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Crapita Strikes

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8th August 2006 | 23:33
mood: irate irate
music: Orbital / Middle of Nowhere / Nothing Left [Part 2]

I habitually bin letters from TV Licensing on arrival. This afternoon I was visited by the TV Licensing man. I don't watch TV; I don't even have a TV, a fact which I informed him of. Naturally, he wanted to have a look around.

Being in a not very compliant mood today (and vaguely aware of the kind of people TV Licensing loves to target), I informed him he has no legal powers and I was not obliged to let him into the house.

Discussion continued for a few minutes. (I had to correct him on the fact that TV Licensing actually operates under contract from the BBC.) I eventually invited him to return with a search warrant, knowing the usual conditions for obtaining one requires evidence from a TV detector.

After spending a minute accusing me of wasting police time – I imagine the argument is that he will have to pop in to the police station to obtain said warrant – he gave up before remarking: “Enjoy your stay in the UK.”

Right… now that's interesting. Upon informing him that I was in fact a subject of Her Majesty (not that that's of relevance), I questioned the intent and meaning of his comment. He refused an answer and left.

What would Brian Boitano do? Call TV Licensing on 0800 3282020 and file a complaint on grounds of racism of course. Owned.

I'll see if I get a reply of some sort.

(Were I sufficiently bored, I'd follow this up with a letter and demand a formal written apology. Do I bother? … Tempting isn't it.)

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Comments {14}

Nic Walker

From: nic
Date: 8th August 2006 22:45 (UTC)
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That's outrageous behaviour. It's bad enough to be the victim of harassment for committing the heinous sin of not owning a TV let alone being subject to those kinds of comments when they come to perform the whole rentacop thing.

So angry!

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Bluebottle

From: bouteillebleu
Date: 8th August 2006 22:46 (UTC)
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I reckon you should go for the formal letter. Very polite, of course, but still... his choosing a job as a TV license enforcer doesn't give him the right to be (a) an asshole or (b) shortsightedly racist.

(Letting him look in the sitting room and see there was no TV there might have made it all a lot smoother, of course...)

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Liyang HU

From: liyang
Date: 9th August 2006 00:11 (UTC)
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Or the fact that our TV aerial has been hanging loose off the back of the roof for the best part of this year, which our neighbour recently alerted us to... should really get the estate agent to do something about it before it falls off and breaks something. ^^;;

But willingly let some random stranger (especially a Crapita employee) into my house? You know me, I'd never do that. ;)

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charliepanayi

From: charliepanayi
Date: 9th August 2006 14:17 (UTC)
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What a mean, nasty parting shot for them to make - I'd say definitely make a written complaint.

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mwk

From: mwk
Date: 9th August 2006 21:24 (UTC)
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I refer you back to the fact that your accent hasn't slipped. Maybe he thought you were a terrorist. As you are well aware that them lot never buy TV licenses.

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mwk

From: mwk
Date: 9th August 2006 21:26 (UTC)
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Oh, and I know it is a Norn Iron thang, but we haven't (not either side, natch) been subjects since erm, 1983 or something. Some EU gubbins came in and changed all that. I think.

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Liyang HU

From: liyang
Date: 9th August 2006 21:42 (UTC)
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yeah, okay. You're quite right. For the purpose of this exercise though, let's pretend to the TV man that I am, as it would give him less to complain about. :) It's great, this being a Chinese UK national in Norn Irn. I can pick and choose sides as the the situation demands. (I don't think any of my grandparents are of Irish descent, unfortunately.)

I'd like to point you to question 116 from the minutes of the select committee of public accounts in July 2002: (mainly because it amused me.)

116. I do not know if Birmingham is a good or a bad area but where is the worst area for evasion?
(Mr Dyke) Belfast. It was not the most popular job being a licence fee collector on the Falls Road.

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kli_chan

From: kli_chan
Date: 9th August 2006 21:54 (UTC)
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Bastard!

I would complain loads if I was you!

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Narsus

From: reichsfreiherr
Date: 10th August 2006 11:21 (UTC)
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I’m starting to wonder if it’s just you because in all the years that I sent TV Licensing letters back informing them that I didn’t need a licence because I didn’t have a TV, they never did follow through with the visit from the Licensing man. I always got the follow up letter than said they’d be sending someone round but the visit in question never materialised. I’ve no idea if the fact that the year I had a TV, I did pay for a licence in any way contributed to that lax attitude though.

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Liyang HU

From: liyang
Date: 10th August 2006 16:37 (UTC)
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In something like 57% of visits, the occupier isn't even home.

Also, I seem to understand they only visit somewhere once every two years (maybe four.) The statistics from TV Licensing are quite startling. If you're bored and half-interested, minutes of the public accounts committee is worth skimming through.

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Kaoru

From: kaokun
Date: 10th August 2006 20:40 (UTC)
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You are awesome :D Kick his ass as much as possible: letters, emails, more phone calls, whatever it takes.

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Kishore Jeganathan

From: eroshikj
Date: 14th August 2006 19:55 (UTC)
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Nicely done Liyang!! You should go through with the follow up complaints. Just as a side note does anyone know how they detect if your TV has a license even when it is not on? Hmm. :)

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Liyang HU

From: liyang
Date: 16th August 2006 12:03 (UTC)
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Have done. =)

They can't detect a TV if it's not switched on (other than the good old tried-and-tested method of peeking through your door or window); even then, you don't need a license if all you use it for is to play games or watch DVDs.

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From: sianamber
Date: 13th December 2009 10:44 (UTC)
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Happy Birthday!

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