Avoiding the BBC licensing fee a surprisingly controversial topic. That such a system of enforced nationally enforced subscription exists in 2020 seems lost on most but this doesn’t make it any less unfair. However, this guide isn’t to show you how to not pay for the fee AND watch use the BBC. If you genuinely don’t use BBC services and are beginning to feel the financial pinch of covid19.
Why should we pay the BBC licensing fee?
You should avoid the BBC licensing fee if you’re not using it. It’s as simple as that. It’s only fair and right than you shouldn’t have to pay for something that you do not use despite its place within British antiquity. In a free and fair society you should only pay for what you use.
When you stop using a month to month contract service Netflix or decide that any other subscription service is no longer needed then you have the right to cancel it. The BBC should be no different regardless of how ingrained it is in UK culture.
What if I don’t use BBC Channels or Radio?
Avoiding the BBC licensing fee is only fair if you don’t use the service so it should be a simple as that, right? You would think so but the fee is termed as a license which allows you to watch and record TV signals. While that’s massively unfair and you might you think that you’re stuck with paying, you can still avoid paying the BBC license fee legally. If you neither watch live broadcast TV nor record it and ONLY use catchup services like ITVPlayer, Netflix, Channel 4 Catchup and other apps that play programs AFTER they have broadcast then you’re exempt.
Can the BBC TV License Inspectors enter my home?
When you are not registered for a BBC license and have not told the BBC licensing team that you don’t need a license then they can visit you but that’s it. They CANNOT enter your home and despite their protestations remember that they are on a sales target with bonuses to get people to pay. They are a form of salesman and have as much power as any one knocking on your door. However, you will only ever see these chaps if you are a household with no TV license AND NO REASON FOR NOT HAVING ONE LOGGED.
How can I stop the BBC TV License Inspectors visiting?
To stop the BBC TV License inspectors visiting you simply need to call them and give a valid reason for not needing a license. Remember, their questions are pitched to have you say the wrong thing and end up paying.
- You DON’T watch the BBC
- You DON’T watch broadcast TV on the internet
- You DON’T watch any LIVE TV
- You DON’T watch BBC on Youtube
- You DO watch some shows using catch-up services but not LIVE
Stopping BBC TV License visiting you in a more effective way is to give one simple answer either by form or by phone.
“I don’t watch live TV on religious grounds”
While this might seem dishonest if you do not practice any religion then consider the following. Religion is an open ended category that encompasses any belief or practice which includes any personal belief that you describe as such. You could worship the earth we live in, you could worship nature and you could even worship money and choose to not part with it unnecessarily for BBC services that you don’t pay for.
Can you avoid the BBC TV License fee long term on religious grounds?
Avoiding the BBC TV license fee on religious grounds has its benefits. Unlike simply claiming you don’t watch TV it does enter different areas of the law and has long term benefits.
Firstly, it can be construed as harassment on their part to pursue someone who has made this declaration. While the BBC aren’t particular favourable towards a majority religious grouping like Christianity, this doesn’t extend to pursuing license fees. They have to treat all religious groups without any bias the same way. This is a very touchy area of the law and quickly slips into harassment territory when you have made it clear that your personal beliefs do not allow for broadcast TV.
Secondly, you’re unlikely to change your position and unless you have given them reasons for to suspect you have changed belief then they have no reason to contact you or challenge this. How often does someone change religion? While it’s certainly believable that someone might change financial situation and take up watching live TV, religious views are static.
Every two years you are likely to receive a letter asking if your situation has changed and all you ever need do is either go online, post the reply or call the number on the letter to confirm that your situation is the same.
Can the BBC TV License enforcement officers monitor me?
Avoiding paying the BBC TV licence used to be enforced by vans that somehow monitored the activity within homes. The BBC spent endless amounts of money promoting this belief and would have these vans patrol areas with strange equipments attached to the roof. As it turned out they did nothing of the sort and it was all a fear campaign to keep people paying under the false belief that even owning a TV could land you with a fine if their high-tech monitoring equipment flagged it up.
Can the BBC do anything of the sort now with technology having improved? No, they still cannot. The only information they ever had was households without a licence or a reason and the only power they have ever wielded was verbal aggression and empty threats.
Remember, they cannot enter your house, you dont need to answer their questions and all you ever need to do is give them a reason to not bother you further.
Should you cancel your BBC TV License fee direct debit?
Avoiding the BBC TV license fee should start with you calling them and explaining your position using the bullet points above. They will cancel the direct debit for you as they will have cancelled the license. If you cancel the direct debit yourself then it creates a situation where their inspectors will make annoying visits to your house because there will be no license and no reason given. ALWAYS contact them and cancel.
From a moral position, if you’re not watching BBC programs and if you’re not watching live TV broadcasts then you’re not using the service nor are you breaking the law.
Spread the saving to a friend if it works for you.