A Rant!

I haven’t blogged for a while because I’ve been really busy with work and my cat, who seems to be having a relapse.

Not to mention that January is the month the dreaded tax return has to be in. Thank goodness for my accountant because if I got started on the Inland Revenue this post would go on forever.

So, the rant. This morning I got yet another letter from the TV Licensing people. Now, I’d better give you a bit of background before I freak out completely or you’ll think I’ve finally flipped.

A few years ago we moved into a fully furnished property and part of the furniture was a TV. I asked the landlord if it could be removed and he looked at me as if I’d grown another head and said, “Well, not really. It belongs to the house.”

I didn’t want to make a scene so I dutifully paid for a licence and just tried not to kick the thing when I practised my karate in the lounge. No problem then.

Er, yes. Problem!

When we moved out the licence was valid for another six months and, as we were going back to South Africa, we asked for a refund.

Now, I’m not sure what the licensing people actually said, other than no, as I didn’t speak to them (this is a good thing or I’d probably still be behind bars.) But the bottom line is, we didn’t get a refund.

Okay, no big deal, I’ll just let that slide.

So, on my return from South Africa I moved into a brand new house. It was unfurnished and no one had lived there before so no TV had ever seen the inside of the house.

On moving in day there was a letter on the doormat from the TV licence people. Now, if this had been a polite reminder to licence my new property that would be fine.

But no, it was more or less threatening me, right from the start, that I was due a £1000 fine for not having a TV licence.

Having no phone line or internet connection at this point, I wrote to them telling them I don’t have a TV. No problem then.

Er, yes. Apparently there is a problem.

You see, according to the TV licensing people there’s a one in four chance that I’m lying to them and that I do, in fact, have a television lurking somewhere in my house so they will have to come and see for themselves.

Fair enough, come any time you like. I might even offer you a coffee while you snoop in my underwear drawer for a hand held receiving device. Hell, have a chocolate digestive while you’re at it.

Did they come? No! But they did stop sending letters threatening court action, right? Yes?

Wrong answer. The letters continued to come at the rate of about one every couple of months. So I phoned them, at my expense, and I told them I do not have a television.

I was asked if I had any receiving equipment that could record television. No. I was asked if I watched live television on my computer. Um, no, I didn’t even know you could watch live television on the computer. (Yes, I know, I’m at least 15 years behind the rest of the world, but I like it that way.)

Anyway, the very nice lady concluded the phone call by thanking me for informing them. And reminding me that she thinks I’m a barefaced liar and that they will be sending an enforcement officer round to check my underwear drawer for a TV.

Fine, I’ll get some chocolate digestives in. Send whoever you like, just stop sending damn letters and wasting paper, my time, your time etc!

Did they come? Nooooo. Are you starting to see a pattern here?

Did they stop sending letters? You know what, I don’t know. Because after 18 months of this I moved out of the property. And I hope, for the sake of their sanity, the new tenants have a TV licence.

End of story then.

Er, no!

So, 8 months ago I moved into another property. And guess what. The whole sorry saga began all over again. The phone calls, the letters, the filling in of online declarations and still it goes on and on.

Okay, I get that some people lie about not having a TV, but I am not one of them!

If you want to send someone out to check then go ahead. But for crying in a bucket, send someone and get it over with!

And while I am waiting for YOU to send someone at YOUR convenience to satisfy YOU that I am not lying, would you please at least have the decency to stop sending me threatening letters?

The BBC could probably stop increasing the licence fee every year if idiots like this actually did their job instead of constantly wasting time, money and resources on this utter nonsense.

Clearly they don’t understand English so I’ll try Afrikaans. Word wakker mense. Ek kyk nie TV nie!


3 thoughts on “A Rant!”

  1. Mark says:

    Why don’t you just use the letters for your papier mache and ignore them until they send someone?

    The idea of the TV licence man rooting in your undies and munching a choccie biccie is too funny.

    They don’t really search your whole house do they?

  2. FredInChina says:

    You are not alone! I also don’t have a TV — I thought you’d like to know it 😉 .
    Great post — and, errr… about those chocolates…


  3. Karen says:

    Mark, I’m not sure what they do. At the moment it doesn’t seem like they do much more than harass people with threatening letters.

    Call me crazy but I’m not sure I want to put someting with such an “negative vibe” in my art. But then I do use newspaper so maybe you have a point. It is good paper for that lol.


    Thanks Fred. It’s good to see I’m not the only one who doesn’t have a toxic tube. There’s just too much rubbish on to justify the space it would take in my living room/dojo lol.

    Do you get harassed by over-zealous licence enforcers in China?

    Oh, and that chocolate? It’s only for the TV man, honest. Me? Eat chocolate? Never 😉


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