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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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Saturday, 11 October 2014

TV Licensing Telephone Threats and Blackmail

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?

B: No.

TVL: Do you know a Mr X XXXXXX?

B: No.

TVL: So, there's no Mr X XXXXXX living at the address?

B: No.

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?

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TheKnightsShield said...

"TVL: If you want to stop these phone calls and make your life a lot easier, give me your address."

Seriously?! Harass and threaten much?? It's blog entries like this one that remind me why I like this blog so much: you always give us the best stuff!! If your local council started phoning you with that sort of call telling you that you need a fishing licence as one wasn't registered to you or your address, you would be well within your rights to complain. If you tried complaining to TVL about this sort of thing, they'd probably just ask why you hadn't gotten a tv licence yet. This sort of thing from TVL is beyond a flipping joke (but hardly surprising, either)!!

Keep them coming, mate!! ;)

admin said...

Hello TheKnightsShield and thank you for your kind comments and continued support.

Anonymous said...

Buy yourself a " callblocker " best 40 quid I ever spent. You can program it to reject any number you want, any withheld calls and any international calls.
And no I don't work for them.

Anonymous said...

"Buy yourself a callblocker"

Or phone your telephone provider and have your number changed.

Anonymous said...

And then phone all 4567 contacts to tell your new number. Very good !

Fred Bear said...

In all its contacts, the BBC/TVL likes to imply that the legally non-licensed householder has some sort of obligation to provide information and even allow physical access to their property. They don't offer any positive incentive to the householder to provide them with information except for the dubious privilege that 'this is the only way to stop this investigation' or some such phrase. In my experience, the best way to deal with them (if you don't need a licence) is simply to ignore them. Once it sinks in that they're not going to get any commission payments from you they'll just send the same old letters over and over again. I just tear off the address part and stick them straight in the recycling bin.