User Brainwrong at the Hibees Bounce forums has been recounting his experiences of receiving a sinister TV Licensing cold call.
A TV licence is only needed for those properties where equipment is used to receive TV programme services. Anyone whose property does not require a TV licence is under no legal obligation whatsoever to communicate or co-operate with TV Licensing - we strongly recommend they don't as any effort on their part would be entirely wasted.
It may surprise readers to learn that as TV Licensing is deemed to have a "law enforcement" function, it is not possible to refuse their telephone calls either by telling them directly or using the Telephone Preference Service.
As we've seen on many previous occasions, particularly with regard to WOIRA, TV Licensing often breaks the rules, so it would almost certainly ignore any no-call instruction that it did receive anyway.
Brainwrong recounts the following conversation with the TV Licensing call centre:
TVL: Hello can you confirm there is a Mr X XXXXXX living at the address?
B: Who's calling?
TVL: TV Licensing. Is a Mr X XXXXXX living at the address?
TVL: Do you know a Mr X XXXXXX?
TVL: So, there's no Mr X XXXXXX living at the address?
TVL: Can you confirm the address and postcode, please?
B: Hold on, who are you?
TVL: TV Licensing, you have to have a valid TV licence.
B: No, I don't.
TVL: Yes you do. Do you have one?
B: Up until recently I did, yes.
TVL: You have to have a valid TV licence.
B: No I don't.
TVL: Can you confirm the address and postcode?
B: No. I don't know you, I don't know who you are. I don't have to provide you any information over the phone.
TVL: You have to have a valid TV licence. If you think you don't need one, you have to apply in writing. You will have received this in the post.
B: I haven't received anything of in the post.
TVL: You will have.
B: I haven't.
TVL: If you want to stop these phone calls and make your life a lot easier, give me your address.
B: Open threats now? Very professional.
[Brainwrong terminates the call by hanging up]
We have serious issues with the line of questioning adopted by TV Licensing on this occasion, which we consider is far from an isolated incident.
For TV Licensing to suggest that the occupier will only avoid continued harassment by providing personal information, which they have no legal entitlement to, is a gutter trick by any standards. Notice also how the goon asserts on several occasions that the occupier needs a TV licence and seemingly disbelieves any idea to the contrary.
TV Licensing doorstep and call centre goons have to meet stiff performance targets and receive commission payments for selling TV licences. Is it any wonder they often seem to adopt underhand and dishonest tactics in pursuit of their bumper commission cheque?