At this time of year a hugh swathe of the TV viewing population is preparing to renew their TV licence in eager anticipation of another year of 'Allo 'Allo repeats and movies shown that many times the Beeb has worn the film away.
Most people would think, understandably, that their £145.50 cash injection to the BBC will cover their use of colour TV receiving/recording equipment for the next 12 months. In reality they may receive a rude awakening when they see the true expiry date on their new TV licence.
For all TV Licensing claim (falsely) to have state of the art detection equipment, which is so sensitive it can detect the noise of an ant farting over the motion of the San Adreas Fault, they also say it would be too much hassle for them to issue licences other than at the start of the month. The consequence of this is that anyone purchasing a licence mid-month will have the issue date rolled back to the start of the month, which in turn means their licence will expire earlier than expected.
This ludicrous state of affairs, which we have actually commented on before, was highlighted in a recent thread at the TV Licence Resistance forums.
Taff, no doubt a resident of Scotland, decided to renew his TV licence online as an increasing number of the 'Allo 'Allo adoring public do. It was late evening, 11.45 pm, on the last day of the month and technically his current licence was about to expire in 15 minutes time. Wanting to avoid the risk of TV Licensing Spetsnaz trained enforcers abseiling through his bedroom window within the next half hour, Taff dutifully entered his card details onto TV Licensing's payment page and thought nothing more of it.
A few days later Taff's new licence arrived on his doormat with an expiry date a whole month earlier than expected. TV Licensing had effectively stolen 30 days, 23 hours and 45 minutes of Taff's licence fee payment over the sake of him renewing 15 minutes too early.
Understandably irate at this act of state-sponsored robbery Taff decided to phone TV Licensing and express his displeasure. The conversation went something like this:
Taff: "So if I'd have waited till 12.01 am the next day (first day of an unlicensed month), while watching the telly, to renew, I'd have been breaking the law then?"
TVL agent: ""Errr, I suppose so."
Taff: "I want my month back then."
TVL agent: "You won't be getting it."
Taff: "We'll see about that next year."
TVL agent: "Our revenue protection officers will make sure you pay."
Is it any wonder an increasing number of people despise the TV licensing system? After TV Licensing's duplicitous and underhand tactics Taff will never buy another TV licence. How many tens of thousands of people are being ripped off by TV Licensing each month, but just turn a blind eye and let them do it?
Never pay for a new TV licence until your current licence is fully expired.