The BBC has been widely criticised on social media and accused of ‘terrifying’ the elderly with ‘threatening’ licence fee letters. These letters have been warning of a £1,000 fine for failure to pay the £157.50-a-year payment.
One such letter was posted by the receiver onto social media. The letter said: ‘Our records show your property has no TV licence. I visited today, to find out why. You have not replied to our letters. So, my visit today was the next stage of the official investigation into why your address doesn’t have a TV licence’.
The letters received were included red capital letters as a means of informing people that they could face prosecution. Another social media user confirmed that these letters were being sent to the elderly. The Twitter user said: ‘My parents (88 years!) have just received your threatening letter demanding they set up a direct debit to pay their licence fee. They are now highly stressed as they don’t know how to do this! I do hope you are proud of the stress you are causing our parents’.
A BBC spokesperson has denied that these letters are in any way linked to the cancellation of the over 75’s license fee that occurred earlier in the year. The BBC spokesperson said: ‘These letters have no connection to changes made to free licences for over 75s, they have not been sent to any older customers and TV Licensing will not be making visits to them while these changes are rolled out. For people not in this group, we make no apology for reminding them they must pay the licence fee’.