Why we're here:
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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Sunday, 19 March 2023

TV Licence Fee Set for Massive Hike

The BBC TV licence fee, which funds the operations of the national broadcaster, could increase by almost 10 percent next year.

The BBC agreed a six year settlement with the Government in January 2022, part of which to freeze the current TV licence fee until 1st April 2024.

But under the terms of the agreement, the £159 annual fee is then set to rise in line with inflation - which is currently running at a 20 year high and could mean an increase of around £13.

A BBC spokesman said: "The Government agreed a six-year licence fee settlement in January 2022 which froze the licence fee for two years, with increases in line with inflation from 2024.

"It is not for the BBC to speculate on what inflation might be and how that might impact the licence fee in future years. Ultimately it is for Government to set and confirm the cost of a licence each year.

"The BBC will continue to focus on what it does best: working to deliver world class content and value for all its audiences."

Readers are reminded that a TV licence is only required, legally speaking, for those properties where equipment is used to receive TV programmes at the same time, or virtually the same time, as they are broadcast to the wider public.

Additionally, from 1st September 2006, a TV licence is required to watch or download on-demand content via the BBC iPlayer.

A TV licence is not legally required to watch on-demand content on any non-BBC platform.

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Sunday, 12 March 2023

TV Licensing Ordered to Pay Author £5k

TV Licensing has been ordered to pay a man £5,000 for continuing to send him accusatory claptrap despite being told not to.

Author Martin Geddes is one of growing army of law-abiding folk needlessly harangued on a monthly basis for the heinous crime of not legally requiring a TV licence.

On the concept of television, he says: "I find the medium unbearable. It plays no part in my life, other than to take hostage friends and family and brainwash them into submission to collectivist ideology."

As for tuning into the BBC, he adds: "I would need to wear a hazmat suit, and be paid handsomely on a per minute basis, including danger money and psychic decontamination fees."

In common with our reader Phil, Martin decided that if TV Licensing was going to continue sending its noxious correspondence, despite having been told not to, then he would invoice it for the time, effort and expertise spent processing its letters.

On 25th September 2022, having just received yet another TV Licensing missive, Martin wrote to TV Licensing asking it to cease and desist sending letters to his property. He also informed it that a fee would be charged in relation to every other piece of correspondence TV Licensing sent to him for processing.

Just as you'd expect from an organisation as bumptious and arrogant as TV Licensing, it totally disregarded Martin's instructions and continued to send correspondence anyway.

On 2nd November 2022 Martin wrote to TV Licensing including an invoice for £3,000 in "professional correspondence" fees. He told the organisation: "There will be a small claims court case to recover this debt if unpaid. We have a valid contract, albeit an unusual one, and you have no good reason to contest this in court. If you don't want to pay for my commercial service, then please don't use it any further! It is that simple."

Martin concluded the letter: "For the avoidance of doubt, unsolicited correspondence about our contract itself also falls under our contract for unwanted correspondence. I have a 100% detection rate for unwanted correspondence from TV Licensing. So the best option is just to pay now to avoid further investigations, visits, or costly court action."

On 15th December 2022 Martin submitted a claim against TV Licensing at the County Court, using HMCTS's Money Claim Online system. The claim, which cost £205 to make, sought the £3,000 in unpaid professional correspondence fees, plus an additional £2,000 for trespass against the person.

True to form for an organisation as bumptious and arrogant as TV Licensing, the claim went ignored. The County Court therefore made a default judgment in Martin's favour on 27th January 2023, ordering TV Licensing to make full payment of the £5,000 sought and the associated claim costs.

On 15th February 2023 Capita Business Services, the TV Licensing operations contractor acting on behalf of the BBC, made an application to the County Court to have the default judgment set aside on that basis that it "did not receive the claim form prior to the default judgment being made and have still not received the claim form to this day".

"Had the claim form been received, we would have replied immediately with a robust defence", it added.

TV Licensing rejected the idea that it had entered into a contract with Martin, even though it was told quite clearly that its continued correspondence would denote acceptance of such.

We are aware of several previous cases where TV Licensing has mysteriously "lost" court paperwork when a judgment has gone against them. It would appear that they are very unfortunate in that regard.

A County Court hearing has now been scheduled to resolve the matter. We will bring you further updates as and when we can.

You can read Martin's full story on his electronic newsletter.

The TV Licensing Blog wishes Martin the very best in his endeavours to hold TV Licensing to account. If you would like to show your support by buying him a coffee, you can do so here: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/martingeddes

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Thursday, 22 September 2022

Look Who's Back: Teesside TV Licensing Goon

Look who it is, still pounding the beat for Crapita TV Licensing on Teesside - it's veteran goon Neal Nevison.

The stresses of the job really are showing on poor old Neal now, his thatch looking decidedly greyer than on previous occasions.

This latest video shows him calling at a (presumably) unlicensed property and doing the old "are you the occupier?" and "I can't tell you who I am until I know who you are" comedy routine.

Given the title of this video, it would appear that the interaction took place somewhere in Middlesbrough on 1st September 2022 (a Thursday).

The TV Licensing Visiting Procedures require goons to leave a property the moment they are asked to. To his credit, Nevison does that on this occasion. He is also a lot less vocal than he has been previously.

If a TV Licensing goon calls at your property remember these important facts:

  • A TV licence is only required for those properties where equipment is used to receive TV programme services (e.g. programmes broadcast on normal TV channels, which are available to other people at the same time). Additionally, from 1st September 2016, a TV licence is required for those properties where equipment is used to receive BBC on-demand services via the iPlayer. 
  • Anyone who does not require a TV licence is under no legal obligation to co-operate with TV Licensing. We recommend they ignore TV Licensing completely.
  • TV Licensing goons have no automatic right of entry and must leave immediately if the occupier tells them to. If they become aggressive or refuse to leave then call the police.
  • TV Licensing rules require goons to show ID at the start of every visit and on request. In practice this happens very rarely - indeed you can see that Nevison point blank refuses to identify himself when asked.
  • It is perfectly legal to film TV Licensing goons that visit your property. The goon does not need to consent to being filmed. The goon can't legally prevent the occupier from filming. Experience shows that TV Licensing goons often tell lies, whereas the camera generally doesn't. 
  • TV Licensing goons are commission-driven salespeople, which often skews their interpretation of the law. In reality they have no more legal rights than any other visitor to your property.
  • It is perfectly legal to film TV Licensing goons in a public place.
  • It is perfectly legal to upload video footage of TV Licensing goons to the web.
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