TV license dodger -or shop/Tv license auth cockup?

  jack 14:17 24 May 2007

In the post on Tues a missive from the TV Licencing agency- addressed to a Mrs*****[foreign sounding and unpronounceable]- addressed to my home with correct postcode.
Advising her that Comet had solder her a TV and forwarded her detail as required by law and a search revealed no licence existed at the address.This document included the licence form with a request to fork up £135 now if not sooner or else.
I fished out OUR FREE licence and copied it and sent it back with the document informing them that they or Comet had mucked it up as this is a single occupancy address and had been so for the past 50 years.
We will await events.
What you think happened here?
A store when asking for address detail often simply ask for the post code and named occupants are list. So was it carelessness on their part, in entering the wrong post code?
Or did the Licence agency get it wrong.
Or was yet some one else from somewhere else trying one on?

  Totally-braindead 14:20 24 May 2007

It could be that whoever bought the TV gave a false address so as to avoid having to pay the licence fee as you don't need to give proof of address.

  Kate B 14:41 24 May 2007

Another possibility - check your credit card statement. Could be that someone has ordered a telly with your details.

  jack 14:52 24 May 2007

Kate - Thats a thought am doing now.

  donki 14:53 24 May 2007

"A store when asking for address detail often simply ask for the post code and named occupants are list."

The only way that they would have your name listed is if you had bought something from them before. Id go with T-B that someone knew there address would be checked and simply gave a fake postcode and house number.

  lisa02 16:09 24 May 2007

I have given fictional addresses on these forms, usually with a postcode for the Belfast City Centre shops.

I do have a TV license btw! it's paid by DD at £11 per month.

I just do not see the need to hand my name and a address over all the time.

  Totally-braindead 16:12 24 May 2007

lisa02 I think the idea was to force people when buying a new telly to get a licence, but of course it fails abysmally, its a really stupid idea as you can give any name and address you like and they have no way of checking it.

  oresome 19:17 24 May 2007

My daughter worked at Comet part time while studying .

Many customers refused to give addresses and when told they couldn't purchase the goods without an address, gave obviously false information.

I assume they weren't all licence dodgers. Some people don't like disclosing this type of might pass it on to a crook that number 48 has a shiny new plasma, for instance.

  Stuartli 19:50 24 May 2007

My best mate owns an independent audio/visual/appliances outlet - he has to send details of any customer who buys a product which includes a TV tuner (i.e. TV, VCR, DVD recorder etc).

Obviously he knows his customers and has, to the best of his knowledge, never been given false information.

In actual fact the vast majority of his customers already have a TV licence.

  Totally-braindead 19:59 24 May 2007

Personally I don't watch that much TV and if there was an option to opt out of watching the BBC and therefore not having to pay a licence fee I'd be right in there. I'd be quite happy watching the other channels and saving myself some cash.
Shame that.

  interzone55 21:56 24 May 2007

It's a legal requirement that retailers collect the name and address of people buying any equipment capable of receiving a TV signal.

This list includes, but is not limited to, TVs, VCRs, DVD-Recorders with built in tuners, Computers with an onboard TV tuner card, freeview boxes etc.

When I was a store manager we would occasional receive a visit from someone from the TV licencing authority who would have data from our head office regarding total numbers of TVs sold, they would check the counterfoils from our TV Licence details book and if there was a discrepency I would get a stern telling off and a warning that I was personally liable for a stiff fine if I failed to comply.

Frankly any name & address in that book is ok, as long as the form is filled in.

Sounds to me like the civil service creating work for themselves in order to justify their existance

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