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.

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Sunday, 20 August 2017

TV Licensing Origami

In 2014 TV Licensing took the radical step of ditching paper TV licences for customers renewing automatically via Direct Debit.

The move, we were told at the time, would save about £5m in costs until the end of 2016. At the time it cost the BBC almost £100m a year to administer and enforce the TV licence fee (as an aside, it cost only £82m last year so savings have clearly been made).

TV Licensing PR harlot Stephen Farmer said: "We're always looking to find savings in order to deliver better value for the licence-fee payer.

"By not issuing the annual paper licence to Direct Debit customers TV Licensing will have saved around £5m from the start of the initiative to Charter Renewal in 2016. Those customers won't require a paper licence until 2016 as we know their property is correctly licensed and their payment plans won't change until then."

Over the last few months TV Licensing has been having another big push towards paperless TV licences. In an ironic twist the BBC's revenue generation bullies have sent out millions of extra pieces of paper, most of it in expensive glossy leaflet format, promoting the virtues of going paperless.

One of the advantages of going paperless, according to TV Licensing, is that you'd be able to turn your paper TV licence into a swan. Of course you'd still need a paper TV licence to fold into the swan, so quite how it saves paper is a bit of a mystery.

It's been a slow month for TV Licensing news, as you might have noticed from the recent frequency of our articles!

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Thursday, 17 August 2017

BBC iPlayer Legislation Flaws

Over the last couple of days we have been heartened to see that the national media has finally cottoned on to a fact we have stated since day zero - new legislation intended to prevent unlicensed use of the BBC iPlayer is totally unenforceable.

A copy of an article from yesterday's Metro is posted above.

As of yesterday iPlayer users need a BBC account to access the service. In order to get a BBC account the user needs to input their date of birth, email address and post code - or rather they need to input a date of birth, email address and post code. Apart from a verification email sent to the email address provided, the BBC has no way whatsoever of verifying any of the other details provided. 

Contrary to a report in yesterday's The Sun, users are not required to input their TV licence details to access the BBC iPlayer. As TV licences are attached to properties rather than individuals, making a user input their licence details would serve no useful purpose at all.

Suppose, just for one fleeting moment, that a user signed into the BBC iPlayer and the BBC somehow, magically, knew that they didn't have a valid TV licence for their home address. What would that prove? Absolutely nothing is the answer.

Of course the BBC wants people to be under the illusion that its all seeing TV licence enforcement regime can spot an unlicensed iPlayer user at a hundred paces. Total bull.

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Wednesday, 26 July 2017

TV Licensing Annual Review 2016-17

The BBC has just published the TV Licensing Annual Review 2016-17.

The Review, as is traditionally the case, includes all manner of "facts" and figures about how the TV licence is administered and enforced. Of course being an official BBC publication, it should be noted that it only includes the "facts" and figures they want people to know about.

The BBC's Head of Revenue Management, Pipa Doubtfire, blogged: "In the past year, TV Licensing collected a record £3.8 billion to fund BBC programmes and services and the number of licences in force reached the highest ever level of 25.8m. Alongside this, we maintained evasion at the very low level of 6 or 7 per cent, meaning around 94 per cent of homes and businesses across the UK are correctly licensed. We’ve also been able to reduce complaints by 50 per cent since 2010/11."

The key highlights for the financial year 2016-17 are as follows:
  • The number of TV licences in force has risen from 25.6m to 25.8m.
  • Licence fee revenue has risen by £44m to £3,787m.
  • The closure of the so-called iPlayer loophole resulted in up to 83,000 extra TV licence sales, which generated an extra £12m in revenue.
  • The cost of collecting the TV licence fee was £82.2m.
  • TV Licensing spent £13.6m on postage costs. Remember that by the BBC's own admission more than 4 in 5 of those letters are destined for properties that do not legally need a TV licence.
  • Estimates put the evasion rate at somewhere between 6-7 per cent, which means 93-94 per cent of properties are considered "correctly licensed" by TV Licensing.
  • Capita TV Licensing goons caught, so they claim, 700 TV licence evaders every day. Given that Capita is about as good at maths as Diane Abbott, you should take that value with a pinch of salt.
  • TV Licensing claims to have caught 256,600 evaders during the year, but we'd highlight that fewer than half of those are actually convicted of TV licence evasion.
  • Almost three-quarters of TV licences are paid for by Direct Debit.
We would be very interested in the number of complaints against TV Licensing. Our suspicion is that the reason the number of complaints is down by 50 per cent (according to Doubtfire) is because TV Licensing makes complaining as arduous as possible.

You can view the full review here.

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