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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Sunday, 25 December 2011

TV Licensing: Penalising Legal TV Viewers

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.


George said...

Thanks for leaving a note on my blog and inviting me over to read through your blog, lot of useful info here so will be back again if you don't mind. I'd also like to put a link to you up on my blog if that's ok?

admin said...

Absolutely George.
The more people that know the truth about how the TV licence should be enforced the better.
If you've read our "About" page then you'll know that we despise TV Licensing for the way they harass legitimate non-TV-viewers. We are in no way condoning people fee dodging.

George said...

That's great, consider the link up now!!!
I did read your about page and the rest too, and recognise that you, quite correctly, don't condone people skipping payment. After all, if you want to watch, you pay your way. If you don't then it's like shop-lifting.
I'll be back

Legal Protestor said...

TV Licensing has a unique ability to get completely up someone's nose on first interaction. I'm a bit ambivalent about whether there should be a small charge for a totally independent state broadcaster that has a mandate to produce material such as nature programmes and political commentary that might otherwise not get an airing. Additionally as a format in which bright new talent can be given the first opportunity to be exposed to the public, there is some merit in us supporting this arm of the arts and wider cultural elements in society. That the BBC is increasingly becoming a commissioning organisation with less and less in-house work, it becomes ever more managerially top heavy, supporting a few so called fading stars (past their sell by date 'family retainers') at astronomical fee levels . Additionally, as we saw with Glastonbury (which is not an isolated case) there is a free-ticket and freebee merry-go-round for this overpaid and under talented cadre.
My irritation was brought to boiling point when I received a letter from a "Customer Services" individual in TV Licensing (an arm of the BBC I am lead to believe). I was told as I know we've all been told, 'whatever you're watching, whenever...' etc. This is frankly incorrect and if it's not, then it needs to be made unlawful that such misinformation be used to bully the public into buying a service. There are many legitimate reasons why a TV may be owned and not need a licence. There is no mention of this. The letter is pure threat, even down to telling me the name of the debt collecting agency. I complained as I think the behaviour is simply wrong in every regard - less a polite reminder in the first instance that the legislation is currently such one needs licence for certain types of TV usage. The reply I received from another so called "Customer Services" individual who told me, as I already know, that it's only live or nearly live broadcasts. I wonder if case law has quite caught up with a definition of "nearly live". There was no contrition in recognising that their initial approach is offensive.
I subsequently purchased a licence as I started to watch live broadcasts - well they are mainly repeats with the BBC these days. I bought an annual licence on 28th December 2011. Annual to my understanding is 365 days. The licence only lasts to 30 November 2012. So I have effectively paid for 12 months viewing and only received the 'right' to watch live/nearly live broadcasts for 11 months.
On the basis that the whole transaction was carried out on-line (you know those computer thingies) I fail to see why the TV Licensing systems cannot be set-up to give 12 months (365 days for the avoidance of doubt) viewing when one buys an annual licence on line.
After this little spat I'm afraid I'm happy to join the ranks of the protestors, as in my view the BBC and TV Licensing are not fit for purpose.
Has anyone got any input or advice on the scam they are running reference the lost month's legal viewing? There is no excuse for this in today's world. It's simply another nasty little money maker which leaves a bitter taste in the mouth as this organisation abuses it's once enviable status in our society.