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Friday, 2 January 2015

TV Licence Cancellation: One Man's Email to the BBC

Our reader nsabournemouth, who recently decided to adopt a legally-licence-free lifestyle, has kindly agreed to us publishing an email he has just sent to the BBC, BBC Trust and TV Licensing.

He has also copied in his local Member of Parliament, Conor Burns MP, who is a member of the influential House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

We have made some adjustments to improve the readability of nsabournemouth's email, but the essence remains the same.

To the BBC, BBC Trust and TV Licensing,

As of today (1st January 2015)  I will no longer be in need of a TV licence, because I don't watch TV as it is being broadcast.

On contacting TV Licensing I was advised by an agent called Wendy that only her manager can decide that a withdrawal of implied rights of access instruction stands. Unless I am very much mistaken, it is for me to decide who has the right to enter my property or come to my door - not Wendy's manager.

I've come across many videos on YouTube of 'enforcement officers' telling lies, being aggressive and allegedly peering through the window of a young girl's bedroom. It's all very unpleasant stuff and on speaking with another advisor, Tom, he informed me that these videos were staged by opponents of TV Licensing. I ask that TV Licensing provides me with proof to back up these claims.

Behind my change in viewing habits is an utter hatred for the BBC. I hate the fact that I am required to pay for a TV licence even if I don't watch BBC content. More so my hatred stems from the way in which the BBC has conducted itself. Child sex abuse allegations, employees going on strike and the poorest in society faced with having to spend money they don't have to fund the lavish lifestyles of BBC employees.

The BBC is an organisation that cares very little for the people who fund it. I could go as far as saying the BBC is worse than any private company, because they at least have to fight for every penny they make. The BBC, on the other hand, is guaranteed funding regardless of how poor its performance.

As technology and viewing habits change the BBC finds itself getting left behind. Instead of moving forward, it defends a regressive funding method that assumes non-payers are guilty of a crime. This leads to some horrific harassment of law abiding people.

In a blog post James Heath said that the BBC is democratic. How is funding it by fear of criminal record, court, fine and prison democratic? Democratic would be asking me if I wanted to fund the BBC. Democratic would be letting me consume live TV from other broadcasters without fear of the BBC sending me to prison.

Over the past 2 years the BBC has sent out 47 million threatening letters, even to people who have passed away. Last year 159,369 people were cautioned or prosecuted for not funding the BBC. Those employed to seek out people without a TV licence are paid commission for licence sold or person taken to court. Is that something the British public should be proud of? Something other countries are jealous of?

To receive live TV I require a Virgin or Sky box as the Freeview service is extremely poor in terms of reception. As I have made the democratic choice not to subscribe to Virgin or Sky, I will be unable to have live TV. As I won't be watching live TV that should be the end of the matter, no TV licence for me,  but it's not as easy as that.

The BBC assumes I am guilty of a crime and as such will send me threatening letters and employ the services of a private company to knock at my door. Their sole purpose is to try and catch me out and get someone, anyone, to buy a TV licence or sign a false admission of guilt. On TV Licensing's website they use scare tactics such as the threat of enforcement officers and detector vans to frighten people into paying for a TV licence they might not need.

To that end I have attached a letter removing your implied right of access to my home. I do not want to be bullied and harassed by BBC hired thugs. I also fear for my wife, who is scared that one of your hired thugs will turn up and trick her into making a false statement. The BBC, something the British public should be proud of? I certainly do not want you in my home with my baby here.

I've got absolutely nothing to hide from anyone. I'm a law abiding citizen, yet the BBC makes me feel like a criminal because they wrongly think I'm watching TV as it is broadcast. Making people feel like criminals for choosing not to watch TV as it is broadcast - what sort of country is this?

The BBC or the BBC Trust hasn't earned my trust. The BBC doesn't have my respect and I don't see it as a national treasure. I see them both as self-serving monsters, who live off the backs of the hard working British public. Your continued assumption that the British public support you is false and it only serves to prove otherwise.

The BBC will do everything in its power to keep the British public living in fear. This is the job of Alice Dickerson, who walks around Westminster trying to convince people that BBC should still use threats of criminal records, court and prison to secure its funding.

The BBC is morally bankrupt, out of touch, out of date and hanging on by invoking fear. The scare tactics used to harass people are reprehensible

There is a very bad smell of corruption, waste and biased coming from BBC towers and the British public will no longer be putting up with it. I wish my not needing a TV licence was based on principle, rather than my inability to receive live TV. Sadly the BBC prevents me from exercising my democratic right not to pay for its services.

I am sick of your lies, your waste and your threats. I expect TV Licensing to abide by my instruction not to visit my property. I also expect the BBC and BBC Trust to simply sweep my concerns under the carpet, as they appear to have done with child sexual abuse allegations.


Anonymous said...

Wow..........that is some letter!

Pete said...

There's always freesat if you can't get freeview

TheKnightsShield said...

An entertaining, but largely futile gesture, I'm afraid. All this person has done is paint a whooping big target on their back so that TVL can further harass them. I always find any contact with TVL and/or the BBC to be a huge waste of time as they NEVER listen. You can bet that nsabournemouth will get the usual BS that TVL and the BBC send out in response to these sorts of letters. We've seen it before and we'll keep seeing it until the very last day that the TV licence exists.

Sorry to be negative about it all, but that is the way it has always been with TVL and the BBC.

Happy New Year, TV Licensing Blog. All the very best for 2015.

Anonymous said...

As Conor Burns sits in the select committee for culture, media and sport it isn't a bad thing getting him to follow a complaint up.

The letter points out why a licence isn't needed and that he/she isn't worried about making the relevant people aware of what TVL are telling him.

The more people that do it, the better.

Fred Bear said...

It might be useful to have the following contact details for those interested in influencing the debate into future of the TV Licence Fee system.

The relevant Parliamentary Committee is:

Culture, Media and Sport Committee
14 Tothill Street
House of Commons
Telephone: 020 7219 6188
Fax: 020 7219 2031
Email: cmscom@parliament.uk

Members of the committee (all MPs) are:

Member Party
Mr John Whittingdale (Chair) Conservative
Mr Ben Bradshaw Labour
Angie Bray Conservative
Conor Burns Conservative
Tracey Crouch Conservative
Philip Davies Conservative
Paul Farrelly Labour
Mr John Leech Liberal Democrat
Steve Rotheram Labour
Jim Sheridan Labour
Mr Gerry Sutcliffe Labour

If you want to make a formal written submission to the inquiry into the Future of the BBC, it is probably too late as the deadline has passed, but in any case the site is:


According to the committee's website:

'The Committee is currently taking oral evidence in this inquiry and expects to complete these sessions by September' so it may be possible to influence the thinking of the committee.