TV Licensing has alienated the occupants of another property by wrongly threatening them with prosecution even though they have a valid TV licence.
The Somerset County Gazette reports that Brian and Elizabeth Totman, who live near the village of Bishops Lydeard, recently changed the name of their home to avoid confusion with a similarly-named property nearby.
At the start of March Brian dutifully informed TV Licensing about the minor adjustment in the property's name. TV Licensing wrote a reply letter confirming its records had been amended and the current licence was still valid.
Within the space of a few weeks Brian started to receive TV Licensing's monthly reminder letters (dubbed threatograms for their menacing tone), which wrongly implied he was TV licence-fee evader at risk of prosecution and a £1000 fine.
Brian fired off an angry email to TV Licensing correcting them on their mistake. In a bout of uncharacteristic humility TV Licensing apologised for its continued oversight and vowed to fix the problem.
At the start of this month Brian received another red-daubed threatogram incorrectly stating that his property was unlicensed and again threatening the possible (although wholly unlikely) consequences of receiving TV programmes without a licence.
After wasting more of his valuable time trying to correct TV Licensing, Brian is not overconfident that matters will be resolved: "I’ll be pleased if they do actually fix it this time but I’m not holding my breath,
"It’s the fourth time I've been told it’s all been sorted so I’m a bit sceptical."
Commenting on Brian's case, a TV Licensing spokesman said: "We are very sorry Mr Totman continued to receive mailings after our initial investigation.
"This was due to an issue with a secondary database.
"We are addressing this as a priority and are in the process of contacting Mr Totman to offer him our sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused."
Yesterday we took a tongue-in-cheek look at TV Licensing's brand philosophy, which states "we are not aggressive or threatening", "we never assume guilt" and "we take pride in being helpful".
Some joke that is.