We bought a TV in late June so that we could watch DVDs. We were told that we had to buy a TV Licence, which didn't make any sense
since we weren't watching any television, so I wrote to the TV Licensing Authority to ask them to clarify the rules.
and explained that only people who use their televisions "to receive or record television programme services" must have a licence. I
happily wrote back to inform them that we did not need a licence.
I received this amusing follow-up letter today, which is a great example of bureaucratic intimidation, and thought I'd republish it for laughs.
Dear Mr. ------
Thank you for informing us recently that you do not require a TV Licence.
Our experience has shown that a small but significant minority of people who tell us that they do not need a TV Licence, are found to
require one when visited. We therefore need to verify the position for all households who inform us that they do not have a television,
as a standard procedure. This also applies to people who have told is that they have a television but only use it to watch
programmes from abroad or pre-recorded videos.
By visiting these households we hope to identify all such evaders and we can also ensure that those who, like yourself, legitimately
need no contact from Television Licensing are not troubled unnecessarily in the future.
Therefore, we would appreciate your co-operation when one of our TV Licensing Officers visits you in the near future. These visits are routine
and take a matter of minutes. Once our officer has confirmed that there is no need for a TV Licence at your address, we will ensure that
you do not receive further letters or visits for at least two years. We will then contact you again, simply to check that your circumstances
have not changed -- for example, you may have moved and the new occupants might use a television.
If you now use or are planning to use a television, please let us know before the officer visits.
If your circumstances have changed since you contacted us and you are now using or planning to use a television, simply complete and
return the form below, with this whole letter, in the envelope provided. Remember, if you use television receiving equipment to
receive or record television programme services, you must have a TV Licence, otherwise you are risking prosecution and a fine of up to
A colour licence costs £116.00 and a black and white one costs £38.50. You can choose one of a number of payment options by
simply calling 0870 240 2934. All payment methods are listed overleaf, along with the concessionary licences that we offer for people
aged 74 and over or who are blind.
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