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21 June, 2008

Turn off

My Freeview set-top box died on Thursday night, so I've bought a replacement.
Argos offered the best price, but since I was buying TV receiving equipment, the cashier demanded my name and address on behalf of the TVLA.

I was tempted to go elsewhere – no retailer complying with spurious governmental requests deserves my custom – but the alternative was far simpler: I paid cash and gave fake details. Unless John Coulston (manager of the Lancaster Banking Company, 1826-1866) really does enjoy EastEnders from his old office at 68 Church Street.

The UK has operated TV licensing since 1946, and the enforcement regime seems to have worked – so don't change it. No doubt it's easier for the TVLA if people meekly add themselves to the database, but as I say (too often...) the responsibility of the state is to serve its citizens, never the reverse. When that arm of the state happens to be a private-sector contractor, the demands are even less acceptable.

I comply with the law, and it's for the TVLA to prove otherwise. I'm damned if I'll do their job for them, merely for their convenience.

Comments

Think I've bought a Freeview box twice, once from Tesco and once from Comet. I don't think the Comet people asked for my details but I was at Tesco. I used my Clubcard so the cashier asked if I consented for my details to be shared with them.

Well, at least they made me aware of it.

Posted by Neil T. at June 22, 2008 12:47 AM

i don't have a telly at my current house, so have not paid for a tv licence. i keep getting increasingly wannabe bullying letters threatening me. now, i know the law quite well. and everything they're threatening is illegal. fascinating.

Posted by Saltation at June 24, 2008 01:50 AM
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