Tired old, legally baseless threats - the sorts of threats that TV Licensing thrives on.
The festive season has seen an increase in complaints about TV Licensing on social media, with many people's festivities dampened by the arrival of the monthly TV Licensing threatogram. TV Licensing's media harlots have not been around to offer their normal hollow platitudes.
TV Licensing threatograms, which are riddled with half truths and innuendo, are designed to scare people into paying for a TV licence, irrespective of their legal need to do so. In the bizarre world of TV Licensing everyone without a TV licence is an evader; everyone claiming not to need a TV licence is a liar.
In reality, despite TV Licensing's incessant stream of bull and bluster, anyone who doesn't legally need a TV licence is under no obligation at all to do anything. They do not need to respond to TV Licensing's letters; they do not need to engage with any TV Licensing goon, in the rare event that one visits their property.
Our advice, as always, is to place TV Licensing letters straight in the bin and immediately close the door on any TV Licensing goon that calls (notwithstanding that fact that identifying TV Licensing goons can be tricky).
TV Licensing, despite its pretentious air of authority, has no more legal rights than any other peddler of immoral wares. Indeed many peddlers of immoral wares are far more desirable than TV Licensing, because at least they can take a hint to bugger off and not come back.
A New Year's reminder of TV licence legislation:
- A TV licence is needed for those properties where:
- Equipment is installed (e.g. plugged in and set up) or used to receive (e.g. watch or record) any TV programme at the same time as it is broadcast.
- Equipment is installed (e.g. plugged in and set up) or used to receive (e.g. watch or download) any on-demand (visual) programmes via the BBC iPlayer.
- A TV licence is not required for:
- Watching or downloading on-demand (visual) programmes on services other than the BBC iPlayer.
- Listening to or downloading any BBC radio programme, whether at the time of broadcast or on-demand.
- Owning or possessing a TV set, which is being used for a non-licensable purpose (e.g. as a monitor for CCTV, playing video games, watching non-BBC on-demand programmes).
- Owning or possessing a device capable of connecting to the web, which is being used for a non-licensable purpose (e.g. accessing web pages not displaying TV or BBC on-demand programmes).
A few general reminders about dealing with TV Licensing:
- Anyone who does not legally need a TV licence is under no obligation at all to communicate or co-operate with TV Licensing and we strongly recommend they do not. Experience regularly demonstrates that trying to communicate or reason with TV Licensing is a complete waste of time. Furthermore, responding to TV Licensing provides it with information to which it is not legally entitled. TV Licensing is very bad at the safe and responsible management of information it holds.
- In the unlikely event that TV Licensing visits a property, the goon must always state the purpose of their visit and show ID on request. They should provide a contact telephone number so that their ID can be verified.
- Save for the virtually unheard of event that they have a search warrant, TV Licensing goons must always leave a property the moment they are told to by the occupier. Remember that they have no more legal rights to visit than anyone else.
- According to TV Licensing rules, goons must not use threats or dishonesty to obtain the result they want. Experience shows that many TV Licensing goons regularly flout this rule.
- It is perfectly legal - and positively encouraged - to film/photograph any TV Licensing goon that visits your property. Keeping a video record prevents the goon from inventing a cock and bull story later on, as we know some have a tendency to do.
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