We've just been made aware of a new TV Licensing letter doing the rounds, which targets non-viewers who have previously told TV Licensing about their TV-free status.
The letter is written in a slightly more conciliatory tone than TV Licensing's standard threatograms and adopts the neutral green colour palette. Included at the foot of the letter, for added psychological impact, is an official looking declaration form that the recipient is invited to sign and return, thereby confirming the honesty of the information they have already provided to TV Licensing.
As we have mentioned numerous times on the TV Licensing Blog, anyone who does not require a TV licence is under no obligation to communicate or co-operate with TV Licensing. They do not need to confirm anything to TV Licensing, let alone sign a declaration confirming that they don't receive TV programmes in their unlicensed property.
Our advice to anyone receiving this letter is to treat it with the same contempt as any other TV Licensing letter: put it straight in the bin and completely ignore it. Anyone making the mistake of completing the declaration form is providing TV Licensing with information it is not legally entitled to, which it will not hesitate to use to its advantage later on.
The letter reads as follows:
Thank you for getting in touch to tell us that you don't need a TV Licence.
Please complete the No Licence Needed Declaration below and send it back to us in the enclosed prepaid envelope. This will confirm that you don't watch or receive programmes as they're being shown on TV, on any device.
What happens next.
Your No Licence Needed Declaration will last until [date]. We will not write to you until just before this date, unless we believe that your circumstances have changed.
We may visit [address] to make sure that you don't need a licence. This is because almost one in five addresses that declare No Licence Needed are found to need a TV Licence when we visit, which is why these visits are necessary.
Please let us know if your situation changes.
If you do start watching or recording programmes as they're being shown on TV, you'll need to be covered by a TV Licence. To buy one just go to tvlicensing.co.uk/pay or call 0300 303 9687.
If you move home, please make sure you tell us so we can transfer your declaration to your new address.
Yours faithfully,[Imaginary Signature]
You'll notice that even though TV Licensing ask the recipient to declare that they don't receive TV programmes, they still threaten that a goon could visit to check anyway.
That pretty much sums up why TV Licensing is so despised.
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