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 television programmes then the law requires you to have a licence and we encourage you to buy one.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

TV Licensing: How To Complain

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 property where a 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. Be absolutely clear that 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 they don't legally need, simply to achieve 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, however justified. 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, Darlington, DL98 1TL.

2. If you receive a substandard response, as will probably be the case, escalate your complaint by writing to the Operations Director at the same address: TV Licensing, Darlington, DL98 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 any of 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 at: BBC TV Licensing, 2nd Floor The Lighthouse, BBC White City, 201 Wood Lane, London, W12 7TQ.
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 and ask them 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.

Despite the complaints process being time-consuming and convoluted, we encourage people to use it for the simple reason that complaints against TV Licensing are externally-monitored and do attract negative comment about the organisation.

We fully believe the complaints process is designed to sicken complainants into giving up. It's 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.

Edit (23/7/13): Updated address details.


TJoK said...

I rang their 0300 number on behalf of my friend who was on the receiving end of the bullying from TV Licensing (The BBC), my friend was very distressed and left the phone callfor me to handle and I have to say the attitude of their call centre staff was just as disgusting as their monthly threats. As soon as they realised the phone call was a complaint rather than to hand over payment details for a licence the tone changed rapidly into a sinister tirade of accusations such as "if you have a telly then you must have a licence today" and "we ARE going to send someone round to check if you don't pay today."

After I resolved the situation and stood firm they backed down only with another threat of "we have other methods......"

I can fully appreciate why some people would easily pay even if they don't need to just to keep these bullies away from the door and it sickens me that it is vulnerable people that TV Licensing prey on as easy targets.

Thanks to this blog the information is there to reassure people not to be bullied.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this blog. I thought I was alone. Getting TV Licensing to listen to me or accept any responsibilty for their disgracefully inadequate performance has left me in a Kafkaesque nightmare .

I was supposed to renew my license on 31 December. I forgot about it but paid in the full £145.50 on 3 Jan 2013. Some days later I had a call from TVL asking why I hadn't renewed. I explained the position. They were quite decent about it, said it probably hadn't appeared on their system yet, and urged me to get a mini-statement from my bank showing the payment - just in case I needed to prove I'd paid. Famous last words!!

The next month I had a letter. Why hadn't I renewed blah blah. I phoned and explained all over again. They asked me to send in the mini-statement. I did. That wasn't good enough, they asked me for my bank statement. I sent it in. It clearly showed the payment to TV Licensing going thrugh on 6 January.

I got a letter in May apologising for the cock-up and confirming that I had paid in. I did not however get a TV License. I thought nothing of it - foolishly, I believed that since I had paid them the money, I had some sort of electronic license (their website is urging people to get their 'online' license, so you can see why I might think this was the case for me).

I continued to get abusive and threatening letters. I phoned them telling them I had paid. They apologised and told me to forget about it.
Which I did till the next threatening letter. And the next, which was accompanied by a pink note, this telling me I could expect an inspection.

Well I had the letter from May apologising for their cock up. Surely they'd realise they'd made a mistake.

Not a bit of it. This Monday, 21 October, while I was out, my grandson had a visit from one of their inspectors. My grandson explained my side of the story. The inspector wrote things down on a form. He asked my grandson could he come in, which grandson refused - grandson also refused to sign the form.

I got home to find this missive with a caution on it like the police give you, nothing at all about what my grandson had said, just confirmation that no license could be produced, and at the bottom, the threat of a fine etc.

Well I ain't very well. I have severe clinical depression compounded by recent redundancy and financial worries. So you know what I did to try and stop the grief and rage and pain at being caught up in this nightmare where nothing I do makes any difference to this juggernaut. I took a scalpel yesterday and I cut myself over thirty times on my legs. Not enough to be a threat to life or anything - but enough to make the blood run and enough to stop the grief for a while.
My grandson knows nothing about this cutting, but he could see the gibbering mess I'd become.

He rang TVL to try and remonstrate with them about what they were doing to me. They refused to treat with him - said I had to ring and give them permission to allow him to act as my representative. How in the name of God does that one work? They have driven me mad - I can't go out of the house let alone hold a conversation with anyone, least of all TVL.

I am not the only desperate person out here, there must be thousands of us affected badly by the economic downturn, there must be others in a similar state of mind. Have these TVL money-grabbing scum any idea what their bullying incompetence is doing to human beings?

admin said...

Thanks for telling us your story and I'm sorry to hear that TV Licensing has made your life so difficult.

As you have observed, they are complete and utter bastards. Worse than that, complete and total incompetent bastards - just like their BBC bosses.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just wanted to share my disappointment, along with millions of others regarding the antiquated extortion of finances via a TV licence. This is just a rediculous abuse of authority in the name of greed. Do you not think it is about time the residents of the UK got a break from being scammed. It is no wonder that the UK is known as 'rip off Britain' worldwide. Such a disappointment to be financially abused by your own government. Time to get with the times..!

Olympia Carvalho said...

I am having the same problem at the moment with tv licence. They are ripping people off and such bullies! I have never owned a tv, My sister and I moved into our new place a few months ago, We kept getting these tv license letters so i myself took the liberty to contact them to let them know that we are new tenants and we don't have a tv, They sent someone round which i let in to show him we had just moved, he saw that the place was empty, we had no tv and he said that everything was fine. 1 week later I was hit with a fine of 500 pound saying i had not paid my tv license, I was choked and felt violated! The following week, it had gone up to 735 pound and the letters were threats that they will come and repossess my things. It's still ongoing, it's ridiculous. I don't even have a tv and on the paper it says 12 February 2012. I was living abroad in Miami in 2012 and i moved into this place on the 28 th July 2014 therefor these scumbags have taken my name and passed the previous tenants debt onto me! If this matter proceeds, I will be force to take them to court!