Product Type: other TV channels
Newest Review: ... yes and those over 75 qualify for a free licence, also. Despite retirement age being 65. The TV Licence is supposed to go back into so-cal... more
LEGAL SEX IN THE CITY
Member Name: sue.51
Date: 19/05/02, updated on 19/05/02 (595 review reads)
Advantages: You won't get prosecuted
Disadvantages: Their staff just cannot get it right
I am on a mission when it comes to any organisation operating via a call centre and to date have only found one that offers even remotely what I would identify as even remotely humanely, sensibly and without too many cock-ups and since I have praised them, they too have managed to get on my bad-side, hence why I am about to produce a 20,000 research report on the joys of them -but on to the subject in hand - the TV licence
SO WHY DO YOU NEED ONE?
Apparently, according to their web-site:
"..if you use or install television equipment to receive or record programme services you are required by law to have a valid TV licence"
This includes PC's with a broadcast card and videos
WHAT DOES IT COST?
· £112 a year for a colour licence.
· £37.50 for a black and white one
If you don't possess one then you can be fined up to £1,000, not to mention the shame of encountering your name in the local press - as from what I understand, in my locality, all offenders are named and shamed.
Trying to by-pass the system by having one of these with a colour TV can be classed as fraud and carries even bigger fines and sentences.
WHO NEEDS ONE?
· The everyday man/woman on the street who has equipment capable of receiving a signal, including videos, PC?s and recordable DVD Players (lucky things)
· Nearly everyone - students living away from the parental home have to pay, even if living in Halls of Residence - but they can sometimes claim a 3 month rebate valued at £28 if not living at their accommodation during the summer.
· Businesses follow pretty much the same rules as people's homes
· Hotels can obtain special licences providing they can prove that they don?t provide long term residential accommodation - the TV licensing web-site allows you to input the number of TV?s you possess and it will provide you with the cost - up to 15 TV's will be inc
luded in a single licence fee and thereafter the cost rises per 5 TV's.
· Over 75's get their TV licensing for free - those who are registered blind will have to pay 50% of the fees (personally I think this is disgusting)
· Concessionary licences are available for those in residential accommodation at a price of £5 - although they don't include communal day lounges etc.
HOW DO YOU PAY?
Where do I start?
· Direct Debit
· Goldfish Points (deductible from the final amount)
· At the Post Office
· On-line at their web-site
· By Post
· Pay-Point outlets (check for funny P symbols in yellow and purple)
WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?
To fund the non-commercial BBC Channels and their 1,200 staff at the Call-Centre in Bristol, which is where my fun started - why can't they just start advertising?
WHEN YOU MOVE
Don't forget to notify these people when you move house, failure to do this can equate to no licence.
This is where my fun started - I recently moved into a brand new house, devoid of both a house number and post-code. Being the good little girl that I am, and paying my licence by Direct Debit, I duly notified the company of the change of address and explained the problem with the lack of both house number and postcode.
No problem they said, just ring us again when you have all the details and we will update our records - great, sounds too easy really doesn't it?
So in November when I was finally issued with all the relevant info , I again contacted, amongst other people, the TV licensing people and advised them accordingly - and a few weeks later received a letter to the plot number advising me it was a criminal offence not to possess a valid licence - I duly rang the 0870 number (national rate) provided and advised them of their mistake - I received profuse apologies and assurances that as they knew I did have a licence, t
heir records would be updated forthwith - except that around 3 weeks later I received another letter, another phone call, the same assurances - and apologies that the correspondence had probably crossed in the post - except that, as you can probably guess, it happened again, and again, and again, roughly about every 3-4 weeks since the last time, I was irate and abusive to say the least the young man did his best to calm me but I was not happy.
Lo and behold a few weeks ago, again to the plot number, I received notification of prosecution for NOT HAVING A TV LICENCE - this time the conversation held nothing back - I was and still am absolutely fuming, the young lady at the other end of the phone kept telling me to stop whinging (although more politely than that) as she was trying to help me, well excuse me if both my patience and my beliefs as to the level of support provided are wearing thin, but after 9 attempts at trying to put the record straight I am one very unhappy bunny and have told them next time I will pass the file on to Watchdog who I am sure would be more than interested.
I await with baited breath as to what happens next, just let them try and enter my home, which incidentally they cannot do without a warrant, in fact I am gently assured that the only people who can do this are Customs and Excise, now even my post-woman (who I have little time for anyway due to her continued inability to read house numbers with more than one digit) thinks I am a criminal, I AM NOT - I PAY MY TV LICENCE EVERY MONTH.
SO HOW CAN THEY CATCH YOU?
What? apart from irritating the hell out of innocent people; if my mother had been receiving correspondence like this it would worry her to death and probably have caused a second heart attack, even though she knew it had been paid.
They have a database consisting of 26million UK addresses (plus at least one that doesn't actually exist)
They have scanners that can pinpoint
down to the room you are using the TV in, irrespective of whether you live in a 6 bed mansion or a 10 storey block of flats - these come in van form and hand held scanners.
CAN YOU AVOID IT?
Nope, I guess not - if you buy a TV, either new or second hand, the dealer is legally obliged (under the the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1967) to notify the TV licensing department of the sale within 28 days. They will then check their records against the address provided, I guess you could give a false address, but then if something goes wrong you could find you guarantee invalid, not to mention the risk of prosecution.
Some snippets from the web-site on excuses for not having a licence:
"The woman claimed that the reason for her not having a licence was because her cat had got sick down the back of the set and blew it up"
"When interviewing a woman in London, an enquiry officer asked during the conversation if she had Sky. "Yes", she replied. He proceeded to ask her what channels she watched on Sky and she answered, "I haven't got Sky". A little confused, the enquiry officer reminded her that she had just told him that she had Sky. "Yes, that's right, she's in the pram." She replied, pointing to her daughter."
Judging by these and many more comments, I guess they have heard it all before - I do know someone who was prosecuted after 3 years without a licence despite receiving cable TV - a licence was purchased before the court case and the fine was considerably less than the 3 years licence would have been, although she did get her name in the local papers.
NEED TO FIND OUT MORE?
Visit their web-site at http://www.tv-l.co.uk/index_frameset.html - the site is produced in a wide range of languages - I guess to ensure that no-one can say they didn't know, including:
Leaves little doubt really as to the message they are trying to convey.
IF A REPRESENTATIVE FROM THE ORGANISATION READS THIS - I HAVE NOW AND ALWAYS HAVE HAD A TV LICENCE - I PAY THE THING EVERY MONTH WITHOUT FAIL - SO PLEASE STOP HASSLING ME.
TV licensing General Enquiries ? 0870 241 6468
To e-mail them: email@example.com
Mini-com contact for the deaf and hard of hearing - 08705 758 604