TV Licensing and the BBC sending threatening letters

Well it looks as if the TV Licensing people haven't got the message yet, even though their enforcement officers paid us a visit just over a week ago.  I moved to this house a few months ago by the way and have so far completely ignored all the warnings that they have sent demanding that I buy a TV Licence or possibly face a fine.

I don't see why I should communicate with these parasites every time I move house to tell them I still do not have a television.  Why should I?  It's a clear case of being guilty until you prove you are innocent.  As for the enforcement officer with the TV detector van that turned up last week, well he wanted to come in and take a look around to make sure we didn't have a TV.  Naturally I wasn't going to permit a stranger to come into my home without some more official looking documentation.

That TV Licensing badge looked authentic enough, but this guy could have been anyone and I didn't see a van up the street!  He could even have been there just to case the joint for some future robbery or it could have been a distraction burglary, you hear about them all the time.  I sent him away to get a warrant because he wasn't about to enter my house without one.  He mumbled something about making a phone call and that they had detected a television in my house.  I pointed out that the only thing they could have detected was the computer as I don't have a TV.

A sample threatening letter from TV Licensing

That was that I thought as I closed the door and I still haven't heard anything further regarding an inspection so who knows.  I had thought that our little conversation was enough to set the record straight, tick in the box that this house doesn't have a TV etc.  Apparently not though because I received yet another threatening letter from the TV Licensing people addressed to The Occupier.  Very strange that, because the enforcing officer that turned up on my doorstep took a note of my name.  I would have thought that information should have filtered through they system somehow.

Anyway, this letter from TV Licensing is actually the reason for writing this gripe (click on the image to read it in full).  It's the tone of it that I really don't like.  It comes across as very threatening and intimidating and if any other company were to send out this kind of material on a regular basis, I am pretty sure there would be a national uproar.  How do they get away this?

It begins with the words OFFICIAL WARNING in underlined capitals.  A warning of course means cautionary advice about something imminent (especially imminent danger).  An official warning therefore carries more weight.  It means you've done something wrong (or they think you've done something wrong).  Even the typeface comes across as a bit official and stern and this is deliberate I think.  Then there's the liberal scattering of words and phrases such as "police", "criminal" and "court appearance" in the text.

In my opinion this document isn't designed to help you buy a TV Licence, rather it is designed to SCARE you into buying one and that to me is just not on!  When did it suddenly become okay for companies to send out a threatening communication like this?

As I mentioned earlier, I don't have a TV and I don't want one.  But I also don't believe that I should have to inform these people whenever I move house that I still don't want a television.  I especially resent being harassed (yes, that is exactly what this is) and treated like a criminal because I dare to stray from the norm and not buy a TV licence.

Can you imagine how an elderly person would feel having received a threatening notice like this?  Not particularly nice is it?

By: Kenny

How to deal with TV Licensing

Avoiding TVL/BBC harassment
Someone very kindly sent in a link to this site. It contains lots of useful information about dealing with the TV Licensing people and in particular what they can and can't do. I'm inclined to draw your attention to the section called "Tips for avoiding TVL/BBC harassment" on the left hand menu at the top of the page.

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I have previously had an enforcement officer inspect my property and was very polite and made two cups of coffee!!yesterday I received nos 13 threatening letter , this time I did not open it, but in marker wrote return to sender!! If as and when the next visit happens they will Not be allowed to enter my property without a warrant. Considering the money they are spending harassing people who, have lived in the same property for over 20 years without a tv..... RantRant Rant. As previously mentioned these letters are very threatening , with the assumption that we are Guiltyof?? How much money will these numpties spend before they get the message????


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Kevin. Kade - 20-Mar-14 13:32

In 1922 a radio license cost 10 shillings

In 1950s an annual B/W TV licence cost around £60 equivalent to today's money


It was the introduction of colour TV that caused the licence to more that double to today's licence fee, of around £145 per annum

But surely the technology is cheaper today.

As consumers we have not got the gain from this, instead our airwaves are filled with crap: quiz programmes, soaps, unwanted sports, poor news coverage, poor drama, crime series bought from USA. Too many overpaid TV presenters, who main aim is self glorification.

BBC 2 has gone down hill

Too many repeats.


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What are we paying for? - 10-Mar-14 20:27

They have no right to issue threats. Basically 98% of all ITV output has advertisements. And it's only by sending these letters that they annoy people to the point of distraction. They HAVE to send some letters (although some of the letters are too threatening, you've all had at least one..)

But as it's such an expense, what does it say about the bad-heads who knock upon a persons door? The state of their nerves must be fragile to say the least - how many bad-heads are there that do this door knocking?

Is this a new form of culture suppression? Sinister aint the word!


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collar - 10-Mar-14 17:00

This is shocking - absolutely shocking. When the TV licence expired, I started doing without a TV and watched videos instead and I'm no fan of the BBC either! I simply bought a freeview box too and a few decent videos and there's not a lot theycan do about it. Anything I'm un-liking I can usually get on DVD, on YouTube or videos, of which there are many.

For the three years I owned a licence I used to rent a TV from a TV dealer for a full colour set, they didn't even bother to mend the damn thing!


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collar - 10-Mar-14 11:36

So what is the last comment supposed to be all about? Just more bull-crap if you ask me.


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marmalade - 5-Mar-14 21:29

Impossible to communicate with bbc so i've posted here

Is it Flash player or your site?

BBC iplayer, mostly plays pre-recorded tv but regularly drops out on radio. If I open three instances of iplayer and switch between them I can get continuity of audio stream but this just demonstrates that it is NOT my bandwidth that is at fault. I am going to ditch it. This is NOT public broadcasting I am having to revert to radio wave reception. Is this FLASH player or your site? It says I do not have enough band-width which is not correct as demonstrated by your own bandwidth gizmo.

For your information, 4od is unplayable because of a drm or digital rights error, which is incorrect also. I now only use YouTube which works fine.

This digital stuff is substandard and so infuriating that I am switching to stations other than yours.

I am going to make a youtube video of how rubbish these players are and hopefully soon you will come up with a fix or ditch Flash as I am prety certain it is incompatible with your players.

Please stop sending me threatening license fee reminders. These are rude and threatening even though I NEVER watch live programs. How dare you assume that I do. You are assuming I do not know or give a damn about the law! I will NOT give you my name as I do NOT want to be on your database as I don't trust you with my details and you have insulted me. Please stop the threatening letters going to xxxxxxxxxxx Your license site will not accept submissions without a name. This is wrong because I see no reason for you to HAVE my name.

Do not tell me you are nothing to do with the licensing authority. You sort it as it is your service they are affecting.

These problems have been happening for about six months now and I have tried all supposed fixes to no avail. You are supplying a substandard service that is NOT fit for purpose then insulting and threatening me wit NO justification or grounds.

All you have done is succeed in making me very angry and to actively avoid your output.


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vtg - 2-Sep-13 13:50

If they think I will pay them a single dime, they can kiss my white, naked ass.


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jobbby - 9-Mar-13 17:37

hi there. i just want to make a point across.
please can you try and sort out the BBC to fund themselfs like others.
i dont want to pay a licence fee to fund paedoes.
i just want to pay for the sky i pay for.
it will be good if the BBC would scramble the signal as if they want to watch the BBC then they can pay a small price ontop of sky to watch it.
many of us dont use the BBC as they are criminals and its an offence to fund a criminal.. i dont want anything to do with the BBC and if you look on my profile u will c that many others dont want to.i dont want the BBC to send letters all the time telling me i have to get a licence or i will be fined £1000. that is a threat to me. i dont want the BBC to send they poeple to my door and force me to pay a licence as that is a threat too.i dont want a licence from them , and when a letter from the BBC comes to my house its going in the bin.when they send someone to my house i wont give him/her my name and shut the door on them. im not going to sign anything or if i do then i will be fined. if not they cant fine me. please can you think about this. please can you e-mail me back. many thanks Mr A Jones...


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andy - 23-Feb-13 20:12

Do you realise that TV Licensing callers have no legal rights to question you or enter your property? You are not obliged to answer ANY of their question or even reveal your identity, nor whether you are the householder.

Visit YouTube for a host of info and videos. The sooner the TV Licence system is removed, all the better. Also, there is no logical reason people should have to pay a fee to the BBC considering all the other channels available. The way it is, if you watch live broadcasts (any channels) the BBC wants your cash. Stuff that. Ban the license fee.


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Jazz the Cat - 2-Jan-13 15:50

TVL continue to send these 'threatening and harrassing' letters (lost count of how many now), addressed to the 'Legal Occupier' to an unoccupied property, which is subject to a probate sale, following the death of my father, 2 years ago, despite my letters and returned letters stating property is unoccupied. I have even 'phoned them again, recently, explaining the situation and was assured the matter was now dealt with and they promised no further action for 12 months. Not surprisingly yet another 'threatening' letter arrived this week, dated December 2012.
it is obvious they do not take any notice of correspondence or even check local Council information or Estate Agent information, so I can only conclude their 'investigations' are not worthy of any further involvement of my time and efforts to advise them of the situation with this property they continue to bombard with their threats! I wonder who they will try to prosecute if they beleive a TV is being watched because an aerial and Satellite Dish are connected to the property? I'm fed up of this constant reminder of my father's death!


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Nick - 2-Jan-13 12:18

You don't need one if you watch BBC on catchup, It's that simple.


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ska - 28-Dec-12 00:49

Tv licence is a scam always has been. All there letters are just empty threats, they only have power if consent and play there game. The tv licence company have no lawful right to enter anybody's home to check anything period. Remember stay in lawful debate, it wins over legal hands down. Legislation requires your consent. Get educated.


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**** you! - 9-Nov-12 23:01

I get one of these letters once a month, it's the usual computerised letter, more or less the same each month, like an automatic machine throwing them in the post.
To be honest I don't mind getting these letters as I get a laugh from thinking of the money they are wasting by sending them me and not getting any satisfaction.

I haven't had a TV license for 3 years, I have had 4 "visits" in all that time. But I have never answered the door to them. The fact is if they don't know your name and you don't contact them or sign anything they cannot do anything, they have no powers to enter your home either. Why would people let a stranger into their home anyway?
These people just love to scare people into buying a license, that is all, it is not illegal to not buy one.

Not having a license is NOT breaking the law either, if that was the case the police would of been to my place by now. I know some people who haven't had a license in 10 years and they've never had a police visit or been to court, they have just never had any contact with the license scumbags.


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Gaz - 28-Oct-12 23:25

I don't know why it was abolished in Australia, but it indeed was in 1974. Now the non-commercial network is partly funded by government grants.

So, everybody pays in the long run, whether they have a TV or not! Is that what you want M?

Or do you want adverts on every channel? I certainly don't.


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grumpyoldwoman - 13-Aug-12 17:23

Thanks Yawn - Very good link. I often wonder how much they spend on Lawyers representing the BBC in the likes of these laws that force people into paying for these licences? That bill must be collosal. People need to stop paying this fee as i understand they did in Australia


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M - 13-Aug-12 16:53

I stopped paying for a TV licence when I found out my local MP was claiming the licence fee in his expenses. Why should I subsidize him and all the other scumbags that claim at our expense?


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Annoyed! - 6-Aug-12 12:30

jobby, I don't know who you use this defence with; it's about as much good as saying "I only watch ITV" or "I only watch videos". It just won't wash with anyone who counts.

You've been lucky so far; but just remember the rest of us are subsidising your viewing!


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grumpyoldwoman - 4-Aug-12 09:11

Not quite with you jobby, you seem to be implying that you don't need a licence with a freeview box. I'm afraid it ain't so!


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grumpyoldwoman - 3-Aug-12 18:23

I am sick of receiving BBC threatening letters. My Father died when he was in receipt of a free TV licence. On the day they buried my Father i got a threatening letter for the first time. I was in tears. As soon as he died i got threatened by the BBC. I also lost my brother due to sudden death. I am a lone and coping with repairs on my house. I have to pay my own Home insurance, Car Insurance, Council Tax (Rates), Electric, plus much more all on my own. Then i get these letters from the BBC pay up or be fined. I am just about sick of them. Two letters in one month. Now i am getting threatened with an inspector coming around my house. You get people living in houses with families of four adults with lots of money coming in who may not miss the money - but to someone on their own it is a nightmare having this forced on them year in and year out until the grave. It is pathetic. I am trying to cope with the loss of my family. I do not need this. Why can't i watch a TV - why should i pay for this so that stars can be on six figure salaries whilst i suffer. If they want to keep there BBC licence fee why can't they make it so that all adults pay the same so that it evenly distributed - even if it is 50P per week from people's salaries - this would mean no more threatening letters, no office to maintain in Bristol - no more court cases - no more bills etc. There must be a better way than bullying people and forcing this on people including the elderly. How much does the BBC pay its lawyers to write out these laws to bully people into paying this tax every year. There are on-line petitions calling for change or its abolishion - why are they not being heard? Why is the law on the side of the BBC - No one represents the people. I just litteraly hate it. Nothing changes.


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Mike - 3-Aug-12 12:20

I have not had a TV for 33 years.

I informed TVLA in writing (1999) with a fairly emphatic statement that ‘I did not have a TV, was not intending to purchase one, would of course inform them if I did, etc, etc’ after getting one letter that was slightly less threatening than usual. The letters stopped for 2 years and then the visits & letters restarted.

These people are ignorant trolls.

TVLA uses UKMail to collect letters (and get paid to do so) then UKMail uses Royal Mail who, as a 'common carrier', does not get paid to deliver (the expensive bit). So I now put the so-called reminders into a separate envelope addressed to TVLA Bristol, but without a stamp. This now means that poor old Royal Mail gets to charge excess postage when delivering TVLA's letter back to them! Cross-subsidising a truly useful service and hopefully causing TVLA grief and admin problems. My address still remains on the reminder’s envelope – I really do not care what they try on! They might get the message one day.

Please - everyone should do this!

And if they come a-visiting again, I still do not have a TV after 33 years…


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Mike - 10-May-12 17:14

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