The greatest ever TV Licence-dodging excuses

21 September 2009

shotthrutvEver wondered what’s in the back of TV Licence detector van? According to the shady agents at TV Licensing, there’s something new – a hand held device that will beep whenever it’s within 29 feet of an operating TV.

Sounds impressive but we’re struggling to remember a time when we WEREN’T within 29 feet of an operating TV set, but hey, that might just be us.

In order to soften that amazing technological blow, TV Licensing have also revealed some of the wackiest excuses from the 280,000 people who were caught having failed to stump up the annual £142.50 fee. Here’s our top ten favourites, including three that we made up ourselves – see if you can spot them.

  1. “My dog watches it while I’m at work to keep him company – not me.”
  2. “The subtitles on my TV are set to French so I’m not paying a UK tax for something I can’t read.”
  3. “My wife has her hair done twice a week, so we find it difficult to pay.”
  4. “I’m a professional hurdler and I only use my TV as an indoor practice hurdle.”
  5. “I haven’t renewed my licence because my wife flushed it down the toilet, along with my wallet.”
  6. “My husband has just spent £3,000 on this massive flatscreen digital TV so we can’t possibly afford a licence.”
  7. “I haven’t watched it since Rod Hull died. I don’t want what happened to him to happen to me too.”
  8. “I couldn’t make my last payment as my baby was sick on my shoulder and I didn’t want to go to the shop smelling of sick because the guy I fancy works there.”
  9. “I have not been making payments because a baby magpie flew in to my house and I have had to stay in to feed it.”
  10. “I force needles into my armpits whenever I watch something so that I don’t enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy it, you don’t have to pay, right?”

We made up numbers 4, 7 and 10. Obvious wasn't it?

TOPICS:   TV

30 comments

  • PowerUp
    I always eat the TV when they come round
  • Tiny S.
    The BBC are a shower of bastards, we shouldn't have to pay for them.
  • ronnie
    that's what vivien did!
  • F.D. A.
    I don't watch telly, I only watch DVDs (does that count?) OR I use my 60-inch plasma as a virtual fish tank
  • The B.
    If I were to buy a 50" Monitor (no built in freeview or aerial sockets) then I wouldn't have to give them my details as it isn't designed to pick up a signal? Doubt it. Just don't answer the door to them, they have no right to enter your property without your permission, although they'll call the police at that point but it should give you enough time to stash the TV somewhere if you've set it up cleverly.
  • Phil M.
    In fairness to the guys who actually come round to check, i've had good experiences with them - at uni one came to the door and asked my flatmate if we had any tvs "Yeah, we've got like 5.. why?" rather than brutally sodomise us with some sort of fine, they guy told us to get a tv license as soon as possible, and even advised us to pay by direct debit, as it was cheaper, and we could cancel it as soon as we left. A friend of mine at a different uni was fined £1000 (I think it was) a few years back, for no tv license though. He had a tv connected to a playstation and VCR (with no TV signal), and was fined because he watched videos on his tv he'd taped off the tv back home. Unlucky! As previously said though, don't answer them, and don't let them in the house. If they choose to go down the route of police/warrant, you'll have plenty of time to either box up the tv and stick in in the loft, or unplug the aerial and claim you use it only for an xbox or something.
  • teddy
    But surely if they get the police, dont they then have to apply for a warrant to search the property for the TV? I heard they dont usually go to the effort and mainly rely on people holding their hands up and saying fair play ive been caught. and if you do that they have you by the short and curlys. Ideally you want to buy a TV with someone elses details for delivery because electrical retailers have to take that.... or give them the wrong details. My dads mate never had a tv and therefore never had a TV licence. With alarming regularity he would get knocks on the door. He began being polite and allowing them to look round in the loft etc for TVs, happy enough they would apologise and go away. Once a year he could handle but began to get more regular... he began to get annoyed, stopped letting them in and got understanably angry... they eventually went to the effort of getting the police involved and he let them in (without a warrant or anything, just to avoid the hassle)... they entered the property but he made the TV people wait outside. They ended up seizing his computer on the grounds he could have installed a TV tuner (this is the days of 56k modems being the height of interweb speed). They 'inspected' his computer. Read inspected as returned it scratched and dented and they also cannibalised some of the higher spec parts. TV licensing people are lying scheming little tykes who would likely sell their own grandma if it meant they could squeeze another few quid out of average joe. Tell you what, why not make BBC pay per view for 142.00 per year and scrap the TV license, see how many people subscribe.
  • Jeezey
    Yea sure, they have a thingy that beeps when its near a telly, and I'm the Pope's secret lover. Read this - very funny - http://www.bbctvlicence.com/index.htm Didn't I hear a programme on Radio 4 recently where one of the van drivers admitted there was absolutely no equipment in them - just s sinister looking ariel on top?
  • xman
    A sinister looking Ariel? How do you get a sinister mermaid then? And I have to speak out here in favour the licence fee. I say scrap all that commercial shite and just have the BBC. Who wants to watch advert for god sake? Especially even if they are often better than the "programmes" that surround them. Oh, actually, there can be a pay to view sport channel so long as there is none of it on the free channels.
  • Shooter M.
    Of course, since they need to prove there is a tv, you could just tell them to fuck off and get a search warrant. Odds of them getting one: 0%
  • Junkyard
    Damn, I thought it was 4, 6 and 10. 7 sounds totally feasible to me.
  • CompactDstrxion
    Yes you don't have to let them in. Yes they need the police with a warrant to come in. The BBC is corrupt, and TV Licencing aren't even the BBC, but it doesn't justify breaking the law. Petition for the disbanding of the BBC instead.
  • Steve B.
    I remember once when I was a student, on hearing that the TV Licensing bods were on the way up, we'd haul all the tellies into the bathroom, where I would shut the door, turn on the taps and pretent to masturbate disturbingly loudly as a clever decoy trick. They never did find the tellies, but as I consequence, I am now nearly completely blind.
  • pauski
    Holy funk Steve, them detector bods must have been round your place zillions of times, like a scene from the matrix.
  • Pizza_D_Action
    "They ended up seizing his computer on the grounds he could have installed a TV tuner (this is the days of 56k modems being the height of interweb speed)." You seem to be a bit confuzzled about how a tv tuner works..... not through the internet
  • Shooter M.
    I'm far too disinterested to petition for the disbanding of the BBC, Compact
  • teddy
    “They ended up seizing his computer on the grounds he could have installed a TV tuner (this is the days of 56k modems being the height of interweb speed).” You seem to be a bit confuzzled about how a tv tuner works….. not through the internet errr ummmmm.... yea... it was just to give you an idea of how long ago we were talking! thats it yea.... (face palm) In fact that said, it was bloody ages ago... so possibly before internet was even that common and everyone used Geocities and myspace was just a stain on its daddies trousers
  • The T.
    I can't understand why the other TV networks haven't taken the BBC to court forcing them to become subscription only channels. What gives the BBC the right to tell us we can't watch ANY other channels unless we pay their rip-off licence fee first? The BBC TV license fee prevents other networks from getting viewers, because many people don't watch TV as they do not want to pay the BBC license fee. So, the BBC is denying all the other TV networks the equal opportunity to function as a business. The BBC is a fascist dictatorship that the government happily allows to exploit millions of people every year. They harass and intimidate you, writing endlessly saying you must be a criminal if you don't have a license, when they could not be more criminal themselves. I cannot believe they have got away with this corruption for so many years. Is it because MP's take a slice of the BBC's takings? Or is the TV license yet another stealth tax? @CompactDstrxion Actually TV licensing ARE the BBC. Check the link by Jeezy above. The BBC hide behind the trade name TV Licencing to avoid ruining their image.
  • Brian
    Hi, Brian here. I own a TV License.
  • Brad
    "I remember once when I was a student, on hearing that the TV Licensing bods were on the way up, we’d haul all the tellies into the bathroom, where I would shut the door, turn on the taps and pretent to masturbate disturbingly loudly as a clever decoy trick. They never did find the tellies, but as I consequence, I am now nearly completely blind." Good news you get 50% discount of your blind!
  • Jase
    Why do the BBC constantly contradict themselves? The laws behind licensing clearly state that you must have a license if you are watching TV, as it is being BROADCAST. This applies for television on a TV, built-in TV on a PC (or mobile), and online players like iPlayer (again broadcast live, aka "On NOW" feature). It DOES NOT include the use of a television for gaming (e.g. Xbox 360, PS3, Wii etc), or use of a DVD or VCR player. Although I am still unsure (and doubt) that it includes self-recorded programming from a live broadcast (so legit. film DVD's etc are fine). The letters, on occasion DO say that DVD and VCR's are included...but they are NOT. License agents are DO NOT have the authority to enter your premises...unless they have a search warrant facilitated by the police. If you wanna dodge it, then use a local aerial (not scart lead to a roof aerial) and make sure the channels are tuned out when its unplugged...if you have a games console, hook it up. If they ever come a-knocking, don't let them in; if it appears a police warrant may be secured, then unplug the aerial and move it to another address whilst they get the police over (you might have to get a little creative moving the aerial). TV licensing worked decades ago, but it simply doesn't justify itself in the modern world.
  • maxtweenie
    I worked for them years ago, when they were part of the Post Office. The vans definitely DID work, but there weren't that many of them around the country so we used to park them up outside schools and shopping centres to frighten Joe Public into coughing up. The best excuse I had was that bloke with a capuchin monkey in a cage in the living room. "It's not my telly, it's the monkey's", he told me. I laughed, so he switched the telly off, and the monkey went berserk. Like most of us, the telly was the only thing keeping him sane.
  • Marcus S.
    Phil McCavity: WA friend of mine at a different uni was fined £1000 (I think it was) a few years back, for no tv license though. He had a tv connected to a playstation and VCR (with no TV signal), and was fined because he watched videos on his tv he’d taped off the tv back home." No he wasn't, as that has never been an offence. The BBC - The Mob of Television: "Actually TV licensing ARE the BBC. Check the link by Jeezy above. The BBC hide behind the trade name TV Licencing to avoid ruining their image." No they aren't - the TVL is a seperate agency employed by the BBC, and complete scum they are too.
  • Stop B.
    [...] game of ‘good cop bad cop’ with us all. A couple of weeks ago, they delighted the nation when they revealed some of the wackiest excuses that licence-dodgers had used in order to avoid the laughably small annual fee of £142.50 per [...]
  • Dietroly
    This is the welcome page for the dietguidance.us Association web site.
  • Pieman
    start charging the the enforcement officer 142.00 for being on your property
  • beats p.
    No matter the ending is perfect or not, you cannot disappear from my world.
  • kaz
    If the police turn up with a warrent and tv licensing people dont answer the door lol
  • Basil
    Most of what has been written here about the TV licence is nonsense. The BBC is a TV company the same as any other company. They have no statutory or legal powers to enter your property. Unless you are stupid to invite them in, that's up to you. They cannot use electronic equipment to spy on you in your own home, it is illegal to invade peoples privacy in this manner. You do not need a TV licence even if you own a TV, as long as it does not receive a broadcast signal. You can have a TV to watch DVD's and videos and there is not a damn thing TV licencing can do about it.
  • peter b.
    iv have an old tv in the loft covered in dust for years, im assuming its still tuned in, can i be fined if the tv licence goons test it and get a channel up on it? bearing in mind its filthy with no signs of disturbance on to show it aint been used for years...?

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