TVL form misleads about the law

Karin Mabberley made this Freedom of Information request to British Broadcasting Corporation

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Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

This picture shows a copy of the TVL178 interview form which instructs the Capita employee to open with the question "Do you have a TV set on the premises?"

Since a TV set does not require a licence unless it is installed AND USED to receive broadcast television it would be more appropriate for the first question to be "Do you watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV or live on an online TV service, or download or watch BBC programmes on demand, including catch up TV, on BBC iPlayer."

The current wording of the form permits Capita employees to misrepresent the law in order to secure licence sales, commission and prosecutions and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that they do so with impunity.

Why has the BBC not taken steps to protect the public and to uphold their promise to be "fair, to follow applicable laws, regulations, policies and codes of practice and to avoid threatening or intimidating behaviour" ( ) by ensuring that the wording on the TVL178
1) does not mislead the householder about the statute or
2) allow the Capita employee scope to do so?

Yours faithfully,

Karin Mabberley

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

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Dear Karin Mabberley


Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, as detailed in your email. Your request was received
on 28/02/2018.  We will deal with your request as promptly as possible,
and at the latest within 20 working days. If you have any queries about
your request, please contact us at the address below.


The reference number for your request is RFI20180409.


Kind regards,



Information Rights


BBC Freedom of Information

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FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

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Dear Ms Mabberley,


Please find attached the response to your request for information,
reference RFI20180409.


Yours sincerely


BBC Information Policy and Compliance

Room BC2 A4

Broadcast Centre

White City


W12 7TS



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