Now that the season of goodwill to all men and women (except TV Licensing goons) is now firmly underway, we thought we'd take a break from today's festivities to pen a few essential reminders for dealing with TV Licensing.
It is a depressing fact of modern life that many families will spend the Christmas period overindulging in food, drink and repeat TV programmes. TV Licensing goons will be out in force trying to capitalise on the excesses of the season. They really aren't bothered whose Christmas they ruin.
As we frequently say, a TV licence is only needed for those properties where equipment is used to receive TV programme services. A TV programme service, legally speaking, is any TV programme available at the same time, or virtually the same time, to other members of the UK public. This encompasses all TV programmes shown on any of the normal terrestrial, satellite or cable channels.
Anyone who does not legally need a TV licence, is under no legal obligation at all to communicate or co-operate with TV Licensing. We recommend ignoring TV Licensing completely.
As past experience regularly shows, it would be a wasted effort trying to assist TV Licensing on a voluntary basis. Quite simply, TV Licensing do not believe anyone claiming not to need a TV licence.
We know that TV Licensing goons, whose continued employment relies on hitting near impossible performance targets (e.g. selling TV licences and detecting evasion), are sometimes forced into dishonest practices on the doorstep. The BBC and TV Licensing know this as well, but choose to retain employment terms akin to a thieves' charter.
In the event that TV Licensing do visit your property, please remember the following key points:
- TV Licensing goons have no more legal rights than anyone else visiting a property and must leave immediately if the occupier instructs them to.
- TV Licensing goons must show their ID on request. The occupier should be allowed the opportunity to inspect the card and verify the details by calling TV Licensing if necessary.
- TV Licensing goons must never threaten the occupier with either the police or a search warrant.
- The occupier is under no legal obligation to confirm their details or licence status to TV Licensing.
- The occupier is under no legal obligation to speak to TV Licensing goons visiting their property.
- It is perfectly legal, and positively encouraged, for the occupier to film any TV Licensing goons that visit their property. Whereas TV Licensing goons sometimes tell lies, the camera generally doesn't. The occupier is advised to keep the full, unedited footage of the visit in a safe place.
Finally, can we take this opportunity to thank all of our readers for their continued loyalty and support over the last year. We offer you all our best wishes for the season.
Don't forget that the next edition of TV Licensing Laid Bare goes live on New Year's Day.