcement Officers, who will Interview you under caution in compliance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
    • When the Enforcement Officer visits your home, they will be a complete stranger to you and will ask to enter your home, to look around every room (except the attic) to ensure that you are complying with the terms of the TV licence. If you
    • Let them enter (as you might be inclined, given the threatening letters you have been sent previously)
      – You will be recorded in their statistics as having been “happy” to let them enter your home
    • Do not let them enter
      – Refusing them entry will be used as the basis to obtain a search warrant
      – They will return with the search warrant and can force entry if you do not let them in
    • Once they have had a good look round you will be left in peace for a year or so – if you are lucky.

    Clearly this would not be tolerated by the general public – but whilst it only affects a minority and it goes unchallenged in the courts it appears that the claimed, systematic abuse of human rights will continue.

    21 Apr 2006, 23:28

  18. Notv

    Clarify the process steps and costs - to take the TVLA(CAPITA/BBC) to court

    – Could somebody who knows the process steps and costs post a reply so that people may individually consider taking court action
    – If some professional legal person could submit a proforma letter or the like, then this would simplify matters for other people, who could use this to add in their specific details e.g. dates etc…

    21 Apr 2006, 23:32

  19. Notv

    Inform CAPITA shareholders - of the company’s potential abuse of human rights in maximising its profits

    • CAPITA’s current methods may be very cost-effective and hence maxise profit
    • Using other methods that comply with Human Rights legislation may be less cost-effective and hence reduce profits
    • There is a conflict of interest, maximising profit conflicts with complying with Human Rights legislation
    • If you are a CAPITA shareholder or know any CAPITA shareholders – raise the matter with the company

    21 Apr 2006, 23:34

  20. Notv

    Extracts from the Human Rights Act 1998, Part II, THE FIRST PROTOCOL

    Article 1 PROTECTION OF PROPERTY
    Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions.

    Article 7 NO PUNISHMENT WITHOUT LAW
    No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence under national or international law at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the offence was committed.

    Article 8 RIGHT TO RESPECT FOR PRIVATE AND FAMILY LIFE
    1.Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
    2.There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

    Article 14 PROHIBITION OF DISCRIMINATION
    The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language,, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.

    21 Apr 2006, 23:36

  21. Notv

    Some simple steps that TVLA/CAPITA could take

    1. Send politely worded, non-threatening, reminder or prompting type letters that include a statement that, if it is the case that the premises do not require a TV Licence, then the letter should be ignored.
    2. Authorise Enforcement Officers to visit the premises only after obtaining specific, objectively verifiable evidence that a TV Licence is required for premises.
    3. Use non-intrusive means (to my private life) to monitor the premises to attempt to gather such evidence.

    21 Apr 2006, 23:39

  22. Ixent

    Notv, I like the ideas you have put forward. With regards to clarifying the process steps and costs to take the TVLA to court, I'm asking myself if collective court action may be taken, rather than individual (might be easier for people).

    I'm getting the impression that this thread could easily spin off into a website of its own, something like the bank action group (which fights unlawful banking charges).

    22 Apr 2006, 00:07

  23. Notv

    Excellent opportunity to get your views heard... ACT NOW

    A public consultation process is underway that provides you with the opportunity

    • to have your views considered at a national level and
    • publised on the offical internet sites handling the consultation.

    You can put your view/complaint on the record for consideration by the panels
    conducting the review. There are two main streams into which you can provide
    input

    • Licence Fee Seminar – closing date for inputs 24 Apr 2006

    send email to bbcseminar@culture.gsi.gov.uk

    for more information refer to link

    • White Paper – closing date for inputs 28 Apr 2006

    send email to bbcseminar@culture.gsi.gov.uk

    for more information refer to link

    23 Apr 2006, 11:37

  24. Notv

    URGENT - Pass the word around - use other websites/email - a few days remain to make your complaint official

    People who do not want a TV are a very small minority of the population.

    The internet has made it possible for each of these individuals to see that they are not alone in feeling intimidated by the methods of the TVLA (CAPITA acting for the BBC).

    It applies in common to all people who do not want a TV.

    I consider that methods used by TVLA (CAPITA acting for the BBC) represent a systematic abuse of the Human Rights of that minority group.

    23 Apr 2006, 11:46

  25. Notv

    You can also register your views at any time on this site maintained by the BBC.

    link

    25 Apr 2006, 14:40

  26. Ian McConnell

    The government like charging you if you want some information, so if the TVLA send you letter asking if you have a TV, then you should be able to charge a small fee for obtaining the information. Around £150 should cover your costs.

    12 Sep 2006, 15:30

  27. muymalestado

    It happened that six years ago we asked our MP to get these guys off our back and they sent a post-paid enqiury ‘did we have a TV, or plan to buy one?’. The result was a promise to ask each third year was our situation the same – with an affirmative reply to the first, and only, cyclic query.

    We are about 8 letters in to the latest TVL disorientation regime and have not expended our cash for phonecalls or letters to respond to them. As stated above we hope if we wait they will tire and have just that wee bit less profit fro their efforts.

    One point of note to me is the alteration in wording in the letters wherby we used to read ‘own a PC with a TV card’ now we read simply ‘own a PC’. Do we now need a TV licence to run MS-Office?

    Thanks for the items – it is heartening.

    Phil

    18 Sep 2006, 15:48

  28. Mike

    Another threatening letter!

    I’m becoming increasingly exasperated with Capita (aka TV Licensing) Scotland North Enforcement Division.

    I do not have a TV nor do I have a PC fitted with a TV card. So am I right in my assumption that I do not need to co-operate with any Enforcement agents? Several times I have been visited but at no time have they produced ‘reasonable cause’ or a warrent to search my premises and I do not see why I should allow them to enter just to save them time and expense and I flatly refuse to co-operate with their latest letter from which I quote:

    “Our Enforcement Division has identified that there is no record of a TV License at your address, and that you may therefore be watching or recording television programme services without a valid license. If this is the case, you are breaking the law.

    .... etc.”

    Now, more worrying, the BBC is sneaking TV broadcasts on their website and whether I watch it or not there are heavy rumours that because I have Cable broadband I will need a license.

    It is very difficult to get current accurate information (Sept. 2006) regarding the actual legal position is as opposed to what the BBC would like us to believe.

    Anyone know the legal score on this one?

    25 Sep 2006, 20:31

  29. David Metcalfe

    All I do know is that you do not have to allow anyone into your house unless a) they possess a duly signed warrant or b) they are a police officer in immediate pursuit of a criminal. It is highly unlikely that a TV Licensing official will fall into either of these categories!

    25 Sep 2006, 21:31

  30. ian e brown

    if they come to my flat when I have a drink on me I may resort to violence

    28 Sep 2006, 13:07

  31. andy harris

    we are living in a police state, tony blair has committed treason because his policies and new laws such as on the spot fines ARE ILLEGAL as they are in violation to the bill of rights act 1689 so never pay an on the spot fine again. check out this website for the truth www.ashleymote.co.uk also www.bnp.org.uk

    01 Oct 2006, 13:54

  32. george

    Thanks for the thread. I was amazed when I received a series of letters that were threatening and intimidatory in nature. Then got a visit from an inspector. I still have a tv and use it for watching dvds – this is legal, or at least was last year. The licence, as I understand it is to recieve or record broadcast material.

    The visit was surreal. I was polite and let them in as I had nothing to hide. I’d checked the tvla website to find out what the score was and all I had to do [on their information site] was not watch or record broadcast tv. I did go the extra mile and disconnect the aerial, and remove the coax connector. The inspector asked me to turn on the tv. It was snow with garbled sound. She said that was sufficient for proceedings I asked her how many people she knew watching whitenoise for entertainment or information. She then asked me to put the bare aerial wires in the tv socket – I thought she was joking – no. As I got frustrated at the nonsensity, and the increasing sense of being treated as a liar, she said she’d conduct the rest of the interview outside. Fine. Then she stopped writing notes and advised me to get a licence, de-tune the tv. more the aerial wires right away then phone up cancel it. I said that was closer to admitting guilt, and had a cost. I also said that the tvla website mentioned nothing of this bizarre state of affairs. She wrote non of this down. Then asked me to sign her notes. I declined until she updated them with my side of the story, which happened reluctantly. Her passing comment was again underlined with threat about prosecution about having a tv that could recieve broadcast material – mine was that the problem was all the broadcasters in that they couldn’t stop sending signals into my home. She left. I calmed down. Two more daft phone calls and until last month they’d left me alone. Then another damn letter: ’...our stand practice ensures that a routine visit will be made.

    This time no entry unless with a signed warrant. Their challenge, tough as it may be is that signals cannot currently be sent only to licencees unless the only method were cable. Their challenge, not mine.

    PS: good parliamentary notes from 2002 at:
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmselect/cmpubacc/118/2070104.htm/

    Thanks for the ability to air my frustration

    04 Oct 2006, 21:15

  33. Maryon Jeane

    I’m posting here, although it seems to be quite an old site, because all the problems still remain and others might be searching for answers.

    The same queries and misapprehensions seem to arise again and again – could this be because TV Licensing and the BBC both try to obfuscate the issue?

    So, here is – I hope – some useful (and up-to-date information):

    1. You do not need a licence to own a television or any other broadcast-receiving equipment unless it is used for the purpose of receiving broadcasts. You are, despite TV Licensing’s and the BBC’s attempts to convince you otherwise, not obliged to prove that you are not receiving broadcasts. It is up to them to prove that you are, if they think this is the case.

    The guidelines (BBC Licensing Authority ‘About TV Licensing’ December 2004 – sent to me September 2006 by the BBC) in Chapter 6 state:

    “A TV Licence provides a legal permission to install or use a television receiver in order to receive television programme services.”

    Also:

    “A TV Licence is required if you install or use, or intend to use a television receiver as previously described above [as above here]. This means that a licence is required to receive BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, satellite, cable and/or digital television.”

    So – even after the amendments to the relevant Act, you do not need a licence if all you are doing with your TV is watching DVDs and videos.

    2. All the telephone numbers publicised by the BBC and TV Licensing are, as has been mentioned here before, are expensive 0870 numbers from which the BBC takes a cut. This results in the iniquitious position, as has also been pointed out, that if you wish to stop TV Licensing harassing you then you have to pay for the privilege.

    So make them pay; the freephone numbers are:

    0800 551 550 and
    0800 328 2020

    (press 4 as soon as the recorded message starts and you will then be put in a queue to speak to a real person).

    If an ‘enquiry agent’ calls to find out whether or not you have a licence and, if not, whether you need one, then personally I would never let them in. Having done it once and found it a highly unpleasant experience and having still been forced to write further letters etc. (I did eventually receive an ex gratia payment of £50 for all the trouble to which I had been put but it would have been cheaper, on an hour-for-hour basis, to have shelf-stacked in a supermarket), I would never let anyone in again.

    However, if you do decide to let them in – check first that they are ‘genuine’. Ask for their VPN number (an ID number they all have, apparently) and their manager’s name. Then ring one of the above numbers (not any number which might be on their ID card) and check whether or not they have been sent by TV Licensing.

    BTW, you do not need to ‘detune’ your equipment, or modify it in any way whatsoever – this also I have got them to admit!

    11 Oct 2006, 15:58

  34. 'Stoff

    Interesting comments, and this looks like the most up-to-date TV licensing thread out there.

    In my last home, I spent 2 years ignoring these nasty letters, until I got the knock on the door at 8pm one evening. I wasn’t happy about inviting the guy in, but he seemed plesent enough. Turned out to be a really nice guy who dislikes TV as much as I do. He had a good laugh at all the letters I had pinned to the inside of my computer cabinet, and told me I would not recieve another letter for 3 years. Job done. I moved out two years after this and true to his word, I recieved no further letters.

    However, within minutes of getting the keys to our new home, the barrage of letters started once again. I am not sure whether to just ignore them again (they seem to be even more threatening that I remember from before), or try to take some action – From the posts on here and other websites, that does seem rather futile, but I do find comments such as ‘Your details are being passed to our enforcement officers’ and ‘You are risking prosecution’ really rather offensive. I am not risking anything, I just prefer to go out and have my own life rather than watch other peoples on a small square in the corner of a darkened room. Oh, hang on… Have I missed the point there…? ;o)

    One question that was touched on above though – I do use the rather excellent BBC website for news/weather etc. Also being a petrol head, I have watched the odd episode of Top Gear on their media section. It is not a ‘broadcast’ as it came though as a requested media stream, but can they really insist on a TV license to view/use the web? I don’t seem to be able to find a definitive answer. As more and more content becomes available on the net, I can see them bringing in legislation to this effect. Are thay going to start monitoring all web traffic from homes without a license?

    22 Nov 2006, 09:58

  35. Joan Brady

    In case you’re interested, I’ve introduced a new epetition to the Prime Minister’s office at http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/TVLicensing/ The text is:
    We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Stop the TV
    Licensing Authority threatening those who have no television

    TV Licensing sends regular accusatory and threatening letters
    to all who have no licence. However, many people have no
    licence because they have no television reception. We petition
    the Prime Minister to support the right of those who do not
    receive television signals to do so without being hounded.

    Those who approve and would like to sign need only go to the above site and add their names.

    Regards,

    JoanB

    27 Nov 2006, 13:29

  36. Thomas Fuller

    Here is a post I made on another blog last summer. I hope it helps.

    -----—-

    There is no legal obligation to communicate with TV Licensing (a recent ministerial pronouncement by Shaun Woodward, M.P., makes this plain). If you cancel your direct debit to TV Licensing or otherwise withhold payment, TVL’s computer will generate a minatory letter addressed to you or to “The Occupier”, or to “The Present Occupier”. This can and should be ignored, as should all the many letters that follow. (In the interests of recycling, I myself shred them to add to my compost heap, or make them into papier-mache toys for my children. Some 23.5 million such letters are sent out annually by TVL.)

    You will be threatened with a “visit” by an “Enforcement Officer”. You are under no obligation to speak to this person or admit him to your premises. Indeed, you would be well advised not to do the latter, because no criminal checks are made on TVL employees, despite the fact that its parent company, Capita plc, runs the Criminal Records Bureau. There have been well documented cases of TVL employees falsifying evidence, perverting the course of justice, and even assaulting a member of the public.

    In the event of your non-cooperation you will be threatened with a search warrant. These are issued by magistrates and cost TVL money to acquire, so are rarely sought. They are sought whenever there are at least two pieces of cogent evidence that licence evasion is taking place: for example, a TV set has been seen through the window with a live broadcast on the screen, &c.

    You will be threatened with a £1000 fine for non-payment. In practice the average fine is £140 (about the cost of a TV licence), should the matter ever come to court, which is most unlikely – should you inform TVL that you withdraw their implied right of access.

    Wearing now my lawyer’s hat, I rehearse the fact that no one has any right to set foot on your property without your permission. The postman, milkman, &c., who freely walk up your garden path are relying on their “implied right of access” thereto. But this can be withdrawn. Were I to write to the Post Office and withdraw the implied right of access of their employees, agents and assigns, they would henceforth be unable to deliver my letters without committing the tort of simple trespass. Should a venturesome postman inadvertently damage anything whatsoever on my property while so trespassing, the offence becomes “aggravated trespass”. Should he seek to repeat his offence, I could apply for an injunction which, if subsequently ignored, would be most seriously regarded by the court. Our learned friend Judge J. might even be moved to hang the entire board of the Post Office, a development which I believe many would welcome.

    The detector vans do not exist, except as a propaganda tool. That is why I said TVL are “stuffed” if you withdraw the implied right of access to your premises. There is thus no need to pay the licence fee if, like me, you abominate the BBC.

    Incidentally, I do not have a TV set and am treated by TVL as though I do, for reasoning with them is pointless. They are best ignored. And under no circumstances whatever should you speak to a TVL employee, other than to say “Please leave immediately. If you do not do so, I shall summon the constabulary.”

    I hope this makes matters a little clearer.

    ---------

    The BBC Resistance site is at: http://www.tvlicensing.biz/ and is a mine of information.

    12 Dec 2006, 17:15

  37. angela ayre

    Since moving to a new build seven months ago I’ve been harassed by tvl. Even though I do have a licence and they were informed of my move on the day and I pay by DD, the most recent payment taken by them on 2.1.07, they are still on my case.
    Last night (6.2.07) after 8pm a woman rang by door bell and asked to speak to the owner of the house. This woman made no offer of ID and with all the upset I did not even ask.
    When I got to the door she stepped back from the door and looked up at the house and said very slowly and with meaning ” this is a new property is it not”? I agreed that it was still having no idea who she was. She went on to say that the property had no tv licence.
    To be honest those words were just red rag to a bull. I told her I did have one and that if she did not go I would call the police.
    What made it worse was I was having a get to gether with friends and also my neibours in the street could hear everything. After I told this bully to leave she went on to sit in her car blocking my drive while on her mob.
    I went out to her car and told her to go again but she took another five mins to leave.
    Whats more not long before this I was actually chased by the same lady in her car when I pulled out of my drive, of course at the time I was not aware of who she was. It was obvious she was trying to get me to stop by pipping her horn and driving up close. I thought it was some kind of road rage and drone away quickly.
    Just what kind of an operation are these people running and how are they getting away with such acts?
    It really is disgusting! Angela Ayre, Sunderland.

    07 Feb 2007, 15:17

  38. Arty

    I cant get this answer from anyone, so please help.
    How in a part of the world of free speech and many other things that we claim so Great about GB are we forced by law to pay for something we dont want.
    Sky have the ablity to swith us off if we decide we no longer find it good value for money, yet the BBC have no such scrupples or devices, we are by the law of the land forced to pay whether we want to view it or not. Now surely there must be a law within europe says that this is againt our cival rights.
    A queation you must hear all the time i’m sure but how do the bastards get away with it?

    09 Feb 2007, 13:47

  39. Phil Taylor

    I got in touch again with the TVLA a few weeks ago as I was still receiving letters stating that I don’t have a licence, so another phone call stating again I no longer watch TV but said I do have a TV for watching videos, Reply was you will still receive letters from us until one of our callers will call on you to inspect your home to make sure you no longer can receive a signal, fine I said but according to the law I do not have to let him/her in and I wont. Looks like I’m lying which I’m not.

    I have no received a letter saying someone will be calling to my home. I can’t wait to tell the so and so to stuff there licence where the sun won’t shine and according to the law they have to prove first that I’m breaking the law in order to enter my home.

    30 Mar 2007, 11:14

  40. John

    Here is a recommended response to those infuriating letters from TV Licensing:

    Dear Sir

    I refer to the several communications that have been sent to the above address in connection with which I have now sought professional advice and to which, though I have no legal obligation to do so, exceptionally, I now reply.

    It is firstly acknowledged that if the occupier of these premises possesses a television then a licence is required under section 363 (1) of the Communications Act 2003 and that it is an offence under section 363 (2) thereof to install or be in possession of a television without such a licence.

    It is further acknowledged that it is legally permissible for an “enforcement officer” to visit these premises but as you are aware, such a person has no automatic power to enter and search premises and in order to do so, a warrant of entry must first be obtained under section 366 of the same enactment. For the avoidance of doubt, should you send any person to my premises without a prior appointment, they will not be admitted unless such a warrant has been obtained. In this connection, your attention is drawn to the requirement that a warrant under section 366 may only be granted where it is shown by sworn evidence that there are “reasonable grounds” for believing that an offence under section 363 has been committed. Since it is not a legal requirement to own a television and since there is no legal requirement for a person who does not possess a television set to notify you of that fact, any failure to do so or to respond to your various communications (which are of such a grossly impertinent and offensive nature that they are justifiably ignored) cannot of itself give rise to “reasonable gounds” of belief that an offence has been committed and that were you to be granted any warrant on such an assumption, application will be made to have it set aside.

    You are therefore put on notice that should you enter or attempt to enter my premises on the basis of a warrant thus obtained, proceedings will be brought against you for damages for trespass and breach of my Convention rights under Articles 6 (2) and 8 respectively, of Schedule I of the Human Rights Act 1998.

    Please note that no further correspondence in this matter will be entered into.

    Yours faithfully,

    The Occupier.

    Note: Do not give your name. There is no obligation to do so and you should not provide any information to these people to which they are not strictly entitled. If you hear anything again which annoys you, send me an Email and I will advise you how to reply. Be sure to date the letter, retain a copy of it and obtain a certificate of posting.

    18 May 2007, 13:11

  41. Mike

    Many thanks John. Usefull letter to show when they next call.

    Just a reminder about the petition, 27th May 2007 is the last day for signing.

    23 May 2007, 21:42

  42. Martin Hickman

    I’m writing an article about TV Licensing’s approach to people. Please contact me today so that I may talk to you. 0207 005 2475.

    05 Jun 2007, 12:54

  43. David Rees

    First let me say I have a TV license,and the flat below me is empty.and the enforcement officers keep ringing my door bel.l
    I have a case in the Small Claims Court at the moment, I am claiming compensation for the nusiance and aggression shown to me from an enforcement officer. I won an award by default and I also had an attempted set aside application dismissed on June 27 last month, they have tried to have the dismissal set aside as well but I have objected to that direct to Birkenhead County Court.
    I would like to have all the paperwork on this case made public to embarase Mr Owen Shirley of the enforcement division in Bristol, I would be pleased to have some assistance in this.
    David Rees

    13 Jul 2007, 00:49

  44. Greg

    I find myself agreeing with every comment on this page. I too am infuriated by those brainless muppets at the TVLA. I haven’t watched tv for at least a year now, and don’t miss it one bit.
    I keep receiving the same letters from the TVLA, threatening court action, fines etc… it’s quite laughable.
    In this country I am innocent until proven guilty. Not the view of the TVLA it seems…
    I don’t own a TV, and never want to, it’s just another form of governmental control… never underestimate the power of the media.
    I can think of only one other “organisation” that uses/used intimidation and extortion to get what they want…
    The Mafia. Not quite the same tactics, but all the same…

    25 Jul 2007, 18:31

  45. lee

    A few years ago I received a letter saying that I hadn’t got a TV licence and that if I didn’t go out immediately and purchase one I’d be threatened with imprisonment.

    I was really angry about this letter because I had already got a licence; I reluctantly renew my licence whenever it’s due.

    So what did I do. I wrote to the person who had sent me the letter, told her that if I didn’t receive a personal apology and an appropriate amount of compensation, when my licence was next due I would refuse to renew it and contact the local police tell and tell them what I’d done and why i’d done it. I also suggested that since her name would be mentioned in my letter that this might not necessarily have a positive effect on her future career prospects.

    several days later I received a grovelling apology and a cheque for £10.

    07 Aug 2007, 08:09

  46. donricardo

    I have not renewed my TV licence because I do not watch television. And have told TVL so. But I still own four (unplugged) receivers. In my view, I am within the law because the licence conditions say that a licence is required if you USE (my emphasis) equipment to “watch or record TV programmes as they are being shown on TV.” Which I don’t. So. is all this talk about requiring a licence just because you own or have bought a receiver quite irrelevant? And another point: the licence documentation says that officers can only ask to inspect your licence with proof of purchase of equipment. Further, that “you do not have to let them into your home without a search warrant.” What I do not know is what evidence is required for such a search warrant to be authorised by the Court. Does anyone have any data on this?

    I have been told that my non-use of TV has been noted, but if they start to harass me further, I shall use the legislation which others have mentioned against them.

    Finally, someone ought to start a big campaign against Capita. Incompetent in every field they touch and, as has been pointed out by so many of us, exceedingly unpleasant, too.

    19 Aug 2007, 23:30

  47. soundgeek

    Don’t use the expensive 0870/0871 numbers for TV licencing, call them on 0800 328 2020.

    06 Sep 2007, 10:05

  48. TS

    Thanks for a lot of useful info – these people are truly obnoxious. I’m in the middle (or perhaps just at the start) of my campaign. I’ll keep this blog updated with the outcome: http://technoscream.wordpress.com/

    15 Sep 2007, 01:21

  49. David Lee

    I have been at my current address for over 12 years and have never watched tv since moving in. Over the years, I have had numerous letters from TV licensing, but the saga continues. I have on several occasions stated that the staff at TVL are, variously: ignorant; arrogant; stupid; lazy; incompetent; deceitful, but any criticisms are shrugged off.

    However, I stopped taking them seriously years ago and nowadays regularly ridicule them. At the moment, I am in contact with the Managing Director and, separately, the BBC , to whom I was referred, so that I could complain about TV Licensing.

    Coming across this website has been a pleasant surprise, I never realized TVL had caused so much aggravation.

    David Lee

    12 Oct 2007, 15:24

  50. David Lee

    P S
    I forgot to mention that I have told TVL that I would not allow them into my home and have also on several occasions asked them to send me a Summons, so that I could show them up for the rubbish they are. Needless to say, they have always backed down.

    I am 75 in 3 years time, so there is now a block on my name till then.

    David Lee

    12 Oct 2007, 15:35

  51. Si C

    David- how did you fair with your appeal to have the TVLAs appeal for setting aside the dismissal?

    I good way to publish all your paperwork in reference to your case is to use myspace.com. It is simple to setup and you can make it the emphasis of the page. Try and spread the word around some forums and “bump” it could make it to the top of the most visited. The ‘net’ is a great communication tool.

    To all- Keep up the avoidance of the TV licence paying (even if you watch TV- although for legal reason I don’t advocate doing this, but as a British Citizen I have a right to express my own opinion)

    20 Oct 2007, 04:03

  52. HW

    We’ve been waiting for the TV inspectors for five or six years & make no objection to their doing their job. But, when they finally show up, they will be required to sign the following (in duplicate) before gaining admission, just in case their search causes any damage to the flat:

    I the undersigned DO HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGE and confirm that by accepting the occupant’s permission to enter and inspect No xx Xxx Road for the purposes of conducting a search for an unlicensed television set or for any other purpose whatsoever that may hereinafter transpire I herewith do undertake to bear and recompense the occupant in the full sum of the cost of any and all damage injury harm waste or other detriment to value incurred by the abovementioned premises or any part thereof including but not limited to the demised structure party walls fixtures fittings furnishings chattels internal and external decorative state electrical wiring and appliances gas and water mains supplies and appliances plasterwork cornicing carpeting flooring and other internal finishes that may occur in the course of the duration of my visit or such as may be identified by the occupant thereafter as having arisen in consequence of my visit such liability to be borne by myself in full such recompense to be paid immediately on demand to the occupant. AND I DO in addition undertake to reimburse and indemnify as hereinbefore stated the occupant to the full extent of any costs expenses or other outgoings incurred by the occupant in seeking to obtain such recompense thereafter. AND I DO FURTHERMORE assent and confirm that in the event of any dispute as regards the sum or legitimacy of any and all such costs arising from the above I shall accept the occupant’s decision as being final and binding in this matter.

    I don’t think this is unreasonable.

    30 Oct 2007, 16:41


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  • We've been waiting for the TV inspectors for five or six years & make no objection to their doing th… by HW on this entry
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