Why we're here:
This blog is to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing. These people do not require a licence and are entitled to live without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's correspondence and employees.

If you use equipment to receive live broadcast TV programmes, or to watch or download on-demand programmes via the BBC iPlayer, then the law requires you to have a licence and we encourage you to buy one.

If you've just arrived here from a search engine, then you might find our Quick Guide helpful.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

TV Licensing Exploits Psychiatric Patient

A letter to the Telegraph's Jessica Investigates column explains how TV Licensing took advantage of a mentally ill lady (Miss G) by stinging her for payment of two TV licences.

The discrepancy only came to light when the lady's uncle started looking after her financial affairs. TV Licensing, just as you'd expect, were less than sympathetic to the family's cause.

Mr S from Wiltshire writes:
I have a niece who has had mental problems for a considerable time. She moved house but did not obtain a television for a few weeks. When she did she bought a licence. Enclosed is the receipt and letter from TV Licensing confirming the licence. Then she purchased a larger television and, because of her state of mind, purchased another licence.

Regrettably her condition deteriorated and she was sectioned and detained. I then took over her money affairs and it soon became apparent that she had two television licences, both valid.

Can you help me get the refund that I, despite trying hard, have been unable to get?

Jessica Gorst-Williams replies:
Further to my involvement a TV Licensing spokesman says: “To protect all our customers’ personal data, we could normally only deal with the licence holder or a third party with power of attorney.

"However, in this case we should have been more flexible, so we’ve written to Mr S to apologise and have offered a goodwill gesture of £20 to compensate him for any out-of-pocket expenses he may have incurred contacting us."

TV Licensing has refunded £145.50 in respect of one licence and a quarter of a year’s cover, which ties in with the use for the other, coming to £36.37.

It has also placed a “guard” on the property for a year so that letters that would normally be sent for a non-licensed address will not be.

In a letter to you the BBC licence fee unit says: “The decision to refund this amount could have been taken at an earlier opportunity and I can see that you have made considerable efforts to obtain a refund for Miss G.

"I can appreciate your frustration at having to contact TV Licensing on numerous occasions. Furthermore, I have asked TV Licensing to share the learnings from this case with relevant staff to prevent a similar recurrence."

1 comment:

Fred Bear said...

Much of the behaviour of the BBC and its contractors over TV Licensing can be explained by asking 'Who is the customer?'

As far as Capita are concerned, although they are in contact with the public, their customer (ie the entity that pays them) is the BBC. In order to get their money, they need to keep the BBC happy.

As far as the BBC is concerned, they get their money from two sources: the UK Government and from their commercial arm. So the BBC's customers are the UK Govenment and foreign TV companies. Thus the BBC's main aim will be to keep HMG happy and provide product that they can sell overseas.

TV Licence fee payers aren't anyone's customer - they pay a tax to the government which is collected by the BBC. TV Licence fee payers can only indirectly influence the BBC and its contractors by putting pressure on the UK Government (or MPs). There isn't anyway of switching supplier as one could for gas, electricity etc.