The Student Rooms forum member RealSirB is terrified of the prospect of being caught by TV Licensing watching "Bake Off" and "The Apprentice" on the BBC iPlayer, even though he has a valid TV licence.
Yes, you read that correctly.
In a recent forum post, the newbie member explained that he never watched "live" broadcast TV programmes, so didn't need a TV licence under the old rules.
But since the 1st September, he now needs a TV licence to continue his habit of watching hit BBC One shows "The Great British Bake Off" and "The Apprentice" using the BBC iPlayer on-demand.
Clearly a bit of a worrier, RealSirB was that terrified at the prospect of a late night raid by TV Licensing. To ease his fears, his parents bought him a TV licence.
RealSirB should now be able to enjoy the occasional episode of "Bake Off" without the mild terror of flash bangs coming through the letter box, but TV Licensing had different ideas.
RealSirB picks up the story: "The other week, I received a letter from TV Licensing saying that I was "under formal investigation" for using iPlayer "without a licence". Judging it carries a maximum fine of £1000, this is quite a serious matter.
"The letter stated that I could "pay for a licence" or "tell us you don't need a licence," but mentioned nothing about what to do if you already have one."
Yes, you read that correctly again.
Our advice to students in a similar situation - who already have a valid TV licence - is to ignore TV Licensing completely. The fact that TV Licensing threatens the occupiers of correctly licensed properties, serves to illustrate how inaccurate, ineffective and unreliable its systems are.
We would remind our student readers of the following key points in relation to TV Licensing:
- A TV licence is only needed for those properties where equipment is used to receive (e.g. watch or record) TV programmes at the same time as they are broadcast to other members of the public. Since 1st September 2016 a TV licence is also needed for any property where equipment is used to receive on-demand programmes via the BBC iPlayer, but a licence is not required to receive the on-demand content of any other broadcaster.
- Anyone who does not legally need a TV licence, does not need to communicate or co-operate with TV Licensing. Indeed, we would encourage these people to ignore TV Licensing completely.
- TV Licensing goons have no automatic right of entry to any property. If they call at your property, we recommend you say nothing and close the door immediately.
- Do not make the mistake of thinking "nothing to hide, nothing to fear". Many innocent people have been convicted of crimes they didn't commit after making the mistake of trusting TV Licensing. In reality TV Licensing goons have strict performance targets to meet and a commission system wide open to exploitation. Quite simply, a lot of TV Licensing goons don't care about how they achieve their results.
We would encourage student readers to check these earlier posts:
- Student Guide to TV Licence Rules
- TV Licensing Rights of Access
- TV Licensing Targeting Students
- TV Licensing and Laptop Usage
- Shamelessly Targeting Students
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