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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.

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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Reader Letter: What Powers Do TV Licensing Inspectors Really Have?

In today's post we respond to an email from one of our readers.

Our reader writes:

Dear TV Licensing Blog,

A few days ago I saw a YouTube video where a TV licence inspector refused to leave the doorstep when told to by the occupier. The inspector said he was on official business and wouldn't leave until his questions had been answered. He also failed to identify himself properly, apart from saying he was from the TV licence people. The inspector kept on asking if the person who answered the door was the occupier, even though he'd been told to leave. What powers and authority do TV licence inspectors really have?


TV Licensing Blog replies:

Dear Mel,

Thanks for your email and apologies it has taken a few days to respond. As you might expect, we have reduced our normal operations over the Christmas period.

Having read your description we are not entirely sure of the YouTube video you are referring to. That said, over the years we have seen many examples of TV Licensing behaving badly on YouTube. It seems to be tolerated, if not accepted, practice that TV Licensing employees (who we refer to goons) will bend the rules in order to achieve near impossible performance targets.

As you seem slightly unfamiliar with TV Licensing, it is probably best if we provide some background information before addressing your specific question. 

The BBC is legally responsible for all aspects of TV licence enforcement and administration. TV Licensing is a trading name used by companies contracted by the BBC to undertake this function. The TV Licensing operations contract is held by Capita Business Services Ltd, which employs the goons that visit unlicensed properties. Capita also employs TV Licensing call centre staff, maintains the TV Licensing website and collects TV licence payments on behalf of the BBC.

Turning now to your specific question. TV Licensing goons, in the normal course of their enquiries, have no more legal rights than any other visitor to a property. They do not have the automatic right to enter a property, nor do they have the automatic right to inspect equipment therein. Remember that TV Licensing goons are employed by a private company and are not officials in any sense of the word.

According to TV Licensing's own rules, which are contained in a lengthy document called the TV Licensing Visiting Procedures, a goon must behave in a polite manner at all times. TV Licensing goons must show their ID card and leave immediately if the occupier tells them to.

In our experience, which is borne out by the video you describe, TV Licensing goons frequently ignore the rules by failing to show their ID card and leave when told to. We always recommend filming TV Licensing goon encounters, just in case they do decide to break the rules. The occupier is well within their legal rights to film any TV Licensing goon that visits their property, regardless of the goon's opinion on the matter.

In conclusion, TV Licensing goons have no more legal powers or authority than anyone else that visits a property.

We hope that fully addresses your question. If you require any further information please download our free ebook, TV Licensing Laid Bare.

Best wishes of the season.


If you have any questions you would like answered on the TV Licensing Blog, please email us with the words "Reader Letter" in the subject line. Our email address is in the sidebar. As mentioned on the About page, we can't guarantee to respond to every email but will try our best.

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