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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, 6 January 2016

Reader Letter: TV Licensing Took Money from Bank Without Permission

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

Frankie has decided to adopt a legally-licence-free viewing habits, so no longer needs a TV licence. She told TV Licensing about her decision to cancel, so was alarmed to see the annual Direct Debit payment taken from her bank account anyway.

Our reader writes:

Dear TV Licensing Blog,

After careful consideration I recently decided to ditch the TV. My husband and I have active social lives, so we're rarely in the house to watch normal TV shows. Given our infrequent viewing habits, and growing contempt at the way the BBC is managed, we decided that it wasn't going to be much hassle to change to catch-up. We used to watch the news before going to work, but easily manage without by listening to the radio or reading news websites instead.

Towards the middle of December I rang TV Licensing's 0300 790 6165 number and told them I wasn't going to need a TV licence anymore. The lady on the phone seemed friendly enough and after I'd answered a few questions, she told me it was all sorted. She warned me that I'd be breaking the law if anyone was caught watching TV and that a TV licence inspector might call around to check. "Fine by me" I told her, as I've got nothing to hide. Having now read your website, I think my faith in TV Licensing was a bit misguided!

A couple of days ago I was using my online banking and noticed that TV Licensing had taken £145.50 from our account. Having spent a lot at Christmas, that cash would come in handy so I really want to get it back. What can I do to get my money back from TV Licensing and stop the same thing happening again?


TV Licensing Blog replies:

Dear Frankie,

Thank you for getting in touch with the TV Licensing Blog.

Your story is far from an isolated case. Experience suggests that TV Licensing regularly makes mistakes when processing payments and refunds. In your case, it appears that the TV Licensing agent you spoke to failed to fully action your cancellation request.

When a person cancels their TV licence (or decides not to renew) we always recommend they inform both TV Licensing and their bank of the decision. The bank will cancel the Direct Debit far more efficiently than TV Licensing, which prevents TV Licensing dipping back into the account.

In your case, as the payment has already been taken, I suggest you inform the bank that TV Licensing took the payment without permission and ask to be refunded under the terms of the Direct Debit guarantee. It is also worth highlighting your inconvenience to TV Licensing, as it might offer a goodwill payment.

Best of luck getting your money back and please tell your friends about the TV Licensing Blog.


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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Richard said...

Getting money back from a fraudulent or otherwise incorrect Direct Debit is easy-peasy. The banks fall over themselves making it so, because the alternative is that people would lose trust in the Direct Debit system, and thus begin to think about whether there might be better ways to pay (ways that are less convenient for the bank).

The bank will, therefore, give you your money back, no questions asked. They will then extract the money from the account of the organisation that took it in the first place (Capita, in this case), and tell them to "take it up with Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells" (so to speak).

The bank is not interested in your dispute with Capita. They are only interested in retaining your faith in the Direct Debit system. So you will get your money back very quickly.

*BUT* you should act as soon as you can. The later you leave it, the harder it is to justify the complaint. (There is an actual time limit for the guarantee, but I don't know what it is, because when I had to use it I acted without delay and had no problems at all.)

Admin said...

Thank you very much for leaving such a informative and well composed comment Richard.
Please do comment again.