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, 27 March 2012

TV Licensing Threatogram Complaints Revealed

Regular readers will be aware of our ongoing battle with the BBC to reveal the true number of complaints received about TV Licensing annually since 2008. Of particular interest was the number of complaints received about TV Licensing's routine threatograms, which the BBC were struggling to quantify.

You might remember that we initially posed questions on this subject to the BBC at the end of December. Their initial response was riddled with inconsistent misinformation, which we challenged them on.

Today, eight weeks after their initial erroneous response, I finally received a corrected version from the BBC. I can honestly say I am impressed by the humility and clarity of Louise Wright's response, which reflects on exactly what went wrong with the handling of my initial request. As her colleagues at the BBC will undoubtedly read this post, I publish on record my appreciation for the way she has tied up all the lose ends, differences of opinion aside. As she has given such a complete and apparently sincere response, I see little point in pursuing my internal review request.

Now turning to the corrected complaint data. Addressing each of our initial questions in turn, the BBC has now provided the following information (their initial response data is given in brackets):

The total number of TV Licensing complaints:
In 2008: 35,908 (31,656)
In 2009: 33,174 (31,336)
In 2010: 25,870 (25,778)
In 2011: 22,588 (22,432)

The number of complaints regarding TV Licensing correspondence:
In 2008: 3,782 (1,693)
In 2009: 3,823 (1,960)
In 2010: 4,965 (767)
In 2011: 3,947 (385)

The number of complaints regarding TV Licensing visiting officers and field operatives:
In 2008: 307 (307)
In 2009: 302 (294)
In 2010: 325 (312)
In 2011: 358 (347)

The number of complaints regarding TV Licensing call centre staff:
In 2008: 545 (542)
In 2009: 694 (682)
In 2010: 594 (582)
In 2011: 478 (467)

The number of complaints regarding the wording/tone of TV Licensing communications:
In 2008: 2,346 (2,226)
In 2009: 2,028 (1,935)
In 2010: 1,028 (958)
In 2011: 989 (954)

For all the unseasonably intense sunshine appears to have mellowed my outlook on this request, it does not change my opinion that the BBC is negligent in their monitoring of TV Licensing complaint data. Given the ongoing high profile criticism of TV Licensing's enforcement tactics, it is incomprehensible that the BBC can't readily access and evaluate the number of complaints.

The full trail of our battle for information can be viewed here.


Laci The Dog said...

hWhile we are in agreement that the TV detector van is one of the more idiotic things going...

Would you prefer to have the BBC follow US public broadcasting's model and start having "extort a thons"? That's where they take a week or two from regularly scheduled programming to try and shame their viewers into couging up the cash to run their show.

They might show a few minutes of a programme to come on and say "we need x amount of pledges to make our goal".

One PBS station actually haranged the people who weren't supporting public broadcasting as a bunch of leeches.

But as the US public broadcasting model points out: "if you have our station on your preset, you are a user. That menas you should be a member as well".

Member being a more polite term than licence holder.

Or you can have commercials.

I would add that US cable not only makes you pay, but they add more commercials to an already over commercially saturated programme.

admin said...

Thanks for all your comments Laci The Dog.

TheStudent said...

In response to Laci The Dog

This isn't about removing the TV license. This is about people who have no wish to watch TV as it's broadcast who are being harassed into paying £145~ (or $227~ if you're from the USA) per year.

Essentially the TV licensing company in the UK presume that everybody who doesn't pay the TV license is evading. They encourage their employee's to sell these licenses to people who don't even need them, and as you can see on this blog people have been threatened with a criminal prosecution for no reason.

This is nothing to do with how the BBC gets it's funding. It's the fact that they presume that everybody who doesn't pay a TV license is guilty of evasion.

"Innocent till proven guilty" - Sir William Garrow(1760 - 1840)