Followed Tv license rules

Hi I have followed all of MSE rules for not having a tv license, namely watching bbc on my phone and not plugging into a wall or watching it on my tv, along with not watching any live tv. I have had an email saying I have been watching bbc I player on my tv and because I have let them know I don’t need a tv license they are demanding payments and have ‘As your No Licence Needed status is now invalid, you will need to buy a TV Licence’. I can’t seem to be able to let them know they are wrong. Has anyone experienced this before? I don’t want to pay for one but if this happens every time I use the bbc I player app I think I’m just gonna have to pay for the license. 
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  • Neil_Jones
    Neil_Jones Posts: 8,805
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    Scv1 said:
    Hi I have followed all of MSE rules for not having a tv license, namely watching bbc on my phone and not plugging into a wall or watching it on my tv, along with not watching any live tv. I have had an email saying I have been watching bbc I player on my tv and because I have let them know I don’t need a tv license they are demanding payments and have ‘As your No Licence Needed status is now invalid, you will need to buy a TV Licence’. I can’t seem to be able to let them know they are wrong. Has anyone experienced this before? I don’t want to pay for one but if this happens every time I use the bbc I player app I think I’m just gonna have to pay for the license. 

    It changed a while back that you needed a licence to view the iPlayer (or any "live" TV).  So if you don't have one then, well you should get one really even if it is just for iPlayer - https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/broadband-and-tv/tv-licence/#needtoknow-2 - "A rule that came into force in September 2016 means you need a licence to legally use BBC iPlayer, even if you're only watching catch-up TV. But that doesn't apply to other catch-up services, so ITV Hub, All 4 and My5 are legal to use without a licence as long as you're not using them to watch live TV on any device."

  • pbartlett
    pbartlett Posts: 1,397
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    have you been watching iplayer ?
  • Cornucopia
    Cornucopia Posts: 16,134
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    edited 21 May 2021 at 5:12PM
    Although it sounds like it is justified in this case...

    they are making something of an unwise and inappropriate assumption, which is that the email used for the No Licence form and the BBC ID relate to the same street address, which of course isn't necessarily true in every case - not even close.

    Also, it's worth saying that the email has little or no legal weight. 
  • Scv1
    Scv1 Posts: 4
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    pbartlett said:
    have you been watching iplayer ?
    Yeah but only in my phone, the account is the same email address that the tv licensing company has for me. So I think they are wrongly assuming I have watched it via my tv. The MSE advise was that you are allowed to watch it through your phone as long as it’s not plugged in to a power socket at the time. 
  • Scv1
    Scv1 Posts: 4
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    Although it sounds like it is justified in this case...

    they are making something of an unwise and inappropriate assumption, which is that the email used for the No Licence form and the BBC ID relate to the same street address, which of course isn't necessarily true in every case - not even close.

    Also, it's worth saying that the email has little or no legal weight. 
    This is correct and is what I thought. Do you have any advise in this situation? Thank you 
  • wongataa
    wongataa Posts: 2,597
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    Scv1 said:
    pbartlett said:
    have you been watching iplayer ?
    Yeah but only in my phone, the account is the same email address that the tv licensing company has for me. So I think they are wrongly assuming I have watched it via my tv. The MSE advise was that you are allowed to watch it through your phone as long as it’s not plugged in to a power socket at the time. 
    You are only allowed to watch iPlayer on your phone if you actually have a TV license for your address.  You don't so you shouldn't be watching iPlayer at all on any device.  You are not following the rules.  This is why you are being told to get a license.
  • Cornucopia
    Cornucopia Posts: 16,134
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    edited 23 May 2021 at 11:47AM
    Scv1 said:
    This is correct and is what I thought. Do you have any advise in this situation? Thank you 
    As Wongataa says above, the battery-powered device exemption is for people who already have a TV Licence at their main address (they can watch TV & iPlayer anywhere using a portable device).

    If you want to watch TV programs at home without a TV Licence, you can use the commercial catch-up services, as well as video on demand services like Netflix, Amazon, Now TV and Youtube.   The only proviso is that you cannot watch iPlayer at all and you cannot watch the streamed versions of other broadcast TV channels.  

    You can safely ignore the email.
  • pphillips
    pphillips Posts: 1,631
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    wongataa said:
    Scv1 said:
    pbartlett said:
    have you been watching iplayer ?
    Yeah but only in my phone, the account is the same email address that the tv licensing company has for me. So I think they are wrongly assuming I have watched it via my tv. The MSE advise was that you are allowed to watch it through your phone as long as it’s not plugged in to a power socket at the time. 
    You are only allowed to watch iPlayer on your phone if you actually have a TV license for your address.  You don't so you shouldn't be watching iPlayer at all on any device.  You are not following the rules.  This is why you are being told to get a license.
    Unless the OP is a student covered by their parent's TV licence, which is allowed under the rules.
  • Mickey666
    Mickey666 Posts: 2,834
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    Scv1 said:
    Hi I have followed all of MSE rules for not having a tv license, namely watching bbc on my phone and not plugging into a wall or watching it on my tv, along with not watching any live tv. I have had an email saying I have been watching bbc I player on my tv and because I have let them know I don’t need a tv license they are demanding payments and have ‘As your No Licence Needed status is now invalid, you will need to buy a TV Licence’. I can’t seem to be able to let them know they are wrong. Has anyone experienced this before? I don’t want to pay for one but if this happens every time I use the bbc I player app I think I’m just gonna have to pay for the license. 
    Something seems odd about this.
    Are you absolutely certain that the email is from TVLicencing? 
    Do they say how they know for sure that you've been watching iplayer on your TV?  The only way they could prove this would be via tracing your IP address and to do this they would have to have information from your ISP.  I'm pretty sure an ISP would not disclose such information (it is confidential after all) without some form of legal intervention and a court order, but I'm also pretty sure they'd need to submit some fairly strong evidence of wrong-doing to the court before such a court order was granted.

    It all sounds a lot like a fishing exercise to me and might even be a scam, and nothing to do with TV Licencing.

    However, let's assume the email is genuine.  As long as you stick to the rules then you DON'T need a TV Licence.  In this case I would simply ignore the email but make sure I really am not using iplayer or watching any live TV on any device - TV, PC, tablet, smartphone, etc.

    But if you genuinely DO use iPlayer, then you should buy a TV licence.



  • Cornucopia
    Cornucopia Posts: 16,134
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    edited 23 May 2021 at 12:41PM
    Mickey666 said:
    Something seems odd about this.
    Are you absolutely certain that the email is from TVLicencing...? 
    This is a known TVL tactic.   It isn't based on tracing IP addresses.  It's based on the same email address appearing in both the No Licence Needed form (or possibly from a previous Licence purchase) and in a BBC ID that is then used to watch iPlayer.   It isn't definitive evidence of evasion (and I'm guessing that the wording of the email doesn't say it is, but merely implies it).

    It's all part of the web of mendacity that is BBC TV Licensing.

    This is the current MSE official advice.   I've re-read the advice about portable devices and I think it's pretty clear.   But this is the second query about this topic in recent weeks, so perhaps I'm missing something?
    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/broadband-and-tv/tv-licence/

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