Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. Free legal advice is available from a Citizen's Advice Bureau, and the Law Society can supply a list of local solicitors.

I want to stop paying my TV license - can anyone advise?

(23 Posts)
MumfordandDaughter Fri 05-Apr-13 12:12:24

Hi there.

I'm thinking of restarting my driving lessons, so I'm looking for ways to cut costs.

I have a package with Virgin Media which includes L tv bundle + small broadband. My monthly total is somewhere around £37.50.

I'm thinking of downsizing this - erasing the TV aspect - and just keeping the internet. This will bring it down to £22.50 per month.

(If someone knows a cheaper supplier, please let me know. Unfortunately i don't have a landline, and all other suppliers who appear cheap sneakily add on 'line rental' in small print).

Anyway, i don't watch TV much. I opt to catch up with soaps etc on Iplayer and the like. The only channel that will be missed is Cartoonito for my dd.

My Tv license is currently £12.50 a month. So if i cut off my Virgin Tv + the license fee, I'll be saving £27.50 per month.

My worry is that my television has in built Freeview. So when the TV license people come and visit me (according to the site, they will visit frequently to check i still don't need a license) will they assume i watch this Freeview? How can I prove otherwise?

I'm hoping to phone up later this week to put all these plans into action, but I feel like I'm missing something, like I'm doing something wrong.

lougle Fri 05-Apr-13 12:15:11

Will you still want to use the TV to watch DVDs? If not, just remove the plug.

If you do want to use the TV for DVDs, you'd have to tune out all the freeview channels so that you can't receive them.

MisterUdagawa Fri 05-Apr-13 12:17:00

Ring the tv licensing folk to ask. Keep record of all convoys and get the persons name.

bamboobutton Fri 05-Apr-13 12:19:59

Just unplug it from the aerial(sp?)

Can a tv pick up freeview without the aerial plugged in?

KirstyJC Fri 05-Apr-13 12:20:21

It's not up to you to prove you're not breaking the law, it's up to them to prove you are. Which they can't do if you're not.

Just call them and tell them you won't be watching any live TV and want to cancel the license.

I knew someone who had no TV - he got really shitty letters for ages saying he had to prove it and let someone into his property to check - he kept telling them that actually he didn't and in the end got his MP involved - the letters stopped after that.

Fallenangle Fri 05-Apr-13 12:24:59

De tuning is a good idea if you can do it. Disconnect the aerial and remove the lead but remember you do not have to let the TV license person in if you get a visit. Be prepared for a monthly letter threatening dire consequences unless you inform the TV license people by phone that you no longer watch broadcast TV.

MumfordandDaughter Fri 05-Apr-13 12:29:34

Thanks everyone. I've never actually watched Freeview before, but i know it's built in to my TV. We'll still be using the TV for Dvds and the Wii.

I'll just make sure we aren't tuned in to anything, but i don't know if the TV will automatically tune in or not...? I'm a bit concerned that they'll ask me to turn on my TV when they visit and BBC1 pops up or something right away, even though i won't be watching it.

Lj8893 Fri 05-Apr-13 12:34:33

Just unplug your tv from the aerial, you can't access free view without the aerial. X

Absy Fri 05-Apr-13 12:43:57

Unplug it from any kind of receiver (e.g. any aerial, cable connection) and you can register on their website as someone who doesn't watch live TV (which is valid for two years).

You'll still get (or I did at least) wanky aggressive letters saying they're going to come around and visit (including one going "we have escalated this to the REGIONAL MANAGER who has approved a visit to your property") but ignore. They did turn up once, when we were out, and then we never heard from them again.

Fallenangle Fri 05-Apr-13 12:47:38

They won't be able to ask you to turn it on if you don t let them in. If you think you will let them in then take the aerial lead away, don't just unplug it.

MumfordandDaughter Fri 05-Apr-13 12:48:55

Thanks! Big relief. Someone came round last year and fitted all the houses on the street with outside ariels for Freeview, but i opted out. So i doubt I'll have the channels anyway. I'll have a play with my TV later and check.

I'm not really sure what to do about my laptop though and how i can prove i don't watch live TV on there.

But as someone else said, i guess it their job to prove i do, instead of me proving i don't.

Shlurpbop Fri 05-Apr-13 12:51:26

I stopped watching live tv over a year ago now.
The law is that you must not be watching any live tv so 4od, iplayer etc are all ok.
I just went to the Tv licence website and filled in the online form. I then got two letters warning me that someone would be round to check. I rang them to confirm that I was not watching live tv and they sent me a letter to say that they have made a note of this and would not bother me again for two years.
It was actually very simple and easy and I don't miss tv at all. I do watch a lot of Netflix though! smile

MumfordandDaughter Fri 05-Apr-13 12:56:52

That's great, Shlurp. So they didn't threaten to check your computer/laptop or anything? I'm not sure how I'd prove i only watch catch-up things like Iplayer, if i was asked to.

I'm just a big worrier though. Hopefully it they do visit, it would just be a few questions I'd need to answer.

Shlurpbop Fri 05-Apr-13 12:58:32

They threatened to come round in one of the letters but I rang them and explained that I wasn't watching live tv and then got another letter saying that was fine smile
Think it's best to ring them and keep in contact with them when the letters come - ignoring them seems to make them angry!!

OneLittleToddleTerror Fri 05-Apr-13 13:20:52

You are safe with your laptop unless you have a tv tuner card. I used to live in a flat without live tv. We have no aerial cable. Our tv was connected to a computer and a playstation. We actually let one of their inspector in when he turned up. He just confirmed that we can't get live tv, that's it.

OneLittleToddleTerror Fri 05-Apr-13 13:21:40

Basically anything you can watch over the internet is not classified as live, as far as I can understand. It's only live if you have a tv tuner card in your computer.

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 05-Apr-13 13:24:40

No, you can watch Iplayer live over the net, and you mustn't. But it warns you if you accidentally click so it's very easy to avoid.

specialsubject Fri 05-Apr-13 14:47:35

disconnect the TV aerial, and don't watch anything live on anything. Perfectly legal. Capita have no right to enter your property despite the threatening letters.

of course the rest of us will still be paying for those soaps and all the rest of the i-player content that you will keep watching. Say 'thank you'.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 06-Apr-13 16:03:33

I cancelled at the end of Jan, got a refund and not heard from them since. smile

ohforfoxsake Sat 06-Apr-13 16:07:59

How would the programmes be funded if everyone cancelled their licence fee and watched iPlayer instead?

I suppose adverts on the BBC would be Te answer? I don't like watching itv player because of the ads and not being able to fast forward.

Fallenangle Sat 06-Apr-13 16:08:53

OP you can't prove you dont watch live tv. But that is ok as it is up to TV Licensing to prove that you do. If you don't watch then they can't possibly prove that you do, can they?

Fallenangle Sat 06-Apr-13 16:13:10

fox Inertia. Eventually I think so many people will beusing only catch up and realise that they don't need a licence that the government will have to find a new system, most likely universal licensing on every property or a tax on the sale of devices.

BadLad Sun 14-Apr-13 07:35:58

Here is a fantastic blog about the letters you will receive

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: