Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Innovative or Intrusive?


Included is page 77 of the 2002 “Service Provision Agreement for the Management of the Enforcement, Collection and Administration of the Licence Fee” agreed between the British Broadcasting Corporation and Capita Business Services Ltd. We at TV Licensing Watch have described this implementation of this document as one of the most odious examples of database based enforcement in existence. Looking at the data mining exercises proposed in the extract below and giving them even a moments’ thought people will quite rightly wonder at exactly what is going on and why it is going on.

Why, for example, is it necessary to mine data completely unconnected with a private media business called the BBC to fund the BBC? All the data gathered above has been gathered for purposes other than funding the BBC. It should therefore only be used for the actual non-funding of the BBC purposes for which it was originally gathered. As the, “Service Provision Agreement”, points out, “This information is uniquely available to Capita.”. It should be open to question as to whether Capita Business Services should even be thinking of using the “information uniquely available to Capita” for implementation in connection with the” enforcement, collection and administration of the licence fee” never mind actually using it to do so. Also bear in mind that Capita Business Services also maintain databases and sources of information “uniquely available to Capita”. Legitimate questions arise about how is that being exploited?
It is a seemingly insignificant piece of evidence of a culture of database function creep that has become a feature of what has become known as the “Surveillance Society” or “Surveillance Britain”. As for the exploitation of “commercial data sources such as those provided by Experian”. Bearing in mind that Parliament has determined that the BBC tv licence cannot be subject to consumer credit agreement. The use and exploitation of “commercial data sources” is unspeakable. The main thing to be borne in mind about all this data mining is that it is to “enforce” the funding of the BBC, a media business through tv licence revenue. “enforce” means to force on people something they do not want. What has happened to freedom of choice in the UK, a nation that claims to have "the Mother of Parliaments", a so-called democracy?

If people do not want to fund the BBC then they should be allowed not to. If people want to fund the BBC they should be allowed to. The imposition of the current tv licence regime and the abuses of contractors under the cover of the BBC TV Licensing™ contract are unacceptable and should have no place in a society that purports to be free and democratic.
Under the sub-heading, “Data”, the more observant will have noticed references to “evaders” and “potential evaders” and their “identification”. Not everyone who is unlicensed is an “evader” or even a “potential evader”.

Amongst the unlicensed is a significant proportion of the adult population of the United Kingdom who are law-abiding and have no wish or desire to fund the BBC. Or indeed, to watch and record live broadcast television. Who want to be left alone behind closed doors in the privacy of their own homes to be able get on with their lives unmolested. Who also see no reason to go grovelling to the BBC and Capita Business Services to spell out what they do in the privacy of their own homes and self-report (which they are not obliged to do by the way). They also see no reason why they should have to explain anything to door hammering tv licence sales persons employed by Capita Business Services who, it seems, will try to trick and bully them into signing so-called “Prosecution Statements” (record of interview forms that provide sufficient evidence against the interviewee such as to give a realistic prospect of successful prosecution of that person) by deceits such as “it’s only to update their records” so that they can achieve the” Target Number of Prosecution Statements”. People only learn their error when they receive the summons and see the prosecution statement they unwisely signed. The more we at TV Licensing Watch seem to learn about the BBC tv licence the more unacceptable it seems to become.

Just how much does a permit from the BBC for people to watch and record live broadcast television actually cost? TV Licensing Watch cannot be alone to have formed the notion that, in terms of individual civil liberties and data privacy, too much by far.

The value of domestic cctv surveillance and handheld video camera can prove invaluable in gathering evidence of the serial abuses and misdemeanours perpetrated by employees of Capita Business Services under cover of the BBC TV Licensing™ contract. TV Licensing Watch advise anybody who has the misfortune to have face to face dealings with Capita Business Services TV Licensing™ to make an audio-visual record of those dealings in their entirety covertly or overtly with cctv and handheld video cameras.

For people who have not exercised their right to remain silent, TV Licensing Watch advise anybody who has had the misfortune to have face to face dealings with Capita Business Services TV Licensing™ and have received a summons as a consequence to contact a licensed law practitioner if: there is the slightest discrepancy between the actual situation regarding viewing habits and/or what actually happened during the interview compared with what has been written on the TVL178 Record of Interview self incrimination form.


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Personal service


We at TV Licensing Watch were somewhat puzzled by the tweets in the image above. They were posted by Mr James McCulloch on his Twitter account. As indicated by the image of his Twitter account below, Mr McCulloch seems to have some connection with TV Licensing™. For those who can't read the image above Mr McCulloch tweeted:

"STUDENTS!!!! Keep getting letters from tv licensing??? Get in touch and I'll sort it for good price. No risk of a £1000 fine. Personal MSG."

In response to TV Licensing blogspot tweet:

". . . I work for them an your spilling out bullshit solutions.#zzzzz"

Of particular interest is which parts of the BBC TV Licensing™ contract and his contract of employment authorise the personal service to students seemingly offered by Mr McCulloch?

The value of domestic cctv surveillance and handheld video camera can prove invaluable in gathering evidence of the serial abuses and misdemeanours perpetrated by employees of Capita Business Services under cover of the BBC TV Licensing™ contract. TV Licensing Watch advise anybody who has the misfortune to have face to face dealings with Capita Business Services TV Licensing™ to make an audio-visual record of those dealings in their entirety covertly or overtly with cctv and handheld video cameras.

For people who have not exercised their right to remain silent, TV Licensing Watch advise anybody who has had the misfortune to have face to face dealings with Capita Business Services TV Licensing™ and have received a summons as a consequence to contact a licensed law practitioner if: there is the slightest discrepancy between the actual situation regarding viewing habits and/or what actually happened during the interview compared with what has been written on the TVL178 Record of Interview self incrimination form.




Saturday, 15 September 2012

Ethically questionable

In our ever growing video archive at TV Licensing Watch, one of the most frequent deceitful refrains heard from employees of Capita Business Services who visit unlicensed addresses door to door under the BBC TV Licensing™ contract is: “if you have a tv you need a tv licence”.

“if you have a tv you need a tv licence” is a lie. The so-called “television licence” is in fact a “television broadcast receiving licence”. Possession of a “television broadcast receiving licence” permits the watching and or recording of live broadcast television programmes that are scheduled and available in the UK. In legislation, Parliament has made the distinction between television (audio-visual equipment) ownership and using television to watch and or record live broadcast television programmes that are scheduled and available in the UK.

Seemingly, under cover of the BBC TV Licensing™ contract employees of Capita Business Services do not make the distinction that Parliament has made in the relevant legislation. Under the BBC TV Licensing™ contract, Capita Business Services have the injunction to “maximise BBC tv licence revenue”. Which is what they seem to do without scruple. Of course, by doing so, employees of Capita Business Services visiting unlicensed addresses door to door maximise the “uncapped commission” payments they receive for the sale of each BBC tv licence. Consequently, exchanges such as the following take place on a daily basis. The Capita Business Services employee pictured here is responsible for this classic piece of TV Licensing™ door to door deception.

TVL™ Salesperson : “If you haven’t got a tv you don’t need a tv licence”
Householder: “Even if I had a tv I wouldn’t have to purchase a licence”
TVL™ Salesperson: “You do though”

The householder is correct. The BBC themselves have confirmed repeatedly that mere ownership of a television (audio-visual equipment) does not require a television licence. So what is going on? In a word, “mis-selling” seemingly. With their “uncapped commission” payments, employees of Capita Business Services seem to have been given every financial incentive to mis-sell BBC tv licences regardless of the actual need of a householder to actually possess a BBC tv licence.

Mis-selling is defined as:

“The ethically questionable practice of a salesperson misrepresenting or misleading a potential customer about the characteristics of a product or service. In an effort to make a sale to a potential customer, a salesperson could leave out certain information or describe a product as something the potential customer urgently needs, even though sound judgment would indicate an opposite conclusion.”

We at TV Licensing Watch are of the view that selling BBC tv licences to households that have no legislative requirement to possess a tv licence seems as clear a case of mis-selling as any of the numerous mis-selling scandals that have come to prominence in the news media in recent years. Of course, as far as we can make out, as far as the BBC is concerned, mis-selling is something that others do and never happens on behalf of the BBC. Take for example this headline from the BBC News website on 11 September: “UK-based banks accused of massive mis-selling in Italy”. However, the point to note is that if BBC tv licences are being sold door to door on the stated and misleading basis that "if you have a tv you need a tv licence" then it seems to us at TV Licensing Watch that this is not only mis-selling but misrepresentation as well.

The apparent mis-selling of BBC tv licences on behalf of the BBC to households that have no legislative requirement to possess a BBC tv licence seems to be yet another consequence of the BBC TV Licensing™ contract and the way it is being “operated”. Ethically questionable? You decide.

The value of domestic cctv surveillance and handheld video camera can prove invaluable in gathering evidence of the serial abuses and misdemeanours perpetrated by employees of Capita Business Services under cover of the BBC TV Licensing™ contract. TV Licensing Watch advise anybody who has the misfortune to have face to face dealings with Capita Business Services TV Licensing™ to make an audio-visual record of those dealings in their entirety covertly or overtly with cctv and handheld video cameras.

For people who have not exercised their right to remain silent, TV Licensing Watch advise anybody who has had the misfortune to have face to face dealings with Capita Business Services TV Licensing™ and have received a summons as a consequence to contact a licensed law practitioner if: there is the slightest discrepancy between the actual situation regarding viewing habits and/or what actually happened during the interview compared with what has been written on the TVL178 Record of Interview self incrimination form.


Friday, 14 September 2012

Robin Hoodie



Allow TV Licensing Watch to introduce you to Mr Adam Russell. Mr Russell is employed by Capita Business Services in a sales capacity under the BBC TV Licensing™ contract to visit unlicensed addresses door to door. He may have responded to the (non-) job advertisement posted in “Gizza job” blogpost below.

Mr Russell and those employed by Capita Business Services under the BBC TV Licensing™ contract will no doubt have signed a contract of employment in connection with their employment. Doubtless that contract of employment will, like all other contracts of employment, have terms, conditions and clauses related to complying with the policies, procedures and protocols not only of Capita Business Services but those of the BBC as well in their overall supervision under the terms of the BBC TV Licensing™ contract.

A product of the BBC TV Licensing™ contract is the TV Licensing™ Visiting Procedures manual which people like Mr Russell will have signed up to in their contract of employment with Capita Business Services under the BBC TV Licensing™ contract.


You are invited to take another look at the posted images of Mr Russell. Please remember what you have seen. Then read what TV Licensing™ Visiting Procedures has to say about “Unacceptable Clothing”.

“4.5 Unacceptable Clothing
The following items of clothing are not acceptable and must not be worn.
• Training Shoes or Flip-Flops
• Denim clothing, Jeans / Jackets / Skirts / Dresses
• Garments with large or obtrusive advertising logos, slogans, cartoons, or “Loud patterns”.
• Baseball Caps.
• Sportswear / tracksuits / shellsuits or Crop Tops.
• Facial jewellery (except ear-rings).
• Novelty clothing.
Common sense should prevail for items not listed.”


Then decide for yourself whether Mr Russell has complied with his obligations under his contract of employment with Capita Business Services and those of TV Licensing™ Visiting Procedures.

The point is, that if Mr Russell and other employees of Capita Business Services are prepared to ignore and flout such basic rules about suitable apparel, it naturally raises legitimate questions about what else in TV Licensing™ Visiting Procedures they are prepared to ignore and flout to qualify for their “uncapped commission” payments. Who would suffer; how they would suffer; and what recourse victims would have in law to remedy such infractions of TV Licensing™ Procedures after unjust prosecution by TV Licensing™ in magistrates courts.

Questions also have to be raised about BBC failures of monitoring and supervision of Capita Business Services “operation” of the BBC TV Licensing™ contract. It should not be down to YouTube users, websites and blogs to do the monitoring that the BBC is supposed to do.

The value of domestic cctv surveillance and handheld video camera can prove invaluable in gathering evidence of the serial abuses and misdemeanours perpetrated by employees of Capita Business Services under cover of the BBC TV Licensing™ contract. TV Licensing Watch advise anybody who has the misfortune to have face to face dealings with Capita Business Services TV Licensing™ to make an audio-visual record of those dealings in their entirety covertly or overtly with cctv and handheld video cameras.

For people who have not exercised their right to remain silent, TV Licensing Watch advise anybody who has had the misfortune to have face to face dealings with Capita Business Services TV Licensing™ and have received a summons as a consequence to contact a licensed law practitioner if: there is the slightest discrepancy between the actual situation regarding viewing habits and/or what actually happened during the interview compared with what has been written on the TVL178 Record of Interview self incrimination form.





Thursday, 13 September 2012

Tip of the iceberg

Having lodged a very similar Freedom of Information request at WhatDoTheyKnow about BBC monitoring of third party websites in 2011 (RF20110806) and getting a denial from BBC in response to the request. Recently, fellow blogger, TV Licensing blogspot once again lodged a Freedom of Information request at WhatDoTheyKnow concerning the BBC’s monitoring of third party websites. This time, in response to Freedom of Information request RFI20120880, “BBC Monitoring of Third-Party Websites” the BBC were a little more forthcoming. Only a very little more.

One of the dirtier aspects of the BBC TV Licensing™ contract, and one the BBC are seemingly very keen to keep from public knowledge, is the monitoring of websites and blogs critical of the BBC, the way in which the BBC is funded by tv licence revenue and the way non-payment of the BBC tv licence is automatically branded as “evasion”. BBC monitoring of third party websites is an “activity” that has only recently been taken in-house by the BBC, since April 2012, in fact. Prior to that, BBC monitoring of third party websites was undertaken under the terms and conditions of the BBC TV Licensing™ contract by PR company, Fishburn Hedges, London, who, under the supervision of the BBC undertook these monitoring activities. As revealed in earlier Freedom of information request RFI20120421 "Monitoring of the internet on behalf of the BBC".

We at, TV Licensing Watch, are being monitored by the BBC. So, as well, are all the other websites and blogs critical of the BBC. For a media business that frequently trumpets its liberal social democratic values at every opportunity, we at TV Licensing Watch cannot be alone in wondering how the BBC, a private company operating as a media business became so surveillance obsessed and Orwellian.

The point to note about the BBC, the BBC TV Licensing™ contract and the activities of BBC TV Licensing contractors have all been devised solely by the BBC over the years in pursuit of its own financial interests. Everything to do with the BBC tv licence and its “enforcement” have been an invention of the BBC and no one else. That includes the monitoring of third party websites and blogs and the most startling aspect of all is that it is all seemingly unregulated. Even more startling is that we at TV Licensing Watch suspect that it is only the very topmost tip of the iceberg. What else are the BBC covertly doing in pursuit of their vested interests?

The value of domestic cctv surveillance and handheld video camera can prove invaluable in gathering evidence of the serial abuses and misdemeanours perpetrated by employees of Capita Business Services under cover of the BBC TV Licensing™ contract. TV Licensing Watch advise anybody who has the misfortune to have face to face dealings with Capita Business Services TV Licensing™ to make an audio-visual record of those dealings in their entirety covertly or overtly with cctv and handheld video cameras.

For people who have not exercised their right to remain silent, TV Licensing Watch advise anybody who has had the misfortune to have face to face dealings with Capita Business Services TV Licensing™ and have received a summons as a consequence to contact a licensed law practitioner if: there is the slightest discrepancy between the actual situation regarding viewing habits and/or what actually happened during the interview compared with what has been written on the TVL178 Record of Interview self incrimination form.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Gizza job




So, who gets employed to do the BBC’s dirty work for them? Under the BBC TV Licensing™ contract, Capita Business Services place job advertisements such as the one above. Here we have yet another product of the BBC TV Licensing™ contract. The job advertisement gives the (non-) job title as “Sales Officers”. We at TV Licensing™ Watch are somewhat baffled by the contradiction in terms between “Sales” and “Officers”.

The dictionary definition of “sales”: selling activity. The dictionary definition of “officer”: a person who holds a public office. Since the people recruited under the BBC TV Licensing™ contract by Capita Business Services are employees of a private business they cannot be persons who hold public office. The BBC themselves are a private business so the businesses retained under the BBC TV Licensing™ contract can have no public office. Persons in public office cannot undertake “sales” or selling activity for to do so would be a conflict of interest. So, there it is. Under the BBC TV Licensing™ contract the people who go from door to door visiting unlicensed addresses are not holders of public office and are therefore not “officers” but “sales persons”.

The (non-) job advertisement states as much. Careful reading reveals that those employed by Capita Business Services under the BBC TV Licensing™ contract have a sales commission element to their remuneration, "uncapped commission" is how it is put. Furthermore, they have sales targets to achieve which has been revealed in press articles about court appearances of corrupt employees of Capital Business Services. It leads to all sorts of abuses which will be dealt with in another blogpost.

The advertisement reveals much more about the BBC TV Licensing™ contract at first reading than people would initially suppose. Contained within the terms, conditions and clauses of the BBC TV Licensing™ contract is the exhortation that Capita Business Services “maximise BBC television licence revenue” and to “make the BBC television licence ‘acceptable’" to those who think the BBC television licence is unacceptable. The BBC TV Licensing™ contract is truly a most odious document. It is the basis of one of the nastiest applications of database based “enforcement” in existence and it should have no place in a democracy. The United Kingdom purports to be a democracy and consequently the BBC television licence regime and the entire apparatus of deceitful harassment arising from the BBC TV Licensing™ contract should be abolished. The BBC made a subscription service.

The value of domestic cctv surveillance and handheld video camera can prove invaluable in gathering evidence of the serial abuses and misdemeanours perpetrated by employees of Capita Business Services under cover of the BBC TV Licensing™ contract. TV Licensing Watch advise anybody who has the misfortune to have face to face dealings with Capita Business Services TV Licensing™ to make an audio-visual record of those dealings in their entirety covertly or overtly with cctv and handheld video cameras.

For people who have not exercised their right to remain silent, TV Licensing Watch advise anybody who has had the misfortune to have face to face dealings with Capita Business Services TV Licensing™ and have received a summons as a consequence to contact a licensed law practitioner if: there is the slightest discrepancy between the actual situation regarding viewing habits and/or what actually happened during the interview compared with what has been written on the TVL178 Record of Interview self incrimination form.