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 BBC on-demand programmes via the iPlayer, then the law requires you to have a TV licence and we encourage you to buy one.

If you've just arrived here from a search engine, then you might find our Quick Guide helpful.


As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Saturday 28 February 2015

The BBC is TV Licensing

BBC TV Licensing

As you might imagine, we were avidly reading the newspapers for comment and opinion on MPs' recent recommendations for sweeping reforms at the BBC.

It wasn't too long before we stumbled across this piece by Evening Standard columnist Rosamund Urwin: I can survive without a TV, thanks BBC.

Rosamund explains how she does not legally require a TV licence, has informed the "TV Licensing Authority" of that fact on several occasions, yet remains the target for its noxious correspondence (read more about TV Licensing threatograms).

It's a very common story and one we have written about on numerous occasions. No-one is under any legal obligation whatsoever to tell TV Licensing that they don't need a TV licence, but a lot of people volunteer their no-TV status in the mistaken belief it will stop TV Licensing's menacing enquiries. In many cases TV Licensing will continue its campaign of harassment regardless.

Describing TV Licensing, Rosamund said: "It’s like an infernally persistent admirer who sends creepy missives however many times you say you’re not interested.

"They're worse than Jehovah’s Witnesses - the latter are at least trying to save my soul, the twats from TV Licensing just want me to watch Take Me Out."

As a result of publishing those comment, Rosamund received some Twitter comments from BBC manager Richard Leeming.

Richard, who as a BBC manager is clearly an expert in such matters, tweeted to Rosamund that: "We (the BBC) don't collect the LF (licence fee). The TV Licensing Authority does. It's not a semantic observation."

Maybe it's not a semantic observation, but Richard's comment is just plain wrong.

The BBC is the statutory TV Licensing Authority. However much it tries to distance itself from the TV Licensing brand, the BBC is legally responsible for all aspects of TV licence enforcement and administration. That has been the case since 1991, when the BBC took over the role from the Home Office.

The BBC contracts several companies, notably Capita Business Services Ltd, to collect the TV licence fee on its behalf, but the BBC is TV Licensing - there are no grey areas about that, despite the BBC being at pains to keep the two brands separate.

The TV Licensing Brand Communication guidelines states the following: "The TV Licensing brand is separate from the BBC brand. No link between the two brands should be made in customer facing communications, in particular, use of the BBC name and logo.

"However, the BBC name and logo can be used on internal communications and in communication with suppliers. The name BBC TV Licensing may also be used within department names or job titles for BBC employees."

Perhaps Richard should consider why the BBC TV Licensing Management Team, headed by BBC Head of Revenue Management Pipa Doubtfire, is based at BBC White City?

Maybe he'd like to consider why then BBC bosses Mark Thompson and Zarin Patel signed off the TV Licensing contract that allows Capita thugs to threaten people on their doorsteps?

Clearly there's no link there between the BBC and TV Licensing, huh?

It is perhaps not surprising that a BBC manager is spreading TV Licensing disinformation across the web, but his ignorance on the subject is worrying nonetheless.


Unknown said...

Why do I always get the feeling that journalists only flirt with the idea of not needing a TV Licence rather than exploring the meat and bones of the subject?

Whilst it's nice to see journalists like Rosamund Unwin defying a mainly media blanket ban on the subject of the TV Licence she still taps be it unwittingly into the urban myth that you need a TV Licence just to own a TV by repeatedly making reference to the fact she does not own a TV.

She makes no mention in her piece of the law, which clearly states that you are only required to have a valid TV Licence in the UK if you watch or record live TV.

Perhaps she really does not own a TV so is ignorant of the TV Licensing laws whilst still satisfying them but as a journalist she should be reporting all the facts not just the select few she is aware of.

Lazy journalism perhaps?

Fred Bear said...

By not putting their name to their own letters, the BBC thinks it can get away with massive harrassment of people who have no need of a licence. By the very nature of sending out millions of letters every year, some apparently threatening court action, the BBC will know that many of the letters will be delivered to addresses that don't require a licence. Some of these letters will be received by people who are vulnerable (the elderly or recently bereaved, for example) and who will be upset by what would appear to be very threatening letters. The BBC knows this but clearly doesn't care as long as the money keeps rolling in.