TV licence misery for Trebles Holford pensioner after he changes house name

This is The West Country: Brian and Elizabeth Totman. Brian and Elizabeth Totman.

A PENSIONER repeatedly sent threatening letters from TV Licensing by mistake has been promised he won’t be bothered again.

Brian Totman has been warned he faced a three-figure fine, a visit from a compliance officer or a search warrant could be applied for through the courts – even though he’s had a licence all along.

Brian’s problems started soon after he officially changed the name of his house in Trebles Holford, near Bishops Lydeard, from Redlands to Redlands House to avoid confusion with the neighbouring property, Redlands Barn, where his daughter lives.

He informed TV Licensing of the change in March and soon after received a letter confirming they were aware of his ‘new’ address and that his existing licence was valid.

But within a couple of weeks, letters started dropping onto his door mat warning of the consequences if he failed to get a licence.

They continued even after his new licence arrived ahead of the £145.50 annual direct debit being taken out of his bank account on June 1.

After he was threatened with a visit from a TVL officer, Brian, 65, angrily fired off an e-mail again pointing out their mistake.

Despite an apology from TVL, who promised their records had since been corrected, and being told to ignore any further demands, there was another ‘red’ letter just last week.

“It said they had no alternative but to proceed with the final stages of their investigation,” said Brian.

“They’ve threatened me with court action and have said they could go to court to apply for a search warrant, even though a month before they’d told me it was all sorted.

“I’m fed up to the back teeth with them. They’re a complete shambles and I haven’t been able to get anywhere with them.”

A TVL spokesman said: “TV Licensing has a database of 30million addresses so sometimes mistakes do happen.

“In this case, Mr Totman’s old address remained on our database, which resulted in erroneous mailings sent to his former address for which we apologise.

“We’ve no intention of troubling people who are licensed, and thank Mr Totman for bringing this to our attention. We’ve since resolved the matter, and no further letters will be sent.”

Comments (6)

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10:12am Mon 14 Jul 14

Thurza says...

I can sympathise, I had an elderly blind friend who was persistently hassled in the same way, she did not posses a television.
I can sympathise, I had an elderly blind friend who was persistently hassled in the same way, she did not posses a television. Thurza
  • Score: 3

10:23am Mon 14 Jul 14

Mi_Coc says...

I have had a she load for an empty property even one threatening the mr occupier with legal action. Just because the house is empty!

It like weekly as soon as a house becomes vacant or has no tv licence on their system they start some kind of automated hate mail campaign.

Such a waste of paper!
I have had a she load for an empty property even one threatening the mr occupier with legal action. Just because the house is empty! It like weekly as soon as a house becomes vacant or has no tv licence on their system they start some kind of automated hate mail campaign. Such a waste of paper! Mi_Coc
  • Score: 2

10:28am Mon 14 Jul 14

Mi_Coc says...

Someone should tell them its not a criminal offence anymore¬
Someone should tell them its not a criminal offence anymore¬ Mi_Coc
  • Score: -2

1:34pm Thu 17 Jul 14

RightToAnOpinion says...

Mi_Coc wrote:
Someone should tell them its not a criminal offence anymore¬
Afraid to say you are incorrect, it is still a criminal offence to watch TV without a licence as the government have only suggested they may make it a civil matter.
[quote][p][bold]Mi_Coc[/bold] wrote: Someone should tell them its not a criminal offence anymore¬[/p][/quote]Afraid to say you are incorrect, it is still a criminal offence to watch TV without a licence as the government have only suggested they may make it a civil matter. RightToAnOpinion
  • Score: 2

12:39pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Useacarpark.com says...

Surely it is only illegal to watch bbc channels without a licence? I would like a scrambling device to block out bbc channels as they are crap!
Surely it is only illegal to watch bbc channels without a licence? I would like a scrambling device to block out bbc channels as they are crap! Useacarpark.com
  • Score: 0

12:47pm Fri 18 Jul 14

RightToAnOpinion says...

Would be nice, but alas you require a TV licence if you are able to receive TV as it is broadcast and that includes on a computer. Have heard of those that only watch catch TV up such as BBC iplayer, ITV player and so on where you do not require a licence even though TV Licensing do their utmost to bully you into buying one.
Would be nice, but alas you require a TV licence if you are able to receive TV as it is broadcast and that includes on a computer. Have heard of those that only watch catch TV up such as BBC iplayer, ITV player and so on where you do not require a licence even though TV Licensing do their utmost to bully you into buying one. RightToAnOpinion
  • Score: 2
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