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More threats from TV licensing!

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Moley 23 May 2011
Can't seem to resurrect the previous "rant" thread as it's been archived. But today (we are some of the non-TV persons) received this letter:

"You have not responded to our previous letters. We want to ensure you have the information you may need before a hearing is set at your local court.

Please read the information below carefully and keep for your records. You will be allowed to take it into court with you".

Yours faithfully etc....

We still haven't received a 'visit' from any enforcement officer, and I feel this is a step too far, they say the only way to stop the investigation is to buy a licence (no, we don't have a telly) or let them know we don't need one...... err, why should I?

So court next, should be interesting?
Moley.

 Mikkel 23 May 2011
In reply to Moley:

You could just try and ring them and tell them you don't have a Tv.
It does actually stop the letters.

 Joez 23 May 2011
In reply to Moley:

also good to know that you now do need a licence for Iplayer, so if you have a computer and internet they view it as you having "viewing apparatus"
 MJ 23 May 2011
In reply to Moley:

"or let them know we don't need one...... err, why should I"?

To stop wasting time and money on it going to court?

 Jaffacake 23 May 2011
In reply to LittleJoe:

Where'd you get that from?

http://iplayerhelp.external.bbc.co.uk/help/playing_tv_progs/tvlicence

You only need one if you're viewing things live, catch up tv is license free
 Glansa 23 May 2011
In reply to LittleJoe:

Who told you that? The official line is that that if you use iplayer to watch live broadcasts then yes you need a license but not for watching after it's been broadcast and just owning a computer, or for that matter a TV, is not enough reason to require you to have a license.

Oh and to the "phone them and it'll stop" person. You're wrong, I phoned them, wrote them letters, emailed them and they still kept threatening me.
 Glansa 23 May 2011
In reply to Jaffacake:

You beat me!
 John_Hat 23 May 2011
In reply to Nick B, Another One:

It took Lady Blue a couple of years to get rid of them. She was in a basement flat, and whilst she had a telly, there was no signal whatsoever.

Occasionally people would turn up, she'd show them the snow on all channels, they'd hmmm and go away saying they'd say they would record it was impossible for her to receive a TV signal and hence she didn't need a license, and then, hey presto, two weeks later, another threatening letter....
 Rob Exile Ward 23 May 2011
In reply to Nick B, Another One: I used to let the letters pile up at my Mum's flat. She was over 90 (which I'd told them many times) so didn't need to buy a licence.

Seems a bizarre way to collect a tax.
 Climber_Bill 23 May 2011
In reply to MJ:

I was under the impression that our legal system is based on the notion of "innocent until proven guilty" with the prosecution having to prove guilt.

The innocent, as we all are until proved otherwise, should not have to prove themselves innocent.

All TV Licensing have to do is pay Moley a visit and ask the question "Do you have a TV or do you watch live internet TV?" If the answer is no and there is no evidence to the contrary, TV Licensing do not have a case.

It is TV Licensing who are wasting money and time, not Moley.

Rich.

 Climber_Bill 23 May 2011
In reply to MJ:

But of course the really important question is;

Moley! How on earth can you live without hours of repeats and crappy soaps and cop chase shows?

Rich.
 mypyrex 23 May 2011
In reply to Mikkel:
> (In reply to Moley)
>
> You could just try and ring them and tell them you don't have a Tv.
> It does actually stop the letters.

Why should he, surely the onus is on the licensing authority to prove "guilt".

In reply to Moley: Just for balance, I wrote a very precisely worded letter to the TV licensing people to tell them that we were getting rid of the TV and had no intention of receiving live broadcast TV in any form (which is all true).

They refunded the rest of my license fee, sent a reasonable letter back and we've not heard from them in the past 2 years.
 sutty 23 May 2011
In reply to Moley:

Do the same as me, ask them to come and get me a picture on my tv and I will buy a licence. I get a snowy picture on three stations, digital is not available till next year so they can go whistle till then.

A friend of my wife had a country cottage and got calls from them in spite of her telling them she had no tv. Eventually they called, to find she not only had no tv but no electricity either. I think that convinced them.
Moley 23 May 2011
In reply to Mikkel:
> (In reply to Moley)
>
> You could just try and ring them and tell them you don't have a Tv.
> It does actually stop the letters.

That has been done a number of times over the last 20 years. The last time we wrote we said "we shall let you know if and when we purchase a TV". It stopped the letters for a few years and now they've started again. The reason I won't inform them again is because I'm a stroppy, pissed off old git who is fed up with their attitude and the fact that not once in all that time has anyone bothered to visit us........just threat, after threat, after threat by mail.
So they can go take a flying.............. and I know it won't go to court because they don't have a case, so why tell me it will? Just pathetic attempt at big brother bullying.


 joem 23 May 2011
In reply to Moley: the irony of the fact is that i live in student halls and know of several people who own and watch T.V after having informed them that they didn't require a licence and have received no threatening letters or enforcement visits.
 gingerwolf 23 May 2011
In reply to net: i'm in rented student accomodation, paid for a tv licence, then realised didnt get a signal

went a few months, then I cancelled the licence, and like net got a refund

however, guess what dropped throught the letterbox last week - a threatening letter!! - robbing bastards!
 joem 23 May 2011
In reply to Moley: i don't think the threats in the letters actually carry any weight we've been getting letters addressed to the "legal tenant of the communal areas" ever since we moved in we asked the uni if there was anything we needed to do about it they told us just to ignore them as there wasn't a legal tenant and interestingly they've sent the "what to expect in court" letter several times now no summons as of yet. i think its probably all bark and no bite.
 Mikkel 23 May 2011
In reply to Moley:
> (In reply to Mikkel)
> [...]
The reason I won't inform them again is because I'm a stroppy, pissed off old git who is fed up with their attitude

I am getting there myself, we actually waited a long time and many letters, hoping to get the visits they promised.
Got quite surprised when one day someone did turn up and asked if he could come and check that we didn't have a TV, told him no with great pleasure :0)



Knitting Norah 23 May 2011
In reply to Moley:

I wonder if all these threats constitute 'harassment'. The letters are evidence that they are repeatedly threatening you. Maybe a letter saying you are consulting your lawyer about their harassment of you and using their letters as evidence may stop them.
 Milesy 23 May 2011
The will not actually do anything because they rely on scare tactics. They will never take someone to court because there could be a chance of them losing in modern times. They are happy to scare some people into paying rather than having no authority to make anyone pay. I would get more pleasure from binning their letters than I would getting them stopped lol
 bradholmes 24 May 2011
In reply to Knitting Norah: Second that....
 dread-i 24 May 2011
In reply to Moley:
I had the harassment treatment for years and I just ignored it. I don't have a TV, so nothing to worry about.

Then one day an inspector came to my house and asked me about viewing habits. I told him that I didn't have a tv. Then he mentioned something about PACE and court and if I understood. So I said "No, I don't understand".

I was under the impression that PACE (Police and criminal evidence act), required that I was offered certain protections like the appointment of a solicitor, the right to remain silent etc. None of these were mentioned. Then he said that my initial declaration of not having a tv would count as a statement and to sign on his little digital pad. So I put an X, as I have nothing to hide, but don't want to make their life any easier.

I haven't heard back from them, but if it did come to court, I would do as much as possible to waste their time, including asking for the recording of the initial conversation and about my right to silence or representation.

They are an entertainment company ffs. Their business model involves giving away their content for free. That's laudable, but not entirely practical.
 EeeByGum 24 May 2011
In reply to Moley:

> That has been done a number of times over the last 20 years. The last time we wrote we said "we shall let you know if and when we purchase a TV".

Alas, standing on a high horse doesn't wash with the TV licencing people. You need to ring them generally every 2 years. No point in fighting the system. If you have the energy to do pointless things you pay as well shout at a brick wall instead. It would have the same outcome. Just ring them up and be done with it for another two years.
 Glansa 24 May 2011
In reply to EeeByGum:
> Alas, standing on a high horse doesn't wash with the TV licencing people. You need to ring them generally every 2 years. No point in fighting the system. If you have the energy to do pointless things you pay as well shout at a brick wall instead. It would have the same outcome. Just ring them up and be done with it for another two years.

Well lucky you. For some of us regular phone calls, letter and emails do nothing to stop the constant stream of frankly abusive letters and home visits from people that open a conversation with "There is evidence of illegal activity at this address and you are required by law to allow us access to inspect the premises".
In reply to dread-i:

> They are an entertainment company ffs. Their business model involves giving away their content for free. That's laudable, but not entirely practical.

No, if your implication is that the TV licence is collected by the BBC that's wrong. The TV licence is imposed, set and collected by the government; who also happen to fund the BBC.

T.

Shirebikes 24 May 2011
In reply to Moley: only way to stop them from sending letters is to send them a recorded letter (with invoice for postage inside) threatening them with legal action for harrassment. Ask for acknowledgement of the letter in writing, eventually they stop sending threats out.
Moley 24 May 2011
In reply to Moley:
I work in licensing myself (guns) so know a little of how these systems works - usually a computer keeps spewing out letters to the recipient until somebody in an admin department presses the STOP button. Which doesn't happen till one of the bosses says so, which involves somebody making a decision!!

I'm not concerned about it, and won't do anything to stop it because I've evolved into a cantankerous old Victor Meldrew (you will all get there one day). My thoughts are with those persons who would be intimidated by it and not know how to cope - could be a big worry to them - especially now the letters are actually threatening to go to court.

The equivalent in my job would be sending threatening letters to everyone in the UK to prove they DON'T possess a firearm, that would not go down very well with the population or press.
Moley.
 pec 24 May 2011
In reply to Moley: We cancelled our TV licence when the digital switchover happened as we didn't upgrade to digital recieving facilities. As we hadn't actually watched TV for several years there was no point. We just ticked the appropriate box and haven't heard from them since.
Personally, I'd just ignore any threatening letters if we did get them, the onus is on them to prove your guilt.

As an aside, its encouraging to see how many other people don't have TV's. It suggests there is still hope for humanity.
 Wingnut 24 May 2011
In reply to Moley:
>>My thoughts are with those persons who would be intimidated by it and not know how to cope - could be a big worry to them - especially now the letters are actually threatening to go to court.

They managed to threaten a friend of my late grandmother into getting a license for a tv she didn't actually have. :
 lowersharpnose 24 May 2011
In reply to Mikkel:

IIRC they had one of those 0870 type numbers that costs you to call it.

 sutty 24 May 2011
In reply to lowersharpnose:

Yes, and no address on the letter to reply to it by post. They just got more threatening till eventually I warned them about harrassment, and thought of finding the boss of the system and making a citizens arrest I was that fed up with them.
 SCC 24 May 2011
In reply to Moley:
> (In reply to Moley)

>
>
> The equivalent in my job would be sending threatening letters to everyone in the UK to prove they DON'T possess a firearm, that would not go down very well with the population or press.
> Moley.

I wasn't aware you could go into any old sports shop and buy a gun?
Try not to weaken your position with ridiculous comparisons.

I know it would spoil all your fu, but you could always go here:

http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check/viewtopiccontent.aspx?id=TOP12&iqdocumentid=TOP12&WT.mc_i...

and follow their sugestions?

Of course you then run the risk of not being able to moan about TV licensing, but I'm sure you could find something else to post about? I'd suggest a topic relating to the BBC wasting our licese fee on Celebrity Come Dancing/Top Gear/Eastenders/Spooks <delete as applicable>. But then again, you don't have a license, so that's a non starter...

Worth noting this paragraph on their site:

"Once our records have been updated, you won't receive any more letters from us for almost two years. We'll then get in touch to check whether your circumstances have changed. As many people move home or change their circumstances we're not able to put a permanent stop on letters."

They also state that they *may* need to visit to conirm you are telling the truth (I'm paraphrasig there).

Ok, you can all go back to ranting now.

Si
 David Riley 24 May 2011
In reply to Wingnut:

> They managed to threaten a friend of my late grandmother into getting a license for a tv she didn't actually have. :

Hi Liz,

Agreed. My Father (82) got pressured into paying £500 to point his 'dangerous' chimney by five 'builders' at the door and has just paid £56 for credit card insurance. If he didn't have a tv he would still not feel safe without licence.
 mypyrex 24 May 2011
In reply to SCC:
> (In reply to Moley)

> I wasn't aware you could go into any old sports shop and buy a gun?
As long as that shop is an authorised dealer and you have the appropriate licence you can.
 SCC 24 May 2011
In reply to mypyrex:
> (In reply to SCC)
> [...]
>
> [...]
> As long as that shop is an authorised dealer and you have the appropriate licence you can.

I know - my point was that you can buy a TV without a license, but not a gun. Hence the OP's comparison is ridiculous.

Si
J1234 24 May 2011
In reply to Moley:
> (In reply to Moley)
>
>
> The equivalent in my job would be sending threatening letters to everyone in the UK to prove they DON'T possess a firearm, that would not go down very well with the population or press.
> Moley.

No your wrong, 90%+ have TV and it`s a reasonable suspicion that someone without a licence is dodging the fee, whilst I would imaging a very small percentage have a gun there for it would not be reasonable to suspect that someone without a licence should have a gun licence.
Ignore the letters, why even read them, I find chucking unopened letters on the fire therapuatic, and if and when an officer comes round, invite them in offer a cup of tea and a guided tour (so long as they take their shoes off), they will note no telly and no letters for a couple of years, or is it the case that secretly you enjoy the attention and aggro and being an awkward pain and crowing about how ace you are not having a TV licence.
 Tall Clare 24 May 2011
In reply to sjc:

All you have to do is ring them. In the past I've threatened them with legal action, etc, and it just ends up upsetting me more than them. I think the system's shit but I think the only way it's going to change is if everyone stops needing a licence.
J1234 24 May 2011
In reply to Tall Clare:
Ah, but is it fair that it`s not a free phone number, why should Moley and the gang subsidise a system they do not use by paying 10p for a phonecall, it`s the principle not the money you understand.
In reply to sjc:
invite them in

I thought the favoured gambit was to say "yes, of course you can inspect my TV licence but first I need to see your pilot's licence"!

They did once come round to us but I was (genuinely) about to go out and half dressed when I answered the door. I told them to clear off politely enough and they did, nothing since.
 EeeByGum 24 May 2011
In reply to sjc:
> subsidise a system they do not use by paying 10p for a phonecall, it`s the principle not the money you understand.

Oh please! Get over yourself!
J1234 24 May 2011
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to sjc)
> invite them in
>
>
Yes, why not, unless as in your case it`s inconveinent.
 Dominion 24 May 2011
In reply to Moley:

> So they can go take a flying.............. and I know it won't go to court because they don't have a case, so why tell me it will? Just pathetic attempt at big brother bullying.

Don't "the defence" have to be shown the prosecution's evidence, so you can prepare a defence?

Ask them to provide the evidence, so you have time to assess it, and also ask them to set a court date based on the evidence they provide you with...

 Andy Hardy 24 May 2011
In reply to sjc:

Have you seen this site - http://www.saynoto0870.com/

Useful for dodging the )0870 / 0844 numbers, not always completely up to date but worth a try.

J1234 24 May 2011
In reply to 999thAndy:
Cheers a handy site used it for Monarch airlines the other week, but no good if you want to be irate
 Stuzz 24 May 2011
In reply to Moley:

Oh come on. In the time you've spent ranting and raging on here you could easily have phoned them up, had the letters stopped and sorted it all out. It isn't difficult, the letters don't become threatening or intimidating until you repeatedly ignore them so no one should feel intimidated to pay it if they shouldn't. In fact im pretty sure when we got letter through from them there was a note on the letter which said something along the lines of 'if you don't believe you need a TV licence please ring 0800....' which we did and haven't had a letter through since.

Your time clearly isn't so valuable that you cant manage 2 minutes to make a quick phone call every few years so stop complaining and go sort it out yourself.

Stuzz
trevor simpson 24 May 2011
In reply to Moley:

> We still haven't received a 'visit' from any enforcement officer, and I feel this is a step too far, they say the only way to stop the investigation is to buy a licence (no, we don't have a telly) or let them know we don't need one...... err, why should I?


Because you benefit from living in an organised society.

You might not like everything about how it's organised, nobody does, but there are some things you just need to along with.

Ask your mummy and daddy about it.
 mypyrex 24 May 2011
In reply to Stuzz:
> (In reply to Moley)
>
> the letters don't become threatening or intimidating until you repeatedly ignore them

That is not true. I had a similar experience a few years ago when I was renovating a cottage in Bala. The place was effectively a building site and to anyone with a degree of common sense it would have been obvious that, not only was there no television there; there was also nobody yet in permanent residence.

I arrived one morning to find a letter saying that there was no record of a television licence in respect of the property etc., etc.

I wrote back saying that the property was empty and certainly there was no television installed but still the letters kept coming.

Eventually a threatening letter arrived addressed to The Occupier, 5, ***** Road, (DEMOLISHED), Bala.

I again wrote to them pointing out that a demolished property was hardly likely to have a television set anyway and that I found their attitude rude, insulting and that it amounted to harassment.

They sent me £10 in compensation!
 Thrudge 24 May 2011
In reply to SCC:
Good on yer for standing up for common sense and defending a system which works just fine. All these people who complain that they tell TV Licencing they haven't got a telly and then continue to get the letters are lying. Just like I was when I claimed the same thing in a previous thread. Er....

OK, you can go back to being wrong now.
 climbingpixie 24 May 2011
In reply to Moley:

Have you been to the link that SCC posted and told them you don't need a licence?

FWIW I don't have a TV (well I do but it's not connected to an aerial and we don't watch anything on it) and have to go through this every few years, or every time I moved house. It used to frustrate me that you had to either phone or send a letter so I used to just chuck the letters straight into the bin, now that you can self-declare online it seems just as easy to do that. They'll probably send someone round to check but I don't really understand what the problem is with that - I just let them in, show them that there's no signal to the TV and that's that for two years.

Alternatively why not just throw the letters straight in the bin if they annoy you so much?
 aln 24 May 2011
In reply to Moley: Their letters are accusatory and threatening in tone, they should stop that. But does everyone have to get their knickers in a twist about it? I registered online that I didn't have a telly. Took a few minutes, got a polite reply, 5 months later haven't heard anything else from them.
Moley 24 May 2011
In reply to Moley:
I want them to visit me, is that too much to ask? They've been telling me they are coming round to check for 20 years and we've been joking about "putting the kettle on for them" for 20 years. Nothing, just more mail.

We are a sad couple, living out in the country with few friends and no visitors (and we can't even receive a TV signal, so nothing to watch), a little company one evening is all we want. I know all you licence payers will be subsidising the visit from your fees, but I can't imagine you begrudging a few pence towards making us poor miserable grumps happy?

That's my last word on this thread, bringing it to an end, by the way does anyone want to hear about the time we were raided by Customs and Excise .........?
 JSA 24 May 2011
In reply to Moley:
> (In reply to Moley)
>
> by the way does anyone want to hear about the time we were raided by Customs and Excise .........?


Yes please
 deepsoup 24 May 2011
In reply to Moley:
Where are you? I'm sure lots of the good folk of UKC would be delighted to pop round for a cuppa. :O)
 griffithsa 24 May 2011
In reply to Moley:

I live in student accomodation in Leeds, all of my flatmates and I received exactly the same letters culminating in the 'what to expect at court' letter even though a few of us had been in touch to tell them we didn't have any TV's. I think they just post them out at regular intervals in bulk around the country to people that don't purchase a license in the hope that some of them do.

Andy.
 Fat Bumbly2 25 May 2011
In reply to griffithsa: My old club used to get them at the hut. They just went into the bin.
The Bottom Inspectors would have to catch us at the weekend to actually harrass anyone. Of course there was no telly.

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