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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.

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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Saturday, 17 October 2015

TV Licensing: Shaming Innocents into Compliance

Over the last couple of days TV Licensing's routine monthly threatograms have been landing on doormats across the land.

By the BBC's own admission, more than 4-in-5 of those doormats are in correctly unlicensed properties, where the occupier has no legal need for a TV licence. In our experience the occupiers of a significant proportion of those properties will have assisted TV Licensing by completing a no-TV declaration, not that it will have done them much good.

TV Licensing's maligned logic is such that anyone without a TV licence probably really does need one, so it continues to threaten them anyway. That includes many unfortunate souls that have wasted their time voluntarily declaring their no-TV status.

Judging by the buzz on Twitter, it appears that TV Licensing's famous "10 days" letter has featured prominently on this month's threatogram distribution list. The single-sided diatribe, characteristically riddled with lies and innuendo, informs that occupier that they have only ten days "to get correctly licensed" before TV Licensing sends the boys around. You can read the full text of that letter in our earlier post.

One thing we omitted from our earlier post was a description of the envelope that the "10 days" threatogram is delivered in. Underneath the occupier's name and address is a second window leaving the postman in little doubt that it is destined for what TV Licensing considers "licence dodging scum". One can only imagine the discomfort and embarrassment the occupier must feel if they handed the letter by their friendly regular postie.

It's just another shocking tactic the scum at TV Licensing use to try and coerce payment from people who owe nothing at all.

Remember that every single TV Licensing threatogram and envelope is reviewed and approved by a senior BBC manager. Much as the BBC tries to distance itself from the abortion of TV Licensing, make no mistake that its grubby little mits are all over it.


Anonymous said...

You might want to put some more black boxes on that picture as they can get the recipients address of that letter from the QR codes and Royal Mail "cus code" (the long one of horizontal lines)

Anonymous said...

I haven't received that one yet, but if they are using the letters to publicly 'name and shame' legally licence free householders there could be data protection issues as well as potential libel issues.

The problem of course is that even returning letters addressed to 'The Legal Occupier' as 'not known at this address' defeats the 'no contact' policy. It's all highly frustrating. I just really hope that TV Licensing will get their comeuppance sooner or later.

Richard said...

I wouldn't worry about the QR codes. Even the largest of the images is only around 15x15 pixels. Were it the smallest QR format (which it isn't, because there's another QR on the same page), you'd have only about half the data. QR error correction is good, but not /that/ good. The Royal Mail stripe may be a different matter.

Anonymous said...

I have contacted Alison Roberts (I think - am posting from memory) after I was sent another very threatening letter just after receiving the standard e-mail. I pointed out to her that the terms in which her letter was couched were in direct breach of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. In my letter, I not only notified her of my administration charge for dealing with TV Licensing enquiries (and enclosed an invoice - as yet unpaid and now 3 months overdue) but asked her to 'cease and desist' from harassing me as someone doesn't watch any real time broadcast television.

Any solicitors who see this here may care to advise - to the contrary if necessary - but I think that should they send out standard threatening letters to me in future, I would be right to report them to the Police and seek a Restraining Order and, possibly, damages under the terms of the PfHA 1997.

Fred Bear said...

The letter would appear to be very dubious in terms of data protection. The BBC's scattergun technique of posting millions of accusing letters to addresses without TV licences means that, inevitably, these letters are being delivered to many households where TV is not watched. Effectively, the BBC is falsely accusing people of breaking the law without having any evidence.

By making the accusation visible through a window they are clearly not using the information on their database fairly or safely and securely as the law demands.

A few years ago the BBC refused to say how many TV Licences were held by the Royal palaces on the grounds that so few people lived there, it might be possible to work out who did and didn't have a licence.

When it comes to the general public, however, it seems that the BBC is happy not only reveal who doesn't have a licence but also to openly accuse people of breaking the law.