TV licence misery for Trebles Holford pensioner after he changes house name (From Somerset County Gazette)
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TV licence misery for Trebles Holford pensioner after he changes house name
A PENSIONER repeatedly sent threatening letters from TV Licensing by mistake has been promised he won’t be bothered again.
Brian Totman has been warned he faced a three-figure fine, a visit from a compliance officer or a search warrant could be applied for through the courts – even though he’s had a licence all along.
Brian’s problems started soon after he officially changed the name of his house in Trebles Holford, near Bishops Lydeard, from Redlands to Redlands House to avoid confusion with the neighbouring property, Redlands Barn, where his daughter lives.
He informed TV Licensing of the change in March and soon after received a letter confirming they were aware of his ‘new’ address and that his existing licence was valid.
But within a couple of weeks, letters started dropping onto his door mat warning of the consequences if he failed to get a licence.
They continued even after his new licence arrived ahead of the £145.50 annual direct debit being taken out of his bank account on June 1.
After he was threatened with a visit from a TVL officer, Brian, 65, angrily fired off an e-mail again pointing out their mistake.
Despite an apology from TVL, who promised their records had since been corrected, and being told to ignore any further demands, there was another ‘red’ letter just last week.
“It said they had no alternative but to proceed with the final stages of their investigation,” said Brian.
“They’ve threatened me with court action and have said they could go to court to apply for a search warrant, even though a month before they’d told me it was all sorted.
“I’m fed up to the back teeth with them. They’re a complete shambles and I haven’t been able to get anywhere with them.”
A TVL spokesman said: “TV Licensing has a database of 30million addresses so sometimes mistakes do happen.
“In this case, Mr Totman’s old address remained on our database, which resulted in erroneous mailings sent to his former address for which we apologise.
“We’ve no intention of troubling people who are licensed, and thank Mr Totman for bringing this to our attention. We’ve since resolved the matter, and no further letters will be sent.”