TV Licensing Excuses

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Found this on their site at

Our enquiry officers have heard them all. A lot of the time, it's the same old story. Sometimes, it's the kind of story they feel they have to share.

The Red light - Destroyer of Damp

A woman claimed to the enquiry officer that she did not have a TV, even though he could see one behind her in the corner of the room. When he asked her about it she exclaimed, "Oh, that one?it's broken". He told her that there was a red light on at the bottom. She replied "Oh, that wee red light, I just keep that on as it keeps the damp from getting into it".

Bang the Television

A woman in a village claimed she only had a black and white television but when the enquiry officer asked if he could see it she quickly told him that there must be something wrong with it because if she hit it, it would sometimes come on in colour. She allowed him into her living room and proceeded to hit the television before switching it on. Sure enough, the television came on in colour. "there you are" she said, "see what I mean, there's something wrong with it".

Sky or SKY

When interviewing a woman in London, an enquiry officer asked during the conversation if she had Sky. "Yes", she replied. He proceeded to ask her what channels she watched on Sky and she answered, "I haven't got Sky". A little confused, the enquiry officer reminded her that she had just told him that she had Sky. "Yes, that's right, she's in the pram." She replied, pointing to her daughter.

Christmas Lights

An enquiry officer visited an address one evening where the curtains were open and a television set could be seen clearly - in use - in the lounge. When the occupier came to the door, he strongly denied having a set, saying that the enquiry officer had mistaken his Christmas tree light for a TV. The enquiry officer asked to go in and have a look, but was denied entry while the curtains were quickly closed. He went back to his car nearby to write out his report. A couple of minutes later he was surprised to see the husband and wife come out of the house carrying the TV. They put the set into the boot of the car and drove off.

The Vicious Tomcat

A young woman said that she didn't have a television and the enquiry officers asked if they could check. The woman said it was safe only as far as the hallway, as she would have to remove her cat, which was hostile and vicious towards strangers. The officers said that they would take a chance, but the lady insisted that it would be too dangerous, so the officers were left in the hall whilst she disappeared into the lounge. At that moment a ginger tomcat appeared from the kitchen. The officers stood rooted to the spot as this feline meowed and purred towards them, and then started to stroke itself against their legs. At the same time, the movement of furniture could be heard from the lounge, only to be interrupted by the occasional call of "come here Tilly you naughty cat" and "I won't be a minute, I've nearly caught him". The officers by this time had picked the cat up and were playing with it. One of them called through the door "What colour is the cat?" The lady replied "Ginger, with a red collar". The description perfectly matched that of the cat in the hall. A minute later the lady appeared saying that it was OK to enter, so the officer returned the cat to her, and retrieved the television set from the balcony.

The Sick Cat

The woman claimed that the reason for her not having a licence was because her cat had got sick down the back of the set and blew it up.

I Don't Live Here

Most enquiry officers come across the excuse "I don't live here". It's surprising how many are men dressed only in boxer shorts with nothing on their feet and have "just popped round to feed the dog".

The Wife

But the most common reaction from men confronted by TV Licensing enquiry officers is: "Oh, I thought my wife was dealing with it."

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Yeah, you're gonna need to explain a bit to us non-UK folk. Are you saying that people need a license to own a TV? I'm not quite sure why people would deny owning a television unless it was illegal for some reason.

Or is it that these people are getting cable illegally?

Please explain a bit.

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If you use or install television receiving equipment to receive or record television programme services you are required by law to have a valid TV Licence.

The type of licence you'll need and how to go about getting one will depend upon your individual circumstances.

To find out more, please select from the options on the left or call us with any questions on 0870 241 6468.

Crazy Brits!

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In the UK we pay the government a TV license. It is like ?110 a year or ?75 a year for a black/white TV.

A lot of people just don't bother, which can face a ?1000 fine (or so). Investigators come round sometimes.

The money from the license is used to fun (among other things) BBC, our national broadcasting company, which doesn't carry adverts.

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Basically in the UK you need a TV licence of which the fee goes to BBC, its a disgrace that we pay for the BBC and yet the rest of the world gets their services for nothing.

It is illegal to own/use any form of equipment that enables you to watch/receive TV signals unless you pay the fee to the BBC (and yes that PCs with TV cards, there have been a few cases of people being taken to court over this and the BBC winning when the persons in question didnt have a TV at all in their house but a TV card in their PC and it was argued legally that they were able to receive the pictures so the licence fee was payable)

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Actually the "rest of the world" does not get the services we do for free. Let me explain

BBC Corporation run the BBC 1, 2 and Radio 1,2,3,4,5 stations. These are to not carry advertising and endorsements.

When they are broadcast in another country, they are re-broadcast by BBC Worldwide. Run as a separate company, they are allowed (but usually don't) charge to view. This is the same company that creates the BBC videos etc, so they can charge money.

Also it is worthy of not that only a percentage of our fee is BBC related.

Remember why this came to be. The BBC was originally set-up in conjunction with our government, and somebody somewhere has to pay.

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UK residents who own a TV have to purchase a TV licence. This can either be for a period of 6 or 12 months.

Its down to the fact that the TV programs shown on channels BBC1 and BBC2 are paid for by the TV viewing public. The other three are funded via commercial breaks. This also goes for Personal handheld TVs or Computer TV cards where you must own a licence. The licences are required per household not per set.

Some people are just tight as in they will try and get away without paying. This results in a ?1,000 fine.

There's alot of the public who are against paying for a licence as they either dont watch BBC1/2 or pay for SKY TV or Cable TV.

I have Sky TV and very rarely watch BBC1 yet I still have to pay the full licence fee.

Hope this makes some more sense to you all.


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We have the same krapp in sweden :(

Here you have to pay licence to use or watch TV.

The fee is almost 1300:- SEK a quarter.This they say,finances the program on the TV1,TV2 public service channels and radio P1,P2,P3.They also do regular check ups and publish a list of places they will come to.

Im swedish and i hate this system.This is communism to me,it stinks bad! :(

It could easily be financed by sponsors or commercials instead,we have that almost anywhere as it is.People are chased enough by government as it is :(

I did not vote for the reds(social demokrats) :)


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This also goes for Personal handheld TVs or Computer TV cards where you must own a licence.

Actually, personal handheld TVs don't need a licence if they are battery operated. If you plug them into a mains adaptor, you need a licence. Crazy eh?

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