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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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Dealer Notification: The Tide is Turning on TV Licensing Vermin

Recent changes to the law make it even harder for the BBC's revenue generation bullies to track down TV licence evaders.

Despite their oft-mooted bullshit about detector vans and search warrants, TV Licensing's main weapon in the fight against fee dodgers is their massive database of invasive personal information. Most of the information on the database comes from visiting officers (goons) on the ground and TV dealers notifying the sale/lease of TV receiving equipment.

From the 25th June 2013 the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1967 is being repealed, which removes the requirement for TV dealers to grass up their customers to TV Licensing.

Previously, every business that sold or let TV receiving equipment was legally obliged to notify TV Licensing of the customer's name, whether the equipment was capable of colour or monochrome reception, and the address at which it was to be used. The dealer was liable for a fine of up to £10,000 for each piece of equipment they failed to notify the sale/lease of. In 2011, the last full year for which data is available, TV Licensing's registered dealers submitted some 12.5 million notifications, covering the sale/lease of everything from set top boxes to TV tuner cards. A significant number of these notifications were for non-TV receiving equipment that didn't need to be notified at all, including TV aerials and DVD players.

The old system was a complete and utter farce. For all dealers were legally obliged to notify TV Licensing of the customer's details, they were under no legal obligation to verify them at the time of transaction. As a result thousands of people, with complete legal impunity, gave false names and addresses at the point of sale. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the occupants of 10 Downing Street, London, SW1A 2AA bought several thousand pieces of TV receiving equipment in the last year alone. They're second only to the occupants of 100 Temple Street, Bristol, BS98 1TL who bought more TV receiving equipment than any other address in the country.

The Government estimates that it cost dealers about 10 pence for every notification they made, which placed a disproportionate financial burden on businesses at these times of austerity. Furthermore, as only 3% of the transactions notified actually related to unlicensed properties, the costs of administering the system far outweighed the revenue it generated.

In short the old system was costly, inefficient, outdated and unenforceable. It was a farcical invasion into people's private lives. That's probably why the BBC loved it so much.

From 25th June 2013 people buying/leasing TV receiving equipment will no longer be asked for their details. Those in the know haven't given their details for years anyway.

One more nail in the coffin of TV Licensing!

Edit: Sadly this change in the law means the sport of kings, goon fishing, has come to a premature demise. Keep those cameras charged ready for goon visits anyway!


TGR Worzel said...

Lol. That statistic about 10 Downing Street buying thousands of pieces of TV equipment had passed me by.

Second only to TV Licensing HQ.

Wished I'd thought of doing that.

Still chuckling now.


Admin said...

Glad you like Ray.
We may have been a little bit creative with those statistics... but no more so that TV Licensing's PR harlots are every day!

John Galt said...

Yes, I can confirm this.

When I worked at Maplin we had our own get out for TV licensing whenever we were forced to enter details for stuff we were purchasing for ourselves or where customers were reluctant to give an address.

We used to put in our own store address and the name of the store manager as that was the details on the TV License.

Hence, no goon activity was triggered and everybody was happy.

Obviously this may have allowed some illegal TV watching, but then you can't please everyone and it is right to cock a snoop at the man.

Not condoning illegal activity obviously...

Anonymous said...

snapped up an £8 freeview box today in Bexhill, Sussex and the chap had not heard that this state snooping was coming to a n end.

He recounted a transaction with a lady who paid with a credit card and then refused to give her name and address.

I wonder how long it will take for dealers to find out; perhaps Carpita are not advertising it in the hopes that they will still get the data even though it is not required. Would be good to know how many stores as of tomorrow will stop asking.

Admin said...

Thanks for your comment Anon.
A few people have suggested that Crapita/TVL might keep quiet about the law change in the hope they can harvest information on the sly.
We certainly wouldn't put it past them.

Anonymous said...

Because these people are giving others so much of a headache, cant you give them a major headache by writing to them, and asking for a SUBJECT ACCESS REQUEST, which is to ask what information they hold on you, and just give them the date from, and the date too?
It could be over the last 20years, and you don't have to help them find the information in any way, just the dates from, and the dates too. It costs you a tenner, but they only have 40 days to answer you, and then there breaking the law, if everyone did this, they would be stuff!!!

Admin said...

The DPA 1998 is enforced in a similar fashion to the FOIA 2000, and we know how reluctant the BBC is to deal with those in accordance with the law. Just like the FOIA there are a lot of exemptions in the DPA that the BBC/Crapita would spin to their advantage.

In all likelihood it would be a tenner down the drain for no productive gain.

Terminator said...

If you buy on-line you automatically give the retailer your name and delivery address! There is no way they can deliver a large item like a TV so something like, E.G. Amazon locker. But you could have it delivered to a relatives home who has a TV license and might be over 75 and gets a free license, then pick it up the same day. I use my TV for netflix only now, and told them so when I went license free. I also use non BBC catch up to watch the programs I want to watch.