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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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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

TV Licensing Called - And Assume You're Guilty

TV Licensing called and they assume you are guilty of an offence you haven't committed.

That's certainly the impression TV Licensing gives in the text of the We Said We'd Call (WSWC) card they left for landlord Jim the other day.

TV Licensing is the trading name used by the companies contracted by the BBC to administer and enforce the TV licence. TV Licensing are private companies, of which Capita Business Services is the most notable, acting on the BBC's behalf and with no special legal authority. TV Licensing is not an official law enforcement agency, yet it clearly believes it has the right to use its barbed tongue, veiled threats and baseless insinuations to scare people into buying a TV licence they might not legally need.

Below we deconstruct some key excerpts from the WSWC card. The truth is far less sinister than myths TV Licensing would have people believe.
WSWC card says: I visited today to help you start watching TV legally.

The truth: Of course TV Licensing has no evidence whatsoever that the recipient is watching TV illegally. Indeed the BBC's own figures confirm that more than 4 out of 5 unlicensed properties are correctly unlicensed.

WSWC card says: Our records show that your address isn't covered by a TV licence.

The truth: That is probably correct, although a quick trawl of TV Licensing's Twitter feed reveals many licence-holders complaining that they too have been needlessly threatened by TV Licensing.

WSWC card says: I visited today to help make sure your address is licensed, so you can avoid the penalties of breaking the law.

The truth: As mentioned earlier, TV Licensing has no proof of wrongdoing. It implies wrongdoing solely on the basis that the occupier, who is under no legal obligation to assist TV Licensing, has not submitted to earlier enquiries. TV Licensing goons are incentivised to hard-sell. They have strict performance targets to meet and can earn lucrative commission payments by selling TV licences to people who might not legally need them.

WSWC card says: If an officer finds evidence that you're watching or recording TV illegally during our investigation, here's what could happen next...

The truth: Well under half of people caught evading the TV licence fee are actually convicted of the offence. TV Licensing will often withdraw a prosecution at the last moment if a TV licence is purchased or it appears the accused will mount a credible defence. Even in those rare cases that do end in a conviction, the fine is virtually always less than £300 and never anywhere near the £1,000 maximum often mentioned by TV Licensing.

WSWC card says: If you don't need a licence we'd like to stop writing to you.

The truth: This is another of TV Licensing's famous barefaced lies. No-one is under any legal obligation at all to confirm their compliance with the law to TV Licensing. Anyone that goes to the trouble of making a No Licence Needed declaration invariably finds that TV Licensing continues to send threatograms, demand access to the property or both.
Our advice to anyone who doesn't legally need a TV licence is the same as always: Totally ignore TV Licensing.

Say absolutely nothing at all to any TV Licensing goon that visits your home. By saying nothing the occupier is depriving TV Licensing of its most effective weapon - information. Without information, TV Licensing is powerless to advance its enquiries any further.

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Fred Bear said...

Why don't they state the truth? It should say: "I called today in the hope of getting some commission by persuading you to sign a self-incrimination form that I just happen to have handy. As you were out, I've gone off looking for easy pickings elsewhere - hopefully a single mother on benefits will open the door to the next address I visit and I'll be quids in".

Anonymous said...

I had one of these the other day; Was in all evening, never heard a knock at the door yet when I came down in the morning there was a blank "We called" note shoved through the letterbox!

I went through all this a few years back, ended up with a goon visit who agreed I didn't need a license.

Now, because of Capita's policy to re-hound you after 2 years I'm going through it all again!
So far it's been 1 year 2 months of letters! I've kept them all. I'm just curious on how many variant of letter I can get :D

Anonymous said...

not sure if you are aware of this but i thought i would point it out.

I had a guy knock on my door the other week via the intercom system in the block i live in, saying he had a leaflet for me, I asked what it was about and he said he did not know.

so i just said "whatever" if you dont know what your trying to give me then i dont want to know and put the intercom down on him.

1 of my bedrooms is just above the front door to the block so when i heard him then trying to gain entry from other flats i thought whats this guy up to and went down to confront him and see what and why he was trying to can access to my block.
(sorry i am just like that to many dodgy gits about these days)

when i got down stairs someone had let him in, and there before me was a G4S security guard
I ask him if he had just rung my bell and what was it he was trying to give me and why had he gained access to the building.

i also ask for ID which he provided, he seemed nice enough and claimed he did not know what was in the sealed envelope but he was there hand writing the front of other envelopes and putting them in the letter boxes of other flats ( all the letter boxes for the flats are in one place inside the front door.He asked me for my name and flat number so he could fill out and give me this envelope.

I told him i am not giving my name or any other info and to just give me the leaflet/envelope, he seem reluctant to do this at 1st, but i told him, look you just knock on my door claiming you have something for me, you dont know what it is and you are saying i cant have it without giving my name?
i guess he could see i was getting a bit peed off and ended up giving me the leaflet without me providing my name.

I opened it in front of him and when i saw it was from TVL pretending they had called in person i asked him what was going on, did he work for TVL, "no" he said.
so why you going round filling out and post these through peoples letter boxes?
"I dont know it just what i was told to do"!
i think maybe they forgot to tell him not to knock on peoples door and just post the leaflet!!! lol or the trick does not work so well.

anyway just thought i would put this out there as it seems a lot of people finding these leaflets on their doorstep would rightly assume TVL has been knocking when in fact it was a GS4 security guard postman!!!

oh and i dont have a TV license and am LLF, i normally put all the threatograms back in the post with "return to pedo loving sender" on them ;-)