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This is a question Sticking it to The Man

From little victories over your bank manager to epic wins over the law - tell us how you've put one over authority. Right on, kids!

Suggestion from Sandettie Light Vessel Automatic

(, Thu 17 Jun 2010, 16:01)
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I don't have a television license.
I also don't have a television. Instead I have the radio, and books, and the Internet, and actual real-life friends to occupy my time. If I had a television it would probably still be in its increasingly dusty shipping carton, doing duty as a coffee table or similar.

I've stopped bothering to reply to the stream of threatening letters telling me that the TV Licensing records need "updating" and warning me that I could be committing a crime and could face vast penalties for my troubles. It seems that if I repeatedly take the trouble to fill in the bit at the bottom which says "I don't have a television" I can get them off my back for a month or two before they start hounding me again, or so prior experience suggests. Well, their records don't need updating. Their records show that I don't have a license because I don't have a television, therefore their records are correct. If I finally do take complete leave of my senses and get a television I'll let them know. Until that happens they can leave me alone.

I'm fed up with their continual pestering of me - and their almost-accusations which cleverly skirt the borders of libel without quite crossing over - as well as their ignoring my previous reminders that I don't have a television, so now I just ignore them in turn. Every so often I arrive home and see a standard template letter telling me that some officious little rat-faced twerp has knocked on my door while I was out working at a proper job and that I could be breaking the law and liable for fines, etc. etc. etc.

If they want to waste my time, I'll let them waste theirs.
(, Thu 17 Jun 2010, 19:51, 40 replies)
I can second all you say.
At present I've lived here 16 years, and had a visit (pre-arranged) from the TV people shortly after I moved in. (An off-duty copper: he didn't know me, but I'd seen him around court.) He was very pleasant, agreed I had no need of a licence, and left - saying I'd probably get a 'request' for a follow up visit every two years.
And sho' nuff two years later there's a little man at my door asking to see my licence 'as our records show you as not having one'.
'Well' says I 'If your records show I haven't got a licence, why have you come to see it?'
'Do you have a licence?' he asks. 'No' says I. And he just went away - haven't heard a word since.

Radio 4 - best free show in town.
(, Thu 17 Jun 2010, 20:31, closed)
Despite two letters from me I get one of these fucking letters every fortnight, if not more often. You don't have a license! they exclaim. 'Therefore you must be actually watching television and STEALING IT', they continue.
No, Mr TV license man, I own a television and use it to watch dvds on when I haven't got anything more interesting to do. And on another note, calling on me to check I'm not illicitly watching television WHEN I'M AT WORK because I'm not a workshy dolescrounging cunt is hardly going to be effective, is it? Now kindly fuck off.

clicked, by the way
(, Thu 17 Jun 2010, 21:57, closed)
They will have you since you own
"a device capable of receiving television transmissions". Either get a telly without a tuner or pc and monitor it. Watching iplayer live too is illegal without a license. :/
(, Thu 17 Jun 2010, 22:38, closed)
Not always true
The iplayer bit is obviously true but they wont necessarily do you for having a TV even if it is capable of recieving signal. I had a bloke come round and he just asked me to flick through all the channels to prove I wasn't recieving signal on any of them. Apparently strictness varies depending on where you live.
(, Fri 18 Jun 2010, 4:39, closed)
You have a TV and no license.
They can have you. The license is for the TV. Not for watching it.
(, Fri 18 Jun 2010, 6:13, closed)
Oh, for crying out loud...
No. No, it isn't. It never has been. Go to the TV licensing website and read it.
(, Fri 18 Jun 2010, 12:48, closed)
You are stealing my Radio 4
I pay the TV licence, which funds Radio 4. You didn't.

Give me back my Radio 4, you thief!
(, Fri 18 Jun 2010, 16:49, closed)
They're pretty much toothless even if you do have a TV.
They need to catch you actually watching it, and it's unlikely that they'd get a warrant so they're left with someone turning in their neighbours.

I seem to have had better luck with getting them off my back though. I've told them that I have a TV but that I only use it for games consoles and don't watch live TV in two addresses now, and the one letter was all it took both times...
(, Thu 17 Jun 2010, 20:34, closed)
Ahhh TV licencing (TM) as owned by Crapita
May they drown in a bucket of tepid shit
(, Thu 17 Jun 2010, 20:55, closed)
Don't you need a licence for
a radio anymore? You certainly used to....

/remembers when all this was Dial-Up
(, Thu 17 Jun 2010, 21:09, closed)
you need a licence
To install a device that can receive programmes as they are being broadcast. That is not exclusive to a tv and can include a computer, dvd recorder, vcr, games console or any other device.
(, Thu 17 Jun 2010, 21:25, closed)
games console?

(, Thu 17 Jun 2010, 21:27, closed)
A wii
Streaming iplayer live would fit the bill. I suppose.
(, Thu 17 Jun 2010, 22:39, closed)
doesn't show programmes as they are broadcast
(, Sat 19 Jun 2010, 19:52, closed)
Actually it can
It shows them as they broadcast, and then a short while later they are uploaded for you to watch at your leisure.
(, Mon 21 Jun 2010, 11:41, closed)
When I was little
I wondered how the van could tell whether you had a TV licence in your house. How could they find paper?
(, Thu 17 Jun 2010, 21:55, closed)
it wasn't the paper...
the tv license used to use radioactive ink which, when combined with the high voltage emitted from the old CRT Tv's would beam a radio-type signal out to the street, from where the tv detector van could find it. It all got complicated when people started to use microwave ovens - the signals reaching the tv detector vans would actually cook the sandwiches belonging to the detector people, which made them unhappy. As the population got wealthier and had more tv's and microwaves in the house, so the risk of serious harm for the detector people increased, which is why they increasingly used people from society that won't be missed if they were sent to a very affluent area where a house may have more than one kitchen, for example. Of course, the days of CRT's have gone, and so have the dangers, but we British are a traditional bunch, and the villages no longer pay idiots, so the use of numpties prevails.
(, Thu 17 Jun 2010, 22:59, closed)

I must have been lucky then - rang them up, told them I didnt have a tv or any equipment that could receive broadcasts, they sent me a form to sign, I signed it, sent it back. Apart from them then sending me a letter saying that if I was discovered using a tv etc I would get fined, I heard nothing from them at all for years. Eventually I got a tv for the kids and a licence, but i didnt hear a word from them before that.
(, Fri 18 Jun 2010, 1:28, closed)
You do know the rest of the world laughs at the UK for this TV license malaky?
In the rest of the world we have "Free to Air" TV and "Pay" TV but, you lot have pay and other pay TV effectively.
I don't understand why you don't stand up as a nation and tell the government to stick this antiquated system up their collective processed curry storage receptacles.

oh yeah, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and all that, actually I do understand.
(, Fri 18 Jun 2010, 3:35, closed)
You've missed the point.
The British like the system. We get some of the best programmes in the world- anything made by Sir Dave, for instance- with no adverts, and reasonably impartial news. We love to moan about the BBC, but I don't think many people would change the system, if they were given the chance.
(, Fri 18 Jun 2010, 6:33, closed)
^ this, in bucketloads
The BBC and the NHS are the two institutions which we Brits should be truly proud of. The BBC makes some excellent programmes, and we don't have to sit through adverts to watch them.

Most other countries' television is shit by comparison. Especially in the US.
(, Fri 18 Jun 2010, 8:43, closed)
Agreed too

(, Fri 18 Jun 2010, 11:18, closed)
I agree...
Except for the bit about the Beeb being 'reasonably impartial'.

I have found them to be increasingly and overly left-wing. And just as bad as the other 'news' channels when it comes to creating the news rather than just reporting it.
(, Fri 18 Jun 2010, 8:45, closed)
^ This in spades
I was involved in a situation that the Beeb reported on and their version of events bore no relation to what happened. Very much a case of 'will this sell? Yeah. Is it true? Nah ...... let's report it'.
(, Fri 18 Jun 2010, 9:59, closed)
I don't think they're intentionally left wing
they're just increasingly forced to be politically correct, which looks the same as the namby pamby drivel that left wingers like to spout.

It seems it's more about pressure from the self-righteous media than any internal influence.

Still, the BBC does produce good stuff.
(, Fri 18 Jun 2010, 11:15, closed)
Nah, that's just something that happens with old age. By the time your 92, you'll be accusing the Daily Mail of leftism.
(, Sun 20 Jun 2010, 8:08, closed)
If the BBC went down,
I'd have to tape down the change channel button on my remote. That would save my fingers the agony of having to flick through tons of shite before I can find an advert I can stomach.
(, Fri 18 Jun 2010, 9:52, closed)
I'd rather pay the license and get the quality tv, rather than have free tv which stops for adverts every 5 seconds. Or pay tv where you pay but it's still all crap.
(, Fri 18 Jun 2010, 7:20, closed)
every 5 seconds indeed. in fact, here in Spain, quite a lot of the time, prime time shows will start, and then IMMEDIATELY cut to adverts, often up to 6 minutes long - likewise towards the end of a program, a long break, followed by a 60 second return and credits.
(, Fri 18 Jun 2010, 9:10, closed)
IN the country where everything is great, AUSTRALIA
we have the ABC, which is a government funded, neutral broadcaster offering 3 channels, over 50 radio channels of national and regional programing (including a national youth network JJJ) as well as international TV and radio broadcasting.................. and no TV license. Also an excellent producer of quality TV programing (ie NOT Home and Away etc) but, it does play some of the BBC produced content, which I agree is usually excellent.


Giggle giggle, chortle chortle, snort, hmphhh..............TV LICENSES! HA HA HA LOL HA
(, Sat 19 Jun 2010, 3:35, closed)
Watching ABC 3 with the kids.
There are maybe one or two Australian programs a day (not counting the fuckwits who present the bits between shows). It's all American or UK shows - or worse: UK shows that have been redubbed with US accents.
(, Sat 19 Jun 2010, 4:26, closed)
Home and Away, The Flying Doctors, Round the Twist and Prisoner Cell Block H..... Not exactly the slickest, highest production quality output is it now? Firmly in the post Jeremy Kyle / before the adults get back from work slot, rather than prime time drama that the Beeb does so well. That said Prisoner was essential viewing for me and my housemate at Uni!
(, Sat 19 Jun 2010, 11:10, closed)
The rest of the world?
(, Fri 18 Jun 2010, 9:47, closed)
Ahh, yes those forward thinking nations
like Greece (I bet no one actually pays it there), Croatia, Hertzn... Hurtze..... the long Choco one that starts with hurt.

Let me rephrase - The Rest of the world THAT MATTERS
(, Sat 19 Jun 2010, 3:29, closed)
2/3rds of all European countries?
Far better than getting crappy TV like they have in the US.
(, Sat 19 Jun 2010, 4:33, closed)
Hew, what's wrong with poor copies of British TV, endless attempts at reality shows, etc?????
Don't be messing with American free TV!

I admit, it leaves a lot to be desired. Actually, it's so bad that I almost never watch anything but the public tv channels. I had too much trouble thinking what shows are on anymore to make a good list of all the shitty shows.

At least we have the Simpsons.
(, Wed 23 Jun 2010, 14:13, closed)
My flatmate in Edinburgh and I have no TV. Why bother when we have the internet and the pub?

I was once sent a letter by these people instructing me how to behave on my appearance at court. I should add that they had no idea if I had a TV or not (I was in halls of residence at the time). They were just trying to put the wind up me. I vowed then, like the OP, that they would never get a word of help from me.
(, Sat 19 Jun 2010, 11:27, closed)
So for the slow kid at the back,
In the UK you have to have a license to OWN the television, as opposed to just paying for which channels you want, or a bundle of channels? And this in turn subsidizes the BBC channels?

Do you need a license for each television? Even for the junk one that you've got propping up a shelf in the basement?

Does so much money come in from this that it trumps advertising money and truly makes for better tv?

Sorry for all the lame questions, but I'm moving to the UK to join my (UK born) girlfriend and this is a little piece of Brit weirdness that I wasn't aware of.

Thanks in advance to anybody who answers. Accord, and all that.
(, Tue 22 Jun 2010, 8:47, closed)
In a nutshell.
One license per household covers all devices in that household.

www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check/index.aspx gives more detail.
(, Tue 22 Jun 2010, 18:12, closed)
although a bizarre concept for an alien. :P
(, Wed 23 Jun 2010, 1:55, closed)

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