We get a lot of crap thrown our way here in the UK because of the TV licensing "laws"
Ok, first off, the license fee pays for the BBC in all it's different shapes and forms, from classical music and sports stations, to niche programmes,
to HD tv - drama, comedy, reality, music, documentarys, 24 hour news, you name it, the BBC does it.
So it's not a tax as such, but the price to pay for having a national broadcaster.
It costs £145.50 per year, and it isn't a bad deal considering the amount of quality programmes they put out.
So, here's the thing - if a person doesn't have a TV license, the first thing they notice is the ads on tv about "detector vans" which allegedly can
pinpoint a particular house, and tell if they are watching TV. They even claim it can tell which channel you are watching.
Rubbish - it's a myth.
In the 70's when people were out of work because of recession, they couldn't afford to pay for a TV license, so what the BBC did was invent an
enforcement arm. What they did was put ads on the TV, showing a white van with a big dish on top rotating back and forth.
People fell for it, and when the TV license man showed up they answered everything he asked.
People no longer believe in TV detector vans, or the tooth fairy, or etc etc
So what they do now, is they bombard you with mail WARNING you of the consequences should you be caught without a TV license.
The next step is a visit from one of their "inspectors" who will ask you a series of questions about your TV or lack of it.
If you tell them you have a TV they will ask you to sign a form, and will even CAUTION you, using the same wording as a policeman does.
It's a scam, it's bullying, and the entrapment teqhniques they use are illegal.
They have no right of access.
You are not obliged to answer any of their questions.
TV detector vans do not exist.
It is all a ruse trying to get you to sign a document admitting guilt.
Once you sign it, you can be prosecuted.
The worst thing is that this is run, on behalf of the BBC by a private company, called Consignia (Customer Management) Ltd - so in effect, they push
the license really hard, and try all sorts of underhand tricks to try and get you to admit guilt, because they earn a bonus for every person they get
to sign up.
They have been known to force entry into homes of vulnerable and elderly people.
They lie all the time.
They are a profit making organisation, who earn a bonus for every person they "catch" and are separate from the BBC, but work under contract for
For every person they "catch" they get more money, so it is in their interest to "catch" as many people as they can, and they use underhand methods to
My advice would be that if one of these "inspectors" which is jsut a fancy sounding name and means nothing, calls at your house, tell them nothing,
deny access, stay polite, say you are not obliged to answer their questions, sign nothing, and FILM IT if you can.
These people are out of order and should not be harrassing people.
I am not advocating not paying your TV license or saying that you should not have one. I am merely pointing out the underhand tactics and sheer cheek
that some of these people employ.
I have a TV license and I would urge everyone who needs one to get one as well.
edit on 18/2/2011 by budski because: (no reason
edit on 18/2/2011 by budski because: (no reason given)