Ministry of Propaganda

Ministry of Propaganda - 17/Jun/2006: "Still Waiting For TV Licensing"

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Still Waiting For TV Licensing

Two weeks ago I blogged about the possible end of the TV Licensing Saga. As the promised (or should I call it threatened?) visit hasn't happened yet I thought I write about a point Simon Bone brought up in an e-mail to me:

Simon (who is also waiting for the visit after receiving the well known letters) asks: Your latest post is particularly interesting because you received a telephone call from them - have you any idea how they obtained your number? Quite honestly, I have no idea. Apart from 'they looked it up in the phone book', that is.

The first letters I received from them were addressed to the infamous 'The Present Occupier'. After about a year I received the first letter addressed to me (and the 'Present Occupier'), I'm guessing here but I assume they obtained my name from the electoral register. While I'm not a UK citizen I'm still on the register as an EU citizen (I can vote in local elections and the European Parliament elections). This continued for a while until it changed back to just the 'present occupier' for a while. The most recent letters have been addressed to me as well as 'The Legal Occupier', I guess TV Licensing doesn't apply to squatters and other illegal occupiers?

But back to the telephone number: As they had my name it can't have been too difficult to obtain my telephone number as well, a quick search on directory enquiries should sort that. I'm not ex-directory (although my number is registered with the Telephone Preference Service, so don't bother dear telemarketers), so they can just look it up. I have no idea about the legality of doing that and then calling me, don't know where to start looking for answers, so I leave that question for any bored lawyer reading this and inclined to answer the question.

At least TV Licensing has a Privacy Policy, which also mentions that they use third parties to obtain information. If that covers non-customers (I don't regard myself as a customer of TV Licensing, after all I have no need for a TV Licence) I don't know.

Should the TV Licensing Enforcement Officer ever turn up I'll ask him/her...

PS: All entries for The TV Licensing Saga

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