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Thread: Living without a TV license?

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    Re: Living without a TV license?

    Indeed, I had that with Orange a couple of years ago (indeed, it's the reason I'm no longer with Orange). They rang up and offered me a discount on my line rental, said *nothing* about an extended contract, ensured me I'd be able to upgrade my handset any time I wanted - when I went into the store a couple of months later to upgrade I was told I'd only just started a new contract and couldn't upgrade for another however many months. Needless to say, I was most dischuffed, rang Orange and had a lengthy discussion with them, and eventually got on to a very nice supervisor who sighed, confessed that they'd had loads of problems with marketing not telling people they were agreeing to a new contract, and removed the contract and gave me my PAC code (pac? mac? I can never remember which is which). But yeah, definitely check that out ASAP...

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    Re: Living without a TV license?

    Sort of related to this, is it still true that when you purchase a television you have to provide your full postal address at the point of purchase ?.

    I'd heard that the details were then passed on to TV Licensing so that their database then had a record that receiving equipment was present at that address, and it was assumed that if you did not have a license you were receiving a TV signal illegaly ?.
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    Re: Living without a TV license?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fatboy40 View Post
    Sort of related to this, is it still true that when you purchase a television you have to provide your full postal address at the point of purchase ?.
    Television, set top box, PVR...the list goes on.

    I had my new TV sent to my office, then I bought another as a gift (sent to my office) and another for home shortly after (yup, sent to my office).

    I had three letters from the TV Licensing dept. asking/telling me to apply for a license immediately.

    I replied in writing, refusing on the grounds that I already had sufficient licenses to cover the items I purchased.

    They sent an inspector to my office who "found" a small portable TV/VHS combi unit in an upstairs room and demanded I sign a mandate on the spot. I refused and invited him to search the entire building (4 storeys 20+ rooms) for an aerial/coax socket.

    He accepted my invitation and spent two hours combing the office and obviously he found nothing.

    When he was done searching, I showed him a copy of the letter I wrote to the TV Licensing dept. in 2003 advising them that the TV/VHS would only be used to watch recorded media and a copy of their reply which told me that this was perfectly acceptable.

    He was not a happy chappy.
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    Re: Living without a TV license?

    I've been living without a TV for the last 6 months and I really don't miss it that much! Sure, I do miss the odd show or series (like Stargate Universe and Bones) but I get by with a DVD rental club, PC games and books.

    The license issue hasn't affected me as my landlady has a license for her TV.

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    Re: Living without a TV license?

    Quote Originally Posted by format View Post
    I have a 42" TV with only one HDMI slot on the back sitting in my living room. It's only for my WDTV Live and Xbox360 to connect, not any kind of live broadcast.

    At first, we just ignored the TV licensing people. Eventually, one of them came to the door, utterly convinced we had been watching TV. My TV is right next to the door, so I invited him and asked him to have a look. I tried explaining that it was physically impossible without a set top box but he was very keen to ignore that and get me to sign a direct debit regardless.

    He said that if I don't sign it, all it takes is for him to come round one evening and look through my window. I just laughed and said do what you want mate, makes no difference. I think his level of technical knowledge was very low.
    That type of thing is not an uncommon story, which is why a lot of people just shut the door in their faces, if they don't have a warrant ... and ignore letters. Hence why my attitude would be to ignore letters and that if they have a warrant, get on with the search, and if they don't, naff orf.

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    Re: Living without a TV license?

    Quote Originally Posted by mycarsavw View Post
    ....
    He was not a happy chappy.
    I particularly admire your exquisite sense of timing.

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    Re: Living without a TV license?

    I have been living without TV for 6 months myself, I do have a 50" plasma however it is only used for web browsing and x-box use. Have to admit, I don't miss TV at all, its quite weird when I go to somebody's house with TV and I find myself sat there watching nothing but adverts sandwiched in between small chunks of content. TV sucks doesn't it really?

    I had a couple of run ins with a TV licensing a few years back when I did in fact have a TV and was using it to watch TV. I was pretty poor at the time and I knew the rules so I just decided I wasn't going to pay it. It was all good really, one day though a guy showed up at my door. I spun him the usual story, he demanded to come in and check. I refused and tried to close the front door and he actually stuck his foot in my front door. At that point I quietly warned him that if he didn't get his foot out of my property I was going to put him on his arse. If I remember rightly, i did have to shove him out of my doorway. The guy stood outside my flat shouting that I was 'not above the law, you know!'. After that my then g/f insisted we get a license. I would have chanced it to be honest, its one of those stupid rules that you pretty much have to drop yourself in it to get caught, they rely on people admitting it. Some might say that's a morally dodgy position to hold, but I disagree because I think its also morally bad to expect us to contribute to the BBC without without ever asking if we want it. Given that its been possible to encrypt TV channels for pretty much an eternity there is no reason to have a blanket tax that everybody pays. Fair enough, it might mean the end of the BBC, but if people decide it isn't worth £150 of their money a year then what are you gonna do, it obviously wasn't worth it.
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    Re: Living without a TV license?

    Quote Originally Posted by G4Z View Post
    ....

    It was all good really, one day though a guy showed up at my door. I spun him the usual story, he demanded to come in and check. I refused and tried to close the front door and he actually stuck his foot in my front door. At that point I quietly warned him that if he didn't get his foot out of my property I was going to put him on his arse. If I remember rightly, i did have to shove him out of my doorway. The guy stood outside my flat shouting that I was 'not above the law, you know!'. ...
    And he is?

    He has NO right to force entry, or to enter at all without wither a warrant or permission, and you ARE entitled to use reasonable force to remove him.

    He's a hypocrite. And an idiot.

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    Re: Living without a TV license?

    Oh yes mate, I am not saying I am any better I hold my hands up I broke the rules (I should probably be given an ASBO or flogged in the street maybe...) but that guy just made me more determined to not pay it. I hate paying bullies, its also how I feel about council tax as it goes but we should probs not get into that discussion again!
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    Re: Living without a TV license?

    Quote Originally Posted by G4Z View Post
    ...The guy stood outside my flat shouting that I was 'not above the law, you know!'
    Was the correct response not to shout "I AM the Law" out of your window at him in your best Stallone voice?

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    Re: Living without a TV license?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fatboy40 View Post
    Sort of related to this, is it still true that when you purchase a television you have to provide your full postal address at the point of purchase ?.

    I'd heard that the details were then passed on to TV Licensing so that their database then had a record that receiving equipment was present at that address, and it was assumed that if you did not have a license you were receiving a TV signal illegaly ?.
    I once got a letter from TV Licensing saying that I'd purchased TV receiving equipment from ebuyer and I had to buy a TV license. I had recently made a large purchase from ebuyer for 2 clients, one ordered 5 basic office machines, the other a custom build for handling large DTP projects. None of the specs contained any components that could even vaguely hope to receive broadcast television.

    Phrases concerning piss ups in breweries and bun fights in bakeries spring invitingly to mind...

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    Re: Living without a TV license?

    Quote Originally Posted by G4Z View Post
    Oh yes mate, I am not saying I am any better I hold my hands up I broke the rules (I should probably be given an ASBO or flogged in the street maybe...) but that guy just made me more determined to not pay it. I hate paying bullies, its also how I feel about council tax as it goes but we should probs not get into that discussion again!
    That was kinda my point, Gaz. I wasn't calling you a hypocrite. I was calling him one. It was him telling you you're not above the law when he was trying to insist on doing something he has no right to do, over gaining entry.

    Okay, you were taking the mick a bit over the license. I don't condone that, especially as I'm one of the mugs that does pay it every year even when I can't afford it. But I wasn't commenting on that. And you certainly weren't hiding it here. It's the temerity of him trying to force his way in and then telling you you're not above the law. That was the sheer cheek of it. There's a phrase about pots and kettles, isn't there? He ought to think about that.

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    Re: Living without a TV license?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    That was kinda my point, Gaz. I wasn't calling you a hypocrite. I was calling him one. It was him telling you you're not above the law when he was trying to insist on doing something he has no right to do, over gaining entry.
    Yeah mate I know, I was agreeing with you. I was just being defensive because I just know somebody at some point is gonna come along and call me on this one. Might as well point out I was a lot younger and less responsible back then as well! Honestly tho, I really don't feel bad about doing it in anyway, so then again I probably would do it again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    Okay, you were taking the mick a bit over the license. I don't condone that, especially as I'm one of the mugs that does pay it every year even when I can't afford it. But I wasn't commenting on that. And you certainly weren't hiding it here. It's the temerity of him trying to force his way in and then telling you you're not above the law. That was the sheer cheek of it. There's a phrase about pots and kettles, isn't there? He ought to think about that.
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    Re: Living without a TV license?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    Personally, as long as I genuinely didn't have a TV, I'd simply ignore letters and tell inspectors to go away unless they have a warrant. If they do have a warrant, then "knock yourselves out guys, search on .... then go away". But that's because my attitude is that I'm not going to muck about with the hassle of writing letters just to prove to some officious body that I dont have a TV, when I'm under no obligation to prove diddly squat to them.
    That'd be me then. I can honestly say that I have only personally owned a TV in my life for no more than a week (I bought a small handheld TV over around 10 years ago from Argos but returned it after realising that reception on those devices were awful). I have lived in places with TVs (and valid TV licenses), but also spent many years without one. At one point, I lived with two flatmates who had their own TVs and paid the licence. When they left (-> stopped paying them), I started getting receiving those threatening letters. After the first two or three (progressively more threatening) letters I started dumping with other junk mail. I just couldn't be bothered filling them. Anti-climatically (not that I mind), I've never had a visit from an inspector after ignoring them for years. But if they do come knocking I would do exactly what you've said.

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    Re: Living without a TV license?

    Don't let the TV "inspectors" in your house. They don't have any rights to enter your property. They are effectively salespeople that gets a commission on each person they "convict".

    So the incentive is for them to find you guilty even though you have done nothing wrong.

    They can only enter if they have a search warrant but that is hard to get if they dont have evidence in the first place.

    You don't need a licence to watch iPlayer.

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    Re: Living without a TV license?

    Like Saracen I most likely wouldn't bother with TV if I wasn't married- but my wife likes it, so what can you do. I didn't have a TV while I was in halls of residence, and in that year I received three or four very rude and condescending letters from TV licensing (addressed to me, by name) informing me (in effect) that I was a criminal for not having a licence. I snapped when they sent me an A3 sized sheet of paper, folded up to A5 size, which had "You need a TV licence to watch TV" on every face in increasingly large type. When you opened it right up to full A3 size it also added the comment "(just in case it wasn't clear the first time)".

    Cheeky bastards. I got a pair of scissors, snipped out anything that could have tied the letter to me, then wrote "**** off", "**** OFF", "**** OFF (just in case it wasn't clear the first time)" on the three sides, and posted it back to them in their pre-paid envelope. Made me feel better anyway.

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