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Being hounded by TV licencing people

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I am a student and live in halls. About a month ago, I had a letter telling me that I either have to buy a TV licence (I don't own any equipment to watch TV; nor do I watch any form of TV - so don't have to buy one) or have to inform them on an 0844 number that I don't own a TV.

I got another letter yesterday telling me that the flat I'm living in, is now under investigation because we have not informed them that we don't have a TV licence.

Do I actually have to tell them I don't have a TV? I'm sure I got told I only have to tell them if I do have a TV or other such equipment.

I know it should only take 5 minutes to tell them; but no way am I phoning up a company who uses a premium rate number to tell them. Surely they have to prove that I do have a TV?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Feel free to ignore them 100%, they spam out these letters to everyone. If they want to come investigate, they're welcome to - although they have no right to enter your home without your permission (I'm pretty sure you trump the landlord / university's wishes too as residents have those rights in law).

    The general strategy of the TV licencing people is to hound and harass as many people as they can.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks shyboy.

    What you've said is what I thought about them having no rights to enter.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah, I get a standard letter from them once a year. When I was new to my house in 2006, I responded to their first letter - called them by phone. I was told that they will need to investigate anyway but they couldn't give me a time or date. They never turned up, neither did I respond to the 2007, 8 or 9 letters. And I have still never seen these guys for real.

    (P.S. I have no TV, just occasionally watch something on iPlayer or 4oD, which is legal because the programmes are after their broadcasted time).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    dont worry about it. They may send someone round, in which case just show them that you dont have a tv and then they leave you alone
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah I got the general letter at the start of uni last year so I just emailed them telling them I didn't have a tv. My flatmate however watched tv all year without a license and got loads of threatening letters saying they were 'now investigating student accomodation in our area', however I'm pretty sure they're not allowed on campus without the unis permission - they never turned up so she watched tv all year for free.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What has happened to the TV detector vans that everyone used to speak of and fear 15 years ago?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Monserrat wrote: »
    What has happened to the TV detector vans that everyone used to speak of and fear 15 years ago?

    There was never any such thing, it was a myth.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    There was never any such thing, it was a myth.

    :yes: there is no possible scientific way to detect if someone is watching a tv from a van or has one plugged into the mains (with the current technology used in tv's or ariels)

    However, didn't the vans use to try and snap pictures of people watching the tv through living room windows? I remember hearing about that? can anyone confirm?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    omfg, the detector van was a myth and I believed it for half of my life? I now feel pretty stupid. At least it wasn't relevant to me as I've never owned a telly, but still, I feel stupid now!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Monserrat wrote: »
    omfg, the detector van was a myth and I believed it for half of my life? I now feel pretty stupid. At least it wasn't relevant to me as I've never owned a telly, but still, I feel stupid now!


    Lmao... bet your getting use to that....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    they used to have an advert where a man walked past houses 'detecting' stuff with a device that looks like an ipod.. was that just made up too? :grump:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    WTF, there is no detector van ??? :confused:

    I went and bought a license in case it came around
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ignore them. Completely. Even if they knock on your door, tell them to squat for your entertainment upon your rather large butternut squash, then verbally remove their implied right of access to your residence. At that point, follow things up with a letter also stating the removal of their implied right of access, and they shouldn't knock at your door again.

    They'll still mail you, but that's no biggie. Bin them, return to sender... whatever. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't think there's a detector van, but I don't know for sure. But even if there was, they would still need to get inside your house and witness your tv to arrest you really, so suppose they could use a detector van, they could knock on your door, you tell them to GTFO (they need a warrant issued by a court, no reasonable suspicion clauses for them), and still get off scott free. The evidence from the detector vans (if they exist) would not be admissible in court because the technology (if it exists) is secret and so can't really be cross examined by the defence. It's a bit like producing a magic videotape of someone committing a crime without giving the details of how it was made, what camera was being used, etc. etc.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There are no detector vans. It was all a hoax to spread FUD and scare people into coughing up.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah, totally ignore them.

    I got a very strongly worded letter to my old house a while back saying something along the lines of they had been carrying out surveillance on the property, they had evidence to suggest someone was watching unlicensed TV, and they would not hesitate to prosecute should this be the case.

    I just :lol:ed and ripped it up, cause if they had been watching my property, they probably should have noticed that it was unfurnished and no one had lived there for 6 months.

    It's just scare tactics en masse. If you haven't got a TV, don't even open the TV licensing stuff, just chuck it all away.

    ETA: I have also heard, although am not 100%, that even if they do come to your door, they have no right to enter your property without your permission, so you can just tell them you don't want to let them in.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I would suggest just ripping the letters up, they can prove that you are using a tv if you dont have one.

    Plus Id hardly call two letters of them hounding.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It was possible to pick up TVs in the 70s - their tuning circuits kicked out a hell of a lot of RF interference. Modern RF regulation pretty much put a stop to that.

    They do have portable electronic "detection" devices - they are a PDA with the list of unlicensed addresses to check as that day's work.

    They also have some really sophisticated Electromagnetic Radiation detectors they use - electro-chemical photosensitive detectors. These backed up by electro-mechanical pressure wave detectors that have been many years in development. But these are biological devices know ans "eyes" and "ears" to the layman.


    I am not a lawyer, but the legal state op play in the 90's was -

    They have no right of access, but they do have the right to inspect your receiving apparatus - it's your choice if you let them in, or take it to them on the doorstep. If they have grounds to suspect you are evading paying the license, they can apply to a magistrate to issue a warrant to search your premises - this warrant to be executed by a police officer, accompanied by the inspector.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    After 15 years of believing that TV detector vans existed, I told my mum about this and she too thought that they existed. And she is a Times reader i.e. not a sucker to the media.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Confirmed on Snopes - an informative web site for researching hoaxes, especially hoax emails:

    http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=31600 (for TV detector vans)

    www.snopes.com - for hoaxes
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