For the past six months TV Licensing has continued to harass the occupiers of a correctly licensed property, despite having been informed of their mistake on several occasions.
We came across this story yesterday when Twitter user Holly55093584 announced she was "disappointed by TV Licensing's response to my complaint" and "still getting threats despite having always had a licence". Curious to get to the bottom of things we contacted Holly and asked her to provide more information, so that we could further highlight TV Licensing's incompetence via the medium of our blog.
Holly has kindly provided us with scanned images of all of her correspondence with TV Licensing. This can be viewed in the gallery at the foot of the post. The licence is actually held in Holly's partner's name, which is why some of the letters are addressed to a man. For the sake of convenience we shall refer to Holly and her partner as "the occupiers" from now on.
There is quite a lot to this story, so we shall outline the sequence of events in chronological order.
The occupiers moved into a new property at the start of August 2013. They correctly ensured the TV licence of their previous property was transferred across.
Towards the end of that month the occupiers received notice that TV Licensing had opened an investigation on their property. The routine threatogram, purportedly signed by Jane Powell of the Plymouth Enforcement Division, threatened a visit by Enforcement Officers if no response was forthcoming.
Two TV Licensing goons (VPNs 514831 and 514975) attended the property on separate visits on 12th September. They both pushed "We Said We'd Call" cards through the letterbox, thereby earning themselves a small commission payment. The property was occupied all day, so there is some doubt about whether the goons actually bothered to ring the doorbell.
The following day, 13th September, the occupiers contacted the TV Licensing call centre, who reassured them that there were no problems with the TV licence at that property.
Towards the end of the month the next routine threatogram arrived, which informed the occupiers they had 10 days to get correctly licensed.
On 5th October the occupiers wrote to TV Licensing explaining that they were incorrectly receiving threatograms, despite having earlier contacted TV Licensing to confirm their licence validity. The occupiers also explained that the address on the threatograms was slightly different to the actual address of the property.
On 15th October TV Licensing's Lynn Houston sent a letter of reply. She explained that TV Licensing gathered address information from a variety of sources, which could sometimes lead to two slightly different versions of the same address appearing on their database. Ms Houston confirmed that she had deleted the duplicate address from the system and reiterated that a valid TV licence was held on file. She explained that the next routine threatogram might already be in the post and concluded by thanking the occupiers for taking the time to help update TV Licensing's records.
Towards the end of the month the next routine threatogram arrived, which informed the occupiers that their address had now been scheduled for a visit by an Enforcement Officer.
No correspondence was received from TV Licensing.
Another routine threatogram arrived, which explained what to expect in court when prosecuted for TV licence evasion. We have previously dubbed this TV Licensing's most despicable mailshot.
On 3rd January the occupiers wrote again to TV Licensing, marking their correspondence for the attention of Lynn Houston. The occupiers were clearly exasperated by this stage, as the letter reads as follows: "I was astounded to find yet another letter, again with the incorrect postcode of [redacted] and date of December 2013, posted to me and threatening me with court action.
"To be threatened and harassed in this way is distressing and infuriating and I am no longer prepared to tolerate your bullying tactics."
The occupiers also explained that they would be forwarding all previous correspondence to their local Member of Parliament, Nick Harvey.
Towards the end of the month the next routine threatogram arrived, which explained that TV Licensing were proceeding to the final stages of their investigation. It also gave a break down of what to expect during the enforcement process.
On 27th January TV Licensing's Lynn Houston sent a second letter of reply. She explained that Royal Mail had updated TV Licensing's records with the same duplicate address that she had previously deleted. She had notified Royal Mail of their mistake and had again deleted the offending duplicate address from TV Licensing's system. Ms Houston asked the occupiers to contact Royal Mail directly to ensure their records were also corrected. She again explained that the next routine threatogram might already be in the post.
That's the situation to date, but we're sure you'll agree it is farcical in the extreme.
This case perfectly illustrates TV Licensing's complete ineptitude when it comes to managing records and customer complaints.
Quite frankly, on the basis of this performance, TV Licensing would struggle to organise a piss up in a brewery. The worrying thing is that the BBC knows full well how utterly incompetent their TV Licensing contractors are, but turns a blind eye and denies any responsibility.
|Holly TV Licensing Harassment Feb 2014|