Well what d'ya know? Good ol' LASSy the database has screwed up again, with a correctly licensed pensioner couple being bombarded with TV Licensing's venomous, albeit hollow threat letters.
A COUPLE who have been bombarded with warning letters about not having a television licence feel their "integrity is being challenged".
Norman Jelliman, 72, and his wife, Maureen, 69, have lived in Downham for eight years and have always had a television licence.
They first started receiving the letters from the Television Licensing Authority six years ago.
Since then the authority has sent Mr and Mrs Jelliman some 70 documents, including 12 law-enforcement letters.
Mr Jelliman said: "I feel my integrity is being challenged because I have never done anything dishonest in my life. We pay our bills and don’t have any debts. I don’t even have a speeding fine."
He said he thought the problem had been solved after a visit from an enforcement officer three weeks ago.
"At the end of it we shook hands and said it was the end of it, but to my horror I got another letter on Friday. I thought I’m not going through all of this again."
Since 2005 the couple have paid for their licence in monthly instalments by direct debit.
It was automatically renewed in February and cost £145.50.
Their warning letters are addressed to the "legal occupier", but the television licences are addressed to Mr and Mrs Jelliman.
The cul-de-sac where the couple live only has four houses, which share the same postcode.
This was one of the explanations for the warning letters given to the couple by the enforcement officer, according to Mr Jelliman.
The former Bank of England employee said the documents have become a "nuisance", and the most recent letter was the "final straw".
"I feel a lot of taxpayers’ money is being wasted."
Mr Jelliman added more vulnerable people could feel “intimidated” by similar correspondence.
The letters are sent on average each month in six monthly cycles.
At first the letters simply tell Mr and the Mrs Jelliman they do not have a licence and explains how they can buy one.
But the documents eventually become more severe, according to the couple.
The final letter in the cycle informs them an investigation will be taking place and they risk being taken to court, as well as facing a fine of up to £1,000.
After that correspondence from the licensing authority the cycle of letters starts again for another six months.
Mr Jelliman said: "We know nothing can happen to us because we have got our records and have paid for our licence."
A TV licensing spokesman said: "Our records show that Mr Jelliman is correctly licensed but has been receiving letters in error due to a duplicate address on our system. We have amended our records to remove this second address which will stop any future letters from TV Licensing being sent in error."
"With 25million licences, errors can sometimes occur. We would urge anyone who is receiving mailings from us when they already have a licence to get in touch with us so we can check out the reasons."______________________
I'd like to report that attempt to extort money from innocent people was exceptional behaviour for TV Licensing, but it's actually the norm as regular readers will know.
TV Licensing - we want your money whether you owe us or not.