Try to cancel your TV license – An experience – A tip

To us it looked very clear cut. We leave the UK, the house will be empty and certainly have nothing with a plug attached to it. If it has a plug you need a certificate when renting.

No plug, no TV, no licensing fee or so we thought.

It is not that easy. If, like us, you have a DD mandate and you simply try to cancel your license tv-licensing is unable to do this when calling their service? center. Can’t they imagine anyone ever leave the UK???

So we cancelled the DD. Yup, within days we received a notice that we may be  illegally watching TV. The renewal was due a couple of weeks later. So we made a quarterly payment via a new DD. They don’t do monthly, particularly if you are well off.

This payment is to cover the period January to March. Today my wife phoned them and advised that we will leave at the end of January and we would like to be reimbursed for the two month we have paid in excess.

When I scraped her off the ceiling, she revealed that the flat answer was « … we don’t reimburse for less than a quarterly payment …. »

Sorry, but in my book that is another « Rip off Britain ». It’s not that you have a choice, if you want to legally watch TV by means other than the Internet you have to pay.

When I book a hotel, I only pay when I leave. I may give a credit card as security but if I cancel 24 hours beforehand, no money is taken.

So here is my tip:

In time, stop an existing DD and have them beg you for money. This is when you can switch to quarterly. Then don’t forget to stop / cancel this DD. When you leave within a month or two just send them the money that is due to them. With hindsight it’s what we should have done.

Update March 2009:

Checking the official licensing site, there is still no obvious means of cancelling. If one uses the search facility and types cancel one gets some answers. How do I cancel my DD – well contact us or go ahead.
Under refund one gets a downloadable PDF this one allows under reason to send a ticket, final bill or something else so they may determine that one is no longer obliged.

Go here http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/information/index.jsp  top right corner is a search box, type in cancel………

Expat