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Letter to TV Licencing - A No-TV Household Fights Back

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Offline Rosen Trevithick Reading
05 Oct 2014, 10:17 AM | Post: #1

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Letter to TV Licencing - A No-TV Household Fights Back

This letter seems to be getting a lot of attention, proving that you really cannot tell what will/won't be popular.


Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for the ten letters you sent concerning the lack of a TV license at this address, each demanding action and making threats.

Presumably, you find it inconceivable that I might be able to live my life without a television set. Please rest assured that I have clean drinking water and adequate sanitation; televisual entertainment is the only impoverished aspect of my life.

As it happens, I find it inconceivable that you could live your life without a copy of my book, My Granny Writes Erotica. However, my records show no purchases from your address. Even though all my books are available to download from the Internet (much like BBC iPlayer and Netflix), I still find it beyond belief that you would be able to live and breathe without paper copies.

You have left me no alternative but to schedule a visit from my enforcement officer. He will visit your address without any further warning and threaten you with a court order if you do not let him in immediately. Upon access, he will conduct a thorough search of your premises.

Should you wish to inform me that you do not have copies of any of my books, I have provided a link to my website, mygrannywriteserotica.co.uk, where you can leave your details. I shall then assume you are lying and ignore your correspondence, much like last year when I told you I had no television set and you visited my personal home anyway.

This is your last chance to pay for a copy of my book. I will accept payment via PayPal, cheque or chocolate.

If you would like a more accessible version of this letter, you will not be able to read this sentence offering you a more accessible version of this letter. Thus, you are screwed.

Yours faithfully,
Rosen Trevithick
Bestselling author
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Offline Paula Jane
05 Oct 2014, 10:39 AM | Post: #2

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RE: Letter to TV Licencing - A No-TV Household Fights Back

I absolutely love it, Rosen!  And I applaud you. Clapping hands

I've just read this out to my hubby and kids, for we too have no TV and have not had one for many, many years. We too get nasty, threatening letters and have told the TV licensing department soooooo many times that we have no TV. I hate the way they assume you are lying. Angry

Thank you for giving us all a laugh at their expense this morning. Big Grin
Children's author and illustrator.
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Offline cecilia_writer Reading Murder by the Glass by Lynda Wilcox
05 Oct 2014, 10:42 AM | Post: #3

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RE: Letter to TV Licencing - A No-TV Household Fights Back

I think this strikes a chord with many people - in fact when I tweeted it, I was quite surprised that a museum registrar I know in Germany retweeted! (not sure if they even have tv licensing)
I had trouble with them after my brother died and his house was empty (and had no tv in it) while we sorted things out. Even after I wrote to them they still kept on at us. I didn't really care as I wasn't on the spot but one of his neighbours got a bit stressed by their visits.
Offline Jonathan Hill
05 Oct 2014, 10:55 AM | Post: #4


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RE: Letter to TV Licencing - A No-TV Household Fights Back

Unfortunately there are those who fiddle the system and they are to blame just as much as (if not more than) the Licensing people. I encounter the same sort of issue at work with prescription charges and whether people are exempt from paying them. There ARE those who claim they are exempt to deliberately avoid paying NHS charges. The only way to catch these people is to assume everyone who claims exemption is doing so fraudulently unless they provide evidence. It shouldn't be this way but it has to be. As usual, the minority in the wrong make it harder for everyone else.
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Offline Daphne Reading Wanted by Tim Arnot
05 Oct 2014, 11:01 AM | Post: #5

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RE: Letter to TV Licencing - A No-TV Household Fights Back

This post was last modified: 05 Oct 2014 11:05 AM by Daphne.
Excellent, Rosen – and it does focus on a genuine problem. The TV licence is an anachronism. Maybe there was a time when the majority of households spent much of their leisure time watching television, but now there are many other alternatives apart from writing bestselling books. A lot of people spend their spare time browsing the internet, watching movies online, or reading on their Kindle.

I have a television and for many years paid by direct debit. But this year it dawned on me that I hardly ever watched and wouldn’t miss the little bit that I did. I thought I would cancel my TV licence and listen to audio books and watch my collection of Morse and Buffy DVDs instead.

So in June I cancelled the Direct Debit – bearing in mind I am still fully licensed until the end of November. Immediately I received a letter head “Please Respond Urgently” telling me to set up a new direct debit.

I still haven’t quite made up my mind, but if I do decide not to pay and not to watch any more TV, I will still keep the television set as I use it to watch my DVDs on. Strictly speaking, this is perfectly OK – it is not the owning of the set which makes you liable to pay (I checked the small print and double checked  with TV Licensing) -  but will anyone ever believe me if I say it is only used for watching DVDs and not for TV broadcasts or recording?

When I googled round to find out about the issue, I discovered the way to deal with unwelcome visits is to say that they are welcome to check but you wish to exercise your right to make a video of the visit on your Smart Phone. Doesn't matter if you don't have the phone - they beat a hasty exit at the very suggestion..
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Offline I ♥ my Kindle Reading Sraship Troopers by Robert A Heinlein
05 Oct 2014, 11:05 AM | Post: #6


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RE: Letter to TV Licencing - A No-TV Household Fights Back

This post was last modified: 05 Oct 2014 11:05 AM by I ♥ my Kindle.
On the other hand I informed them of no TV (did it online) and had no harassment from them either.
Moved house and told them no tv at the new address, still no hassle (so around 8 years).
Had a thing through recently, asking us to confirm we have no tv (we don't, well not for broadcast tv purposes), so maybe it's our turn on the spam list.
Offline davidwailing Reading
05 Oct 2014, 11:24 AM | Post: #7


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RE: Letter to TV Licencing - A No-TV Household Fights Back

This is a brilliant riposte to an organisation that is clearly taking an old-fashioned approach to a small problem minority, and works in some lovely promotion at the same time!

I agree with Daphne that the TV Licence is becoming an anachronism in the age of internet channels and TV apps. It is in sore need of an overhaul to accommodate modern technology. In five years or so, all TV will come to us via the internet, and there will be increased customisation of what we watch, when and in what format. A licence to receive a public broadcasting service needs to take this onboard and not assume that we all huddle round the television set at the same time glued to BBC1!
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Offline Mark David Welsh Reading The Stand (Uncut) - Stephen King
05 Oct 2014, 12:07 PM | Post: #8

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RE: Letter to TV Licencing - A No-TV Household Fights Back

Brilliant!  Much funnier than mine... (but I did avoid swearing which was quite good I suppose!)

Good evening
Further to this matter, I have just received a bullying phone call from someone alleging to be from your organisation telling me that my licence had not actually been cancelled.
Please note that any such further communication from yourself or your agents will result in the initiation of legal action on my part.
I declared almost 6 months ago that I did not require a licence anymore and this was acknowledged by yourselves and the direct debit cancelled and a refund offered (see below).
I am fully aware of my legal rights in this matter and would warn you not to pursue any further action or attempt to bully me with emails, phone calls or letters. They will simply be collected to be used as part of my legal action against you. Yours, etc.

I still got a 'red letter' afterwards telling me that: 'my household was under investigation' (scary!) but I just ignored it & have received nothing since. The phone call I got consisted of a woman aggressively insisting that my licence was not cancelled and I was still required to pay just for having a TV. I had researched the matter thoroughly before cancelling the licence so I attempted a counter-argument with the facts, only to be shouted down. I did not avoid swearing on this occasion. She was still shouting when I hung up. I had originally told them they were welcome to come round and check things out at any time but now they'll have to get a court order!  

But you know that this isn't the BBC, right? Collecting the licence is 'out-sourced' (ugh!) to CAPITA. If you've ever had any other dealings with that company, then you won't be surprised by that kind of staff behaviour and general incompetence.
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Offline Kath Middleton Reading Hell, yes!
05 Oct 2014, 03:23 PM | Post: #9

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RE: Letter to TV Licencing - A No-TV Household Fights Back

When we didn't have a TV licence someone came to check up. We simply refused them entry. They never came again.
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Offline Mads Sorensen Reading A Quiet Life by Natasha Walter
05 Oct 2014, 03:34 PM | Post: #10


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RE: Letter to TV Licencing - A No-TV Household Fights Back

Outrageously brilliant.

Why don't you invite them in, the more the merrier, giving you an opportunity to flog your books?
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