May 12, 2006

TV Licensing annoyed my sister big time

Writing about web page http://magicjournal.com/2006/05/11/the-plague-that-is-tv-licensing/

Beware you non-TV-watching, no-TV types!


- 36 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. Send them a letter telling them you haven't got a TV, and add that you don't take kindly to being treated like a criminal.

    They really are a bunch of fannies.

    12 May 2006, 23:40

  2. I've had many letters from them this year, despite the fact that I actually have a licence, threatening me with inspectors etc… They really are a bunch of useless prats.

    13 May 2006, 08:09

  3. I kept getting letters last year, even though I didn't have a tv because I was in halls and there's no damn signal anyway. I don't see why I have to 'write and confirm the situation' to them if I don't have a bloody tv! Surely if they have those super tv sniffer–out machines they keep boasting about they'd be able to tell if I really had a tv or not!!
    I got a tv, and a liscense, this year, but they still sent me a letter saying I was breaking the law. So I phoned them up and told them they were speaking bollocks, and they had to admit they'd sent the same letter out to everyone, regardless of wether they had a liscense or not! What an amazing, efficent system!!

    13 May 2006, 09:37

  4. Sorry, I got a bit cross about it.

    13 May 2006, 09:38

  5. I'd be tempted to advocate scrapping the license fee just to put the useless f**kers out of a job… but if I were purging the government of leeches, I wouldn't stop there.

    13 May 2006, 10:09

  6. Make sure you never pay for the license by direct debit. Its more hassle than its worth. Because within the first year, you start paying for the next year's license. Depsite the fact you only need a license for 9months.

    I still like how they like to take a vacant household to court. They just don't understand that some people might not watch TV.

    13 May 2006, 11:12

  7. This year they don't seem to have figurewd out that we exist, so haven't hassled us which is always nice. Especially since we don't watch TV

    And if they do send someone round, then you can refuse them entry, they come back the next day with a police officer (nice use of police time there), by which time you move any TVs, or anything that even looks capable of receiving a signal, to someone elses house anyway

    13 May 2006, 12:51

  8. That's when you tell the policeman to arrest the TV inspector, for wasting police time!

    13 May 2006, 12:53

  9. pingu

    yeah tv license people are such a pain. and they waste so much paper. They write to our halls all the time, and also threatened us by saying that theyll send inspectors over. And they send the letter every week. and i doubt if they can even tell where the signal is coming from, whether its you or the guy next door/bedroom. Id say just bin the letter.

    13 May 2006, 13:25

  10. Look my poor sister has to sell the car to pay for the license she doesn't need link

    (Joking!)

    13 May 2006, 13:35

  11. vertex

    Interesting, I didn't realize people intelligent enough to goto Warwick University cared about such crap as TV.

    13 May 2006, 21:38

  12. I'm sick of them – I don't have a TV licence because I don't watch TV – nothing worth watching. I have told them this umpteen times and after several threatening letters I wrote a strongly worded one back. Just after I moved house (14 months ago) we had a visit from them – the house had been empty for a while and when I told the bloke why we don't have one and explained we don't have it connected to an aerial and have detuned the channels, he asked if he could come in and check! So I let him come in and he got a bit stroppy when he saw the aerial socket, so I pulled it out of the wall, handed it to him and told him to keep it, then ushered him out, assuring him that any time night or day they can send round vans to see if we're watching telly but it'll be a waste of their time. Haven't had any junk mail since.

    13 May 2006, 22:42

  13. It's been just as bad on campus this year as it was in my first year. They sent me a letter telling me they were launching legal proceedings or some other such bollocks, so I rang them and told them I didn't have a TV. They said they'd send an enforcement officer round to check the premises and confirm. That was last October. Since then: Enforcement Officers visited – 0. Letters received demanding payment – 3.

    Bunch of useless arseholes. There should be some kind of law to prevent this. It's harrassment, surely?

    13 May 2006, 23:02

  14. Ah I have a funny story. There was one instance back in 1999, when we had moved from Newcastle to London. And if you can imagine all the hassle that would entail with jobs, schools etc. My dad had totally forgot about the business of a TV licence. Come 5.35pm one weekday evening, as my sister was watching neighbours. Someone rings the doorbell, and yes its the TV licensing man!

    "Hello, do you use a TV on the premises?" says the TV licensing man.
    My sister replies, "er... no", as the sound of the TV can be heard in the background!

    Luckily she was young back then, and their wasn't an adult at home, they let us take our time to buy one. Phew!

    13 May 2006, 23:13

  15. David Metcalfe

    I sent the following letter to TV Licensing some time ago and received a contrite reply. It didn't stop the threatening correspondence though!
    ————————————————————————————–

    "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

    14 May 2006, 10:44

  16. We've had two visits in the last month. First enoforcement officer was rude so I told him to p*ss off, second guy was let in by a housemate and he conducted a quick search.

    A few days later got another letter threatening us for not having a TV licence notwithstanding they had searched the premises and not found one.

    The only way you can temporarily prevent this harrasssment is if all members of the household sign a declaration stating they don't have TV receiving equipment and allow a random inspection of the property to confirm you aren't lying to them.

    If you can put up with the letters just ignore them. You don't have to let anyone into your home unless they have a warrant.

    They cannot get a warrant unless they have evidence you are watching TV (eg hearing Neighbours in the background when they call round or TV detector equipment picking up a signal).

    Using detector vans and getting warrants is extremely expensive for them so they prefer the harrassment option as it is more cost effective.

    So, if you haven't got a TV ignore them. When inspectors come round decline to co–operate.

    Personally I like to be a bit insulting with these people as I guess if everyone was like this to them they might get fed up with the job. At least I feel better for it.

    14 May 2006, 13:16

  17. Jeremy

    by the way, if you let them in once I think they might later be able to gain access to your premises without you being there.

    15 May 2006, 09:12

  18. You shouldn't even let bailiffs into your house if they have no warrant. Only by volunteering to let them in, you can let them repossess your stuff.

    15 May 2006, 10:41

  19. David Metcalfe

    There is no reason to let ANYONE into your house unless they have a warrant signed by a magistrate or a judge. Even a policeman cannot enter your house without permission – unless he has reason to believe a crime is taking place at the time or is in immediate pursuit of an offender.

    15 May 2006, 22:35

  20. "How about I give you the finger, and you get yourself a warrant?"

    15 May 2006, 23:09

  21. student loan dodger

    You think the TV licence people are bad, you wait till you have a student loan to pay back!

    The student loan people were chasing someone with the same name as me (he might have been my cousin, ahem), and tracked him down to my mothers address (which I obviously once lived at, and was still on the electoral role as living there).

    My mum has got into the habit of opening my post and seeing if it needs forwarding, so saw some of the letters and binned them. She was pretty shocked when she got a letter saying that if 'I' didnt pay up within 21 days they wouldl send bailiffs round to collect the money – this despite the fact that I phoned and told them that I wasnt the person that they were looking for.

    I wrote them a really rude letter saying that they didnt have the right to threaten my mother with bailiffs, and would you mind sending her round a bunch of flowers by way of compensation.. Needless to say the reply came back in the negative…

    16 May 2006, 17:28

  22. I might as well put down here all the anger I've had for that stealth tax (which keeps going up). I have 3 rooms in my place (bedroom/kitchen/toilet), despite this, and only having a 14 inch TV I have to pay over £120 a year, whereas if I had a mansion with 4000 plasma screen TVs playing on the BBC 24/7 I would still only have to pay £120… What kind of situation are we living in when everyone is charged the same regardless of what they use? I never watch the BBC, why doesn't the BBC stop making the crap they put on or just put in adverts/product placement and take a nice dose of shut the hell up.

    Sorry if it seemed like a flamefest but I've been getting mad about this for quite some time…

    16 May 2006, 17:49

  23. It could be worse!

    There was talk a while back about changing the licence to cover computers!!! For the BBC to stay in line with the future and maintain a fund of money. But I don't ever see that happening.

    16 May 2006, 17:53

  24. You have a TV and don't watch BBC? That only leaves you with three channels, one of which is ITV so doesn't count at all, and one of which is channel 5 so barely counts. For all the hassle of a license fee, 95% of good television is still on the beeb.

    16 May 2006, 18:10

  25. I have a cunning plan sire

    Next year on campus. I think its likely we'll have a TV licence for the kitchen. But I reckon I'd prefer to watch TV in my own room – but can't afford another licence. If I place an unwanted computer with a TV tuner in the kitchen, to encode TV broadcasts, and stream it over the network to my room (or in fact anywhere on campus), that would be quite cool. Very "grey" area, but the tuner would be in the kitchen.

    16 May 2006, 18:15

  26. We have a TV licence for our kitchen too, it works quite well. How do you intend to get network access in the kitchen though? I suspect you could use video–senders though; I've heard of a number of people doing that to get reception (if you're not quite familiar with campus, kitchens are provided with a wall–socket RF aerial connection but rooms aren't, and reception around here is shit, especially for mobile aerials. So it's pretty much the only way to get reception anyway)

    16 May 2006, 18:22

  27. Wireless LAN or a long piece of CAT5.

    16 May 2006, 18:24

  28. You're going to run your own wireless LAN? Interesting. I know for a fact that extending the university network wirelessly is prohibited; I'm not so sure about running your own wireless network provided you're not extending the university one.

    16 May 2006, 20:01

  29. I have "not" ever bridged the university network ever… ahem. It was the only way to get access in the kitchen last year. Although the microwave oven affected it quite a lot…

    Ok, I'll have to use my own. Preferably the new fangled 802.11n stuff. Bluetooth couldn't cut it. Failing that, I still have a box of 100m of CAT5. I basically just want to watch Grand Prixs in bed.

    16 May 2006, 20:05

  30. Sam (Browser)

    Had the same problem (no TV loads of threats) and after many calls to them they agreed not to send us any more letters, but they were going to "send someone round to confirm". The inspector–y person shows up hand me a piece of paper and buggered off… said piece was one of those "we called but you were out things"! Still haven't had anything from them since. In halls you're probably okay because they can't tell who's receiving the signal (same thing with flats).

    19 May 2006, 12:51

  31. Moo the Moo Foo

    EXCUSE ME! But when we first moved dowqn from Newcastle to London and the TV licence man came, I purposely took advantage of my lowly position and blagged my way out of being fined! He tried to make it Jeh Jeh's responsibility even though she was a student still in Sheffield.

    That! My dear brother, is called Skill.

    25 May 2006, 17:14

  32. M.SHAKEY

    Check out this site "bbcresistance.com" You will find you are not alone, and some people actually beat the system.

    06 Jul 2006, 14:32

  33. M.Shakey

    Sorry folks, forgot to say the site is run by Jonathan Miller(the journalist) and Eric Oostveen.
    Check out the forum and dont forget to sign the petition.

    Here is a quote from a recent letter I sent back to Crapita
    "

    I remind you that I have no obligation under law to even communicate with your company, and I draw your attention to the “written answers” in Parliament on Monday 15–05–2006, and a question that was asked regarding whether there was a legal requirement to communicate with your company or not.

    Shaun Woodward
    Parliamentary Under–Secretary, Department for Culture, Media & Sport.
    answered:

    “A television licence is required to install or use a television receiver, as defined in regulations made by the Secretary of State, rather than a television set. Members of the public who do not require a television licence are under no obligation to inform TV Licensing of the fact.”

    I hope that you will appreciate that I am only communicating with you to avoid any unnecessary unpleasantness in the future. I do not wish to enter into either protracted correspondence or conversations.

    Yours sincerely

    The present occupier of the above address.
    "

    The site provided useful information for compiling my reply. The full letter is printed in the forum.

    Regards

    M.Shakey

    06 Jul 2006, 14:41

  34. anon

    go here and read up on your rights in regards to TV Licensing and find out what the lies TVL and BBC currently tell you, and what action to take, importantly tell your friends & family about the site.

    BBC Resistance

    link – Main website
    link – Forum

    07 Jul 2006, 10:44

  35. Anon

    There seems to be a lot of fud here – so here goes in trying to clear things up. Here goes, take a deep breath becasue it is a LITTLE involved.

    The law states that if you are capable of recieving a realtime video broadcast – no matter the source – you have to pay a tax. This tax is the licence fee.
    The Department of Culture Media and Sport sets the amount.

    The Home Office 'charges' the BBC with the tasks of collecting the licence fee and enforcing it.

    The BBC contracts the collection and enforcment out to a company called Capita.

    Capita occasionally contracts out the collection, internally called 'sales' to other agencies.

    Capita gives the monies collected back to the BBC and get paid – they may also get a bonus if the significantly increase the percentage of evaders who become 'sales'. Capita passes some bonuses onto it best enforcement agents (their term).

    Right… The BBC now passes the monies back up to the Treasury along with a 'bill' for their fees in collecting the licence 'sales'.

    The government then distributes the tax money – yes, it's now back to being called a tax – to the broadcasting organisations it chooses.
    It chooses to only give the money to the BBC as it has in its current charter (up for review) the requirement for 'public broadcasting'.
    So … that's how it works. The important points are that it IS a tax. It is claimable by law if you recieve any REALTIME, or near realtime video broadcast – from wherever (so yes, technically, if your mates send your mobile a video message of them drunk in the pub you need a licence). A nice point to note is that with the change in the law – Communications Act 2003.
    They can now, technically under law, – with a Search Warrant – seize a computer so that they can study the logs to see if a device has ever been used on it. Also they are searching not necessarily for a large machine in the corner of the room, but anything that can receive a broadcast – so size of a mobile phone on up. Fancy them grubbing through your undies drawer?

    Finally, yes I've looked into this, yes it's cost me a lot of money. No I don't have a TV, or anything that can receive a broadcast. I never have had. It hasn't stopped them harassing me for the last 17 years. Why should they, it's cost effective for them. Why should your MP care? They get to vote each other and their mates onto the board.

    PS If they ever do turn up with a search warrant, they won't necessarily be with a police officer – that's for them to request. **Get a witness** At least one. Film the whole thing if you can. Get as much info from them as you can. Make–em uncomfortable.

    24 Aug 2006, 11:31

  36. anon

    Just read that back. Sorry abouth the spelling errors, typos and clunky grammer. Not at my best when annoyed. Oh and it should be 'public interest broadcasting' obviously.

    24 Aug 2006, 11:34


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