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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Saturday, 24 September 2011

TV Licensing Harassment: An All Too Familiar Story

Plucked from the pages of Yahoo! Answers:

andrew r writes:
"I have established that I don't need a tv license as I don't have a tv and I don't watch any tv as it is being broadcast. I do watch youtube on my laptop though. I live in shared accommodation. I went to the tv license website and declared that I did not have a TV. I gave my name and full address. I then had a response telling me within ten days they would write to me then I had an email from them asking me to state what room of the house I live in. I thought this was just too much and ignored it. After all if they wrote to me at my address like the bank and phone company do then I'd get the letter. Anyways now they keep sending me letters claiming they are investigating and that I may have to go to court and all this sort of stuff. I find it really harassing and threatening and infuriating especially when I am not doing anything wrong. What should I do now? Also if I continue to be harassed can I take legal action against the tv licensing organisation?"

We reply:
We suggest you read our post TV Licensing for Students and determine whether you are living in a "joint occupancy" or "multiple occupancy" property. The category of property you live in will influence whether or not you need a TV licence.

If having read that you are still sure you have no need for a TV licence, then our advice would be as follows:

As someone who legitimately has no need for a TV licence, you should not be intimidated by TV Licensing's correspondence. Their letters, which even the BBC Trust has criticised, are designed to scare people into paying up whether they need to or not. TV Licensing profit from the fact that most legitimate non-TV-viewers are so unaware of the law that they will pay up at the first whiff of legal consequences.

Quite simply if you have no means of receiving or recording live TV signals you cannot be committing an offence and any threat of legal action can be safely discarded in the bin where it belongs.

TV Licensing are scum. As their correspondence, packed with half-truths and small print, shows, they have no hesitation in terrorising genuine non-TV viewers into paying a fee they do not owe.

If you write to TV Licensing telling them you have no need for a TV licence, stating you find their letters intimidatory and warning that further correspondence will constitute harassment then they should leave you in peace. You would have a case for legal action if they persisted after that, but should consult a lawyer before pursuing the matter.

If you are living in a multiple occupancy property a licence would be required to cover any TV receiving/recording equipment located in communal areas, but this would probably be a joint responsibility between you and the other tenants


Mike Joseph said...

Right: Have not had a TV for 33 years. I informed TVLA of no TV (when one letter was slightly less threatening than usual). Letters stopped for 2 years, then the visits & letters restarted.
TVLA uses UKMail to collect letters (paid a fee to do so) then UKMail uses Royal Mail who, as a 'common carrier', does not get paid to deliver. So I now put so-called reminders into a separate envelope addressed to TVLA Bristol, but without a stamp. This now means that poor old Royal Mail gets to charge excess postage when delivering TVLA's letter back to them! Cross-subsidising a truly useful service and hopefully causing TVLA grief and admin problems. Please - everyone should do this!

admin said...

I suspect they might just refuse to accept any unpaid mail, as any other customer has the right to do.

Far better is to return TV Licensing crap to them via their Freepost address, then they have little choice but to accept it.

Their Freepost address is:

TV Licensing
Freepost BS6689

Liam said...

Isn't there a law against sending threatening letters via Her Magesty's Mail? I don't mean legitemate final demands, but TVLA's love letters? I get one regularly once a month, and I keep them unopened. They make an assumption that nobody can possibly exist without their service, and then send demands with menaces.

Anonymous said...

I've had no TV and no TV Licence for about 13 years. In that time I have moved house a number of times. I have learned that if you ignore the letters, they cycle them and eventually you get to recognise the pattern.

But NEVER tell them your name and that you have no TV. Then the letter continue but are addressed to you personally and that is when they send their goon round to go through your home (and check out your PCs, laptops, iPads and anything else his dodgy mates down the pub might want to steal).

Never tell them your name. Doing so makes you a victim.