Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rant about the TV Licence

I like to pick my battles carefully. I am what could be described as a tactical coward, engaging in conflict only when I am absolutely sure that I will win. This strategy has served me well for years, but as you all know, I occasionally have moments in which bloody-minded rage overcomes my powerful sense of reason and I lose it completely. It usually involves money in some capacity. Those of you who are aware of my long standing legal dispute with Royal Bank of Scotland Plc (or thieving, godless swine as they are known) will know exactly what I mean. Perhaps I will be on the phone, talking to some low-level customer service serf, arguing that I shouldn't have to pay a £12 late fee, since they persist in sending my statements to the wrong address, even though I have phoned to inform them of this several times already, meaning I don't actually get the statement until long past due date. Then a change will occur in me. My normally placid and spiritual demeanour will be shaken and I will start to swear and tremble with barely contained rage. The vein on my head will bulge. I will beat the phone receiver off the wall and scream ruefully.

RBS is not the source of my troubles today, however. Today I have totally different enemy. It is the TV Licensing Authority (or penny-grubbing, shafting bastards as they are known). The TV Licensing Authority, for the benefit of our transatlantic cousins, is the organisation from whom you buy a TV Licence. This is what subsidises the BBC and even if you don't watch the BBC you can't have a TV in the UK and not pay it. They will send the heavy mob to break down your door. It's not like in Japan where you could just grin and pretend not to speak Japanese when the NHK man came around. You can end up with a rather hefty £1000 fine, or even imprisonment.

My gripe with the Licensing Authority began earlier this month when I received a letter telling me it was time to renew my licence at the end of August. I was initially confused because I had paid for the licence up front for a year at the end of September last year. My supposedly logical brain saw it like this: 1 year = 12 months. Apparently, according to the TV Licensing Authority, this is not the case. No, it seems that without realising it I had paid retrospectively for the month of September, a month for which the most part of I didn't even own a TV. I bought my licence on the 26th of September 2007, foolishly expecting it to run until the 26th of September 2008. Now, perhaps I should have known that, but this is the first time I have actually ever paid for a TV licence, and they don't make it very clear at all on the literature. This is because they want to scam you out of as much money as possible, because they are the devil.

So I phoned up to try and get the thing sorted. All I wanted, I told them, was to have my TV Licence for a year like I was I was getting when I signed up. After two conversations with slow, reptile-minded urban youths I was able to get on the phone with a manager who said he couldn't do anything, but if I wrote to customer services they would be able to change it for me.

That lying fuck.

So, nearly a month on and nothing has changed at all. I'm still in the same position. So I rang up today and offered to pay one month's worth of TV licence just so I'm covered up until we leave the flat on the 20th. Guess what? "We can't do short term contracts." Thanks a lot, you fucking drone. Apparently you have to pay an entire other year, then cancel the contract and arrange to claim the money back from the Authority. Oh, and I forgot to mention, you can only claim nine months worth of money back, meaning as well as my extra month they would be confiscating two extra months worth of dough for me for absolutely fuck all. Well, fuck you, TV Licensing Authority. I am not paying you a shitting cent.

My mistake was trying to play by rules. What I should have done when I bought the TV was just use it illegally for a week until the start of October, then got the licence. Then I would be covered until October 31st instead of August 31st. I should have known and tried to fuck them, because they would sure as hell try to fuck me if they got the chance. This is really just reinforcing my opinion that there are no rewards in this life for doing the right thing. It pisses me off that I have to give virtually everything I earn to some poisonous London turd born with a silver spoon up his arse and my licence fee/late payment fee/tax paying his six figure salary so he can twat about eating croissants and drinking bottled water that costs more than my suit. One day I'm going to defenestrate those motherfuckers. I am going to beat every last one of them senseless with nine iron. I am going to chop off their heads and stump-fuck them.

ENDS

2 comments:

C7 said...

Mate, that is incredible. You have to shell out £139.50 per year if you own a color TV and £47.00 if you're watching black and white. Something like that would never fly in the US. What's really incredible is that they even manage to collect payment over there. I thought that shit only worked in Japan (where even Japanese people skirt the system). I guess you Brits trust government a little more than we do here in the colonies. For me personally, dealing with civil servants is enough torture that I'd probably just give it up.

You know, I always wondered where the BBC gets its money. Now I know it's extortion. Defenestration is called for indeed.

G

Jeremy Ross said...

You should move to the islands of the South Pacific, there is no TV licence there. Hmmm maybe I shall move too.