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This is a question Complaining

I like writing letters of complaint to companies containing the words "premier league muppetry", if only to give the poor office workers a good laugh on an otherwise dull day. Have you ever complained? Did it work?

(, Thu 2 Sep 2010, 13:16)
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Letter to TV licensing
Roughly every 12 months, I get yet another letter from TV licensing asking me to confirm that I still haven't succumbed to temptation [sic] and bought a telly. "FUCK OFF!" I usually scream at the inanimate letter.

So I decided to write to them. I can barely contain my excitement for the next 12 months to see if they write again.

Customer Relations
TV Licensing
BS98 1TL

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am in receipt of your letter, of a rather threatening tone, dated 26/7/10. This comes less than 12 months after I last informed you that I do not possess a television set, do not watch any television programmes as they are broadcast, and have no intention of changing either of these things.

You seem to work on the misguided assumption that everyone must watch broadcast television, and persist in using a threatening tone when requiring me, yet again, to explain that I do not. I am writing to you now though to explain a — perhaps misguided — assumption of my own.

I work on the assumption that people who send me unsolicited threatening letters are actually asking to suck my fucking cock. I'm quite happy to go along with this, but I do — of course — charge, in advance, for this privilege. I hereby request that you cease harrassing me with respect to my television viewing, and having explained my position to you, I hereby inform you that any further communication from you regarding this matter will be taken as a request to suck my fucking cock, and you will be invoiced £142.50 for this, payable within 21 days. It would be highly inconvenient for both of us if I were obliged to resort to the Small Claims Procedure of the County Court in order to secure payment of said invoice.

I trust this brings an end to the matter. I look forward to never hearing from you again, unless of course it concerns a request, with payment in advance, to come round a suck my fucking cock.

Best regards,

Sir Reginald Slapknackers
(, Fri 3 Sep 2010, 23:30, closed)
TV licence covers computers and any medium you can use for viewing television programmes or video too, so I guess that means you're a criminal.

Rozzers'll be there by the morning, night yeah?
(, Fri 3 Sep 2010, 23:32, closed)
Not sure you're right there. This is from the TV Licensing website:

"If you’re watching programmes on a computer or laptop as they're being shown on TV, then you need a TV Licence. However, you don’t need to be covered by a licence if you’re only using ‘on-demand’ services to watch programmes after they have been shown on TV. So, you need a licence to watch any channel live online, but you wouldn’t need one to use BBC iPlayer to catch up on an episode of a programme you missed, for example."
(, Fri 3 Sep 2010, 23:43, closed)
I hope that you like the taste of prison food
and being raped in the showers
(, Fri 3 Sep 2010, 23:45, closed)
Um... OK, whatever

(, Fri 3 Sep 2010, 23:53, closed)
look, all I'm saying, right
is that I hope that you're not allergic to cock or something, or that you don't accidentally spill big dave's milk in the prison canteen.

That's all that I'm saying
(, Fri 3 Sep 2010, 23:57, closed)
You massive hero, you.

(, Sat 4 Sep 2010, 11:47, closed)
Why thank you. :)
I'll post a reply if one ever turns up.
(, Sat 4 Sep 2010, 12:41, closed)
Is that a clicky I hear...?



Why thank you once again!
(, Sat 4 Sep 2010, 12:44, closed)
I love your balls. By which I mean Clcky for you sir!
(, Sat 4 Sep 2010, 13:26, closed)
And thank you too.
[Seriously though, "noshing off my grandad"? He's been dead eight years. You're braver than I.]
(, Sat 4 Sep 2010, 13:30, closed)
So hang on, you're complaining about an annual reminder to buy a TV license?

(, Sat 4 Sep 2010, 13:55, closed)
Well, yes
for several reasons. I don't receive annual reminders about a gun licence, a fishing licence, or a dog licence, but that's fine, because (in addition to not owning a telly) I also don't own a gun, a fishing rod, or a dog.

There's also the fact that they can't take no for an answer — the assumption is that everybody must have a TV stashed somewhere in the house, and if they just hassle me often enough, then I'll finally give in an declare it. They actually invite me to reply to declare that I haven't got a TV, but then write again a year later to ask the same question.

It feels kind of like clicking the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of unsolicited emails from companies I've never heard of. Why should I have to unsubscribe? I didn't subscribe in the first place.

But the main thing I object to, as mentioned in my letter above, is the threatening tone of the letter. I can't quote the exact wording because it went through the shredder the day it arrived, but there are dire warnings about £1000 fines, and enforcement officers visiting my premises, and a criminal record if they find out I'm lying etc. I've got a clear conscience, because I've read the details that describe exactly who needs a licence and who doesn't and I'd be prepared to argue the case, but the intention of the letter seems to me to make people err on the side of caution and just pay up.
(, Sat 4 Sep 2010, 17:51, closed)
You don't need a dog license anymore
as I found out when a load of people stared at me for mentioning it and had to phone their parents to confirm I wasn't mental.
(, Sat 4 Sep 2010, 18:25, closed)
You *will* be hearing from them again...
My brother & his gf haven't had a TV for about 4 years.
When they first got rid of the TV they told the licencing people, yet have had a steady stream of threatening letters & unexpected visits. Last one was last month....
(, Sat 4 Sep 2010, 14:47, closed)
Sounds familiar
although I haven't been visited yet.

Feel free to forward the text of the above letter to your brother though. I'd be very happy for it to be re-used.
(, Sat 4 Sep 2010, 17:52, closed)
think this is what I have to look forward to, I move out next week and I'm not taking my tv. Been told they do get quite threatening, my cousin couldn't even
get a signal for the tv where she was living and still got a load of hassle from them.
(, Sat 4 Sep 2010, 22:01, closed)
Fuck 'em
I've received one of their letters in the past. Much as the DVLA never get anything wrong (even when they do) TV Licensing always assume that because your address (or at least the precise version of your address that they've looked up) doesn't appear on your database, that you DO NOT have a TV licence, YOU ARE breaking the law and THEY WILL send the boys round. Not a friendly fucking word in it.

Every time I buy anything that picks up TV now, I hope they send one of the letters, so I can ignore it then wave my licence in the face of the witless twat they send round to investigate.
(, Sun 5 Sep 2010, 18:27, closed)
My dad was a postman
and when they demolished one side of Renshaw Drive to put the M66 up he told me that the TV licensing bods sent letters to those houses for years afterwards.
(, Sat 4 Sep 2010, 20:39, closed)
I didn't
have a TV for years, yet still got the letters.

I do now have a TV, but it's used to stream films from a laptop, and for the kids to play their Wii on.
I haven't checked, but I'm pretty sure I don't need licence for this, the laptop and the wii both do not have tv receiving equipment in them.
I ignore the letters, as it seemed to make no difference when I had no TV if I told them or not - I'd still get ever increasingly threatening letters regardless.

You'd think that someone from the TVLA would actually sit and watch Big Brother or any of the shite *comedies* that the BBC have been dishing out lately, and would realise that it's not only quite likely that some (should be most) people do not have a TV, but preferable to actually owning one and being subjected to that cheap shite.

EDIT: Just looked at the link above and it seems I'm ok. Phew! I wouldn't want some chap who has no legal right to enter my premises to turn up at my door unannounced (well, that depends if you believe the myriad of letters that keep telling me that a visit is 'imminent' - I've lived here 2 years).
(, Sun 5 Sep 2010, 7:53, closed)
Same thing happened to me in my 2nd year at uni.
Despite having told them that I didn't have a TV licence, they kept sending letters threatening to send someone round. They never did, of course, and in fact they persisted in sending the letters.

Now, in my second year at uni I lived approximately five minutes away from the TV licencing headquarters. Were they really that incompetent or was it a Millennium-Falcon-on-Star-Destroyer-type situation?
(, Sun 5 Sep 2010, 12:20, closed)
Whilst I agree with your sentiment and enjoyed the letter - I think the TV licence is a bargain for what you get.

I'd pay it for radio 2, 4 & 6 alone, let alone the frankly awsome BBC website and most of the best documentry proggrammes made.

Whilst working abroad in areas without fast internet (sub 14000 baud) I would have gone mental without the world service.
(, Sun 5 Sep 2010, 23:15, closed)
I agree — I love the BBC, and periodically hassle my MP if it looks like Rupert Bloody Murdoch is about to knock another nail into its coffin via some Bill or other.

What I thoroughly dislike is the way in which they pursue and threaten people who don't even owe them any money in the first place.
(, Mon 6 Sep 2010, 16:59, closed)
I get the letters too
I have a TV but it is used for watching videos (remember them?) only

I rang them up because I ignored the first two letters so got the threats instead. They sent me a letter to confirm all was OK but that if I started watching it I would be fined £1,000 and get a criminal record. They also said I would have to do it all again next year.

Oh, and despite spelling my unusual surname for them, they got it wrong.
(, Mon 6 Sep 2010, 0:11, closed)
yeah, totally.
nothing like a bit of passive aggressive whining.

Just, you know, out of interest, do you think the TV licensing people are psychic, or something? What, they should know that you are so supremely edgy and cool that you don't even own a TV, man?

Most people have TVs. Therefore you get standard letters. Also, they've no idea if you've moved and someone else is there, or that you've changed your mind, or your partner has moved in and demanded to be able to watch scrubs, or any one of a million fucking equally probable scenarios. Or do you think that maybe they should just trust you to be honest and own up if that happens?

Basically, you are asking for a system to be modified at vast expense to suit almost certainly less than 5% of the population, to stop them being inconvenienced by SOME LETTERS.

Fucking hell. No wonder this country is going to shit in shopping trolley.
(, Mon 6 Sep 2010, 9:49, closed)
—— nothing like a bit of passive aggressive whining.

Some prefer it over your style of in-your-face aggresive whining.

—— Just, you know, out of interest, do you think the TV licensing people
—— are psychic, or something?

No. That would be silly. But I can't think of any other debt collection service that goes on fishing expeditions like this. Of course most people have TVs, but so what? Most people have jobs and pay tax too, but do HMRC send a tax return to every address in the country just in case someone wants to make a declaration, along with a threat of a jail sentence if you don't respond appropriately? No, it's up to you and me to indicate to them that you've got something to declare, if you have. Most people drive too, but do the DVLA don't send round circulars saying, "Are you driving without a licence? If so, you could go to prison."

It's just kind of assumed that people know they're supposed to pay.

And in any case, as I said above, if it really were just a query every year or two, I wouldn't mind; it's the threatening tone that annoys me.

—— Or do you think that maybe they should just trust you to be honest and
—— own up if that happens?

Well, yeah, that'd be good. It works well enough for every other kind of licence I can think of.
(, Mon 6 Sep 2010, 17:09, closed)
Have you tried getting in touch with Amnesty International?
They do great work for people who, like you, have been subjected to hideous human rights violations.
(, Mon 6 Sep 2010, 10:20, closed)
They do indeed
and FWIW I am in touch with them every month, via standing order, thank you for asking.
(, Mon 6 Sep 2010, 17:01, closed)

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