Why we're here:
This blog is to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing. These people do not require a licence and are entitled to live without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's correspondence and employees.

If you use equipment to receive live broadcast TV programmes, or to watch or download on-demand programmes via the BBC iPlayer, then the law requires you to have a licence and we encourage you to buy one.

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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Buying TV Equipment

Around this time of year lots of people are buying television equipment in the run up to Christmas or in the Boxing Day sales.

Whenever you buy or lease equipment capable of receiving or recording live television signals the retailer is legally obliged to ask you for the address where the equipment will be installed. At the end of each month the retailer sends this information to TV Licensing for them to crossmatch against their ever-expanding database of invasive information.

Not surprisingly some people object to having to give an address for simply buying non-offensive electrical goods. Their enthusiasm to provide this information is even less so if they're aware of the relentlessly harassing TVL correspondence that lies in wait.

As I said earlier, the retailer is obliged to ask for this information and can be prosecuted if they fail to send complete and accurate records to TV Licensing. The legal onus for disclosure is on the retailer and not the customer. A person buying television equipment is under no obligation to provide an address at the point of sale, although most stores will refuse the transaction if they do not.

The best course of action is to provide a false house number and postcode - pluck the numbers out of the air, but be sure to give the correct format. If the shop assistant is suspicious because it isn't listed on their computer, just tell them it is a new build and the postcode hasn't been listed yet. In my experience most shop assistants aren't bothered at all what you tell them, as long as they have something to report to Big Brother at the month end.

I wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year - apart from those employed by the BBC, Capita or Fishburn Hedges who I hope burn their turkeys!

Edit: Please note that due to a recent change in the law retailers do not now need to notify TV Licensing about the sale/lease of TV receiving equipment. Read more in this article.


Anonymous said...

"The best course of action is to provide a false house number and postcode - pluck the numbers out of the air, but be sure to give the correct format."

Use Royal Mail's online address/postcode finder to check that the address is valid. You can use the address of missing house numbers, boarded-up properties, vacant offices or vacant industrial units to inconvenience TVL. Also, you might try using a house name rather than a house number to further inconvenince TVL.

Anonymous said...

I have purchased 2 TVs for a holiday let over the last 2 years - both online - and was not asked for the address of where the sets were to be installed. Both were delivered to my home address which has no licence as we do not watch TV in any form. Responding to TV licensing seems to be a waste of time as after 6 months or so they start chasing you again. The letters just go straight in the recycling now. To cap it all I recently received a letter from them to say that the holiday let property is unlicensed despite the fact that the property has had one since it opened in 2002 and it is renewed by direct debit annually.

Anonymous said...

If youre buying in Northern Ireland give an address (preferably a rural one -no house numbers or streetnames) in the Republic of Ireland when they ask for a postcode enjoy watching their brains explode when you tell them theres no such thing in Ireland :-)