As increasing number of the legally licence free are choosing to make a stand against the heinous and deceitful tactics employed by the BBC and TV Licensing in the name of licence fee enforcement.
The law requires that a licence is obtained for any device that is "installed or used" for "receiving or recording a television programme at the same time (or virtually the same time) as it is received by members of the public".
If you don't use equipment as described above then you don't require a television licence. That is an unequivocal fact of law.
You would think, understandably, that if you don't need a licence then you simply don't bother to buy one. That should be the end of the matter but it isn't. It won't take TV Licensing long to realise that your address is unlicensed and, given their misguided impression that no-one in the world can live without television, they'll want to know why. No-one is under any legal obligation whatsoever to explain their non-licence status to TV Licensing, but they will make life uncomfortable for anyone who doesn't. It is a sad reflection of TV Licensing's Gestapo-like tactics that thousands of people are coerced into buying a licence for a quiet life free from harassment. It is an even sadder reflection of what Britain has become that they are allowed to get away with it.
As anyone who watches the BBC's Points of View programme will know only too well, complaining to the BBC is rarely worth the effort. They always have an excuse for poor service and they always have the final say. The BBC and its employees are seemingly unable to accept any criticism. They think everything they do is faultless. If there's a problem it's one with the complainant rather than with them. Complaining to TV Licensing is no exception to this rule, but some people find it helpful to let off steam.
Anyone wishing to make a complaint about TV Licensing should use the following procedure:
1. To begin with write a letter of complaint to: Customer Relations, TV Licensing, Bristol, BS98 1TL
2. If you receive a substandard response, as will probably be the case, escalate your complaint by writing to the Operations Director, Carl Shimeild, at the same address: TV Licensing, Bristol, BS98 1TL
Remember to include the original letter of complaint and TV Licensing's substandard response. You should explain why you find TV Licensing's first response unsatisfactory - probably because it's come straight from a can and is so vague and generic in nature it does little to address your concerns.
3. If you are dissatisfied with the Operation Director's response then you can escalate your complaint from monkey to organ grinder. The next step would be to complain to the Head of Revenue Management, Pipa Doubtfire, at: BBC TV Licensing, Room 4436, BBC White City, 201 Wood Lane, London, W12 7TS
Again you should include copies of all previous complaint documents and explain why you are dissatisfied with earlier responses.
4. If you are dissatisfied with the Head of Revenue Management's response then you can write back to her and ask her to escalate the matter to the BBC's Executive Board. The Executive Board will review all the previous documents and decide whether or not to uphold the complaint.
5. If you are dissatisfied with the BBC Executive Board's decision then you can complain to the BBC Trust, who will make a final decision about whether or not to uphold the complaint. Further information appears on the Trust's website.
It is a very time consuming and convoluted process, which is no doubt designed to sicken complainants into giving up. A bit like TV Licensing issuing baseless legal threats to sicken legitimate non-TV-viewers into buying a licence they don't need. It's just the way the BBC works, thanks to the unique and anachronistic way it is funded.