TV licensing Ireland
Friday, 30 January 2009 10:30

Like the UK, Ireland follows up all addresses where there is no television licence. Where the countries differ is that in Ireland the service has not been subcontracted out to a private company

Here is an exchange of letters between someone who does not have a television and An Post.

The person received a standard letter pointing out that if they had a television then they needed to purchase a licence.


Dear Mr or Ms [name],
Your letter dated [date], with account number [number]
I am in receipt of your letter. You begin by addressing me ‘Dear Customer', I have purchased stamps from my local post office but nothing more, I think Dear Sir or Madam would be a more appropriate form of address.
You say that someone called. There is no evidence that your agent called, I have not received any card or other communication. I cannot understand why your agent was not able to speak to me. However, at my previous address I did receive a card. It was pushed through the letterbox whilst I was in the house, the person who pushed it through had made no attempt to speak to me on that occasion. I wrote to your office complaining and asked for an explanation but no communication was received. Please supply details of the exact time and date of the alleged call and how this person attempted to contact me.
Your letter appears to assume that everyone has and wants to have a television.
I do not own any equipment capable of receiving and decoding television signals neither will I be owning such equipment. I am well aware that this may appear an anomaly in a society that is obsessed with 24-hour news and titillation. There is a  popular belief that a television is one of life's essentials, or that life cannot be lived without television, that is not true.
The people of this country would be much happier, healthier and better off in innumerable ways if they would stop watching television. An average children in Ireland (4 to 14 years) watch 2.3 hours a day while adults watch 3 hours a day. For adults that amounts to 21 hours a week, so stopping watching it is like being given every afternoon off from work. That time can be used for self-improvement such as learning another language.
I have seen television whilst staying in hotels. It presents an unrealistic view of the world, I will spare you my full views on television and its influence on society, your job depends on television so you unlikely to take such views seriously.

Yours sincerely,


An Post responded promptly and politely .  . .An Post


Ref: [number and address]

[date]

Dear [name]

Thank you for your letter of [date] regarding the receipt by you of TV Licence correspondence frorm An PosT and I apologise for the delay in replying to you.

The TV Licence Inspector called to your address on [date] between 7pm and 8pm in (sic)
The fact that he did not get to speak to you meant that he should have left a standard "No Attention" card which when recorded on our computer causes a follow up letter such as the one you received to be sent if a TV Licence is not purchased for the address. The Inspector cannot recall leaving a card but it is his normal practice to do so.

The letter's wording assumes that the person visited is due to buy a TV Licence but the text does inform you of your legal requirement to hold a current TV Licence when in possession of a receiving apparatus for wireless telegraphy, so conversely when you do not have a TV Set then you do not need a TV Licence.

The TV Licence database has been updated to show that there is no TV Set at your address, and please accept my apology for any inconvenience or upset caused by our letter.

Yours sincerely


to which the complainant responded . . .

Thank you for your letter dated [date]. I have been away from home and it was waiting for me on my return.
I am writing to thank you for taking the trouble to respond to my original letter in a positive and helpful manner, something that I do appreciate.
I assure you that in the unlikely event that either my wife or I should decide to purchase a television then we will purchase a licence.

Yours sincerely,


In this case the complaint was handled well, we're delighted to be able to present a positive outcome, far too often organisations treat complaints as a nuisance and try to fob off people with lame excuses for bad service.



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