How Things Sneak Up and Bite You!


I received a most annoying letter this morning.  The letter below is my response.

Dear Sir,

Please find enclosed a copy of a letter I received this morning, stating I have received numerous letters to say I have stopped paying my Direct Debit payments and am therefore no longer the holder of a valid license.

Firstly, I have never paid by direct debit. This is the first letter you have sent in a year.

Secondly, I bought a license last April.

I telephoned the number on the letter and was informed my license had been backdated. I was told I need to explain the circumstances, so I shall.

Over a year ago in November, my television broke. I threw it away. Being unemployed, I could not afford another. When the license reminder came, I sent a letter stating I did not have a television. About a month later, a gentleman from the licensing department came to my home. He looked around my home and got me to sign a paper stating I did not own a television. He then gave me a blank license form and told me I would need it, if and when I purchased a new license, should I buy another television. After months of saving, a friend gave me their old television and I purchased a new license. Your office has a record of this purchase. Could you please explain to me, why I am being harassed by your office, when I have already paid for my license? In this day of modern technology, I am sure there must be some record of the inspector’s visit and the form I signed for him. I am not a wealthy woman and can ill afford to duplicate payments because of a lack of communication between departments.

Please could you resolve this problem at your earliest convenience?

P. Whiteway.

They actually think I am going to pay an extra four months on my license because of their bureaucratic mistake.

I shall throw away my television, rather than capitulate on this.  What do you guys think? 



Filed under Uncategorized

12 responses to “How Things Sneak Up and Bite You!

  1. Chris

    Hah !Sorry nut, I had a similar experience with the "bots" at the BBC.My bank returned an unpaid DD (funds were lacking for 5 hours and the difference was 23p) plus the £25 they charged for the 42 seconds of work they "had" to do. Straight away the dear ole Beeb pounced on me with threats of a £1,000 fine. I tried ringing them and got as far as the mutton jeff computerised lady, duly cancelled the DD as I intended to pay up front. The letters kept coming. I eventually got through to the DD dept and asked to set up my original arrangement. That wasn’t possible as I had "Chosen" to reject my priveledge of monthly payments. GitsSo, I asked what the alternative was, he said 4 payments of around £39 each. S I thought well, maybe 4 quarterly payments won’t be so bad. I got the licence and the payment detail was £39 in Jan, Feb, March and April ! I phoned again to cancel as I couldn’t afford that much in 4 straight months. They suggested I used the "Easy Payment Scheme" which works out at up to £147 more than than the standard licence !!!My folks suggested they lend me the £139 to pay up front, which I did. This was on 2nd Jan and I’m still getting demands from the DD dept and the threats from their legal dept. Bring it on is all I say !Sorry – that turned into a bit of a blog of my ownhe heHave a smashing weekend (with your feet up in front of the telly !)TCCx

  2. penny

    It’s enough to drive you crazy, Chris. If necessary, I shall see them in court. I am hopping mad about it.

  3. Paul

    This is something we don’t have to deal with in the States. Getting a license to watch T.V. that is. However everything else is the same though. I did have a run in with my satelite provider who threatened to shut off my T.V. service for non payment yet they had cashed my check. It’s all too complicated.

  4. Jane

    Oh Penny… It is such a bore when these stupid nuts don’t co-ordinate or talk to eachother in different departments. I went through something similar when my mother died. We had paid off her phone bill and cancelled it.But the phone company kept writing to her… The Home forwarded the letters. I rang them up and explained that she had died. They STILL wanted more money so asked me where they could post a letter to her as she was no longer in the Home. I gave them the address of Ipswich Crem… and eventually, they twigged. I have no idea if they continued writing to her there… I expect they did!I hope you can sort your problem out with not too much blood being spilled. It’s never easy dealing with these bods as they never know and don’t ask what’s going on in their various departments.

  5. penny

    Your story made me smile, Jane but I am still simmering.

  6. Deb's

    hiya pen ((hugs))i had a spelll when i lived alone, that i chose not to bother with having a tv… lukily it was when i first moved in or i wuld have had similar problems.. they cant handle changes in the system … and you always find someone with only 3 brain cells to talk to when trying to resolve the problems, I’m sure they have been labotomised because you can tell they haven’t got a clue.i think I’d probably keeo arguing until i found someone with a few more brain cells.. but i woldnt be paying for a service i hant had/used.have a great weekend hunlove n hugsdebsxxx

  7. Unknown

    Ohhhh don’t get me started on television licenses! <grrrr> It incenses me to pay it. Our personal buffoon of an agency (besides BT) is the CSA. They know they made a clerical error in 2004 that has resulted in the Englishman owing £6,000 in arrears for a child who doesn’t exist. But they won’t correct it in the system. Even after I spent two hours on the telephone with what seemed to be a rather nice guy going over the figures and us sorting exactly who owes what… at the end of that conversation I thought it was done and dusted finally. But NO. Even though the seemingly whole of the Newcastle CSA office seems to knows about the £6,000 clerical error, no one has seen fit to correct the computer system–that or the telly license people and the CSA people all use the same system. You know the one–The "if I owe you then the info is lost and it’ll take longer than your life span to sort; however if you owe me I’m on your doorstep in a nano-second" system.

  8. Jessica

    I just can’t believe someone actually came and checked you had no TV set – I didn’t realise they did that! I should throw that set out, Pen, and stick to cuddling that puppy of yours! Anyway, take a few deep breaths and enjoy your weekend.

  9. Martin

    That kind of things bugs me so much, especially when you have made every effort to be honest. They should be crediting you not trying to charge you extra.Good luck resolving it all

  10. Sheila

    I agree with Martin they Should credit you for being honest Pen, bl–dy fools.xx

  11. Happy

    Bravo. Someone must monitor the monitors.

  12. Happy

    Thought of you as I interfaced with bureacracy Friday! The absurdity would be silly fun/play if it were not so real. One must be in top form to handle systems woven within systems. Good day to you, Terry, Wendell. Big smiles.

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