TV Licence: Head of Silver Voices hits out at cost for pensioners
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TV licence payments are now required by the vast majority of Britons who choose to watch live television in the home, regardless of the channel. Following changes in August 2020, over 75s, who previously receive a free entitlement, will now be required to pay, unless they are eligible for Pension Credit. This created a great deal of controversy at the time, with many older people resistant to meeting the new £159 levy.
However, the BBC recently confirmed most over 75 households have now communicated their arrangements.
For those who have not, though, they may expect to be visited by individuals from the TV Licensing company.
The visits are called “customer care visits” and were promised at the beginning of the transition process in order to help older individuals with moving onto a paid licence.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, though, these were not able to take place.
TV Licence: Over 75s may receive ‘customer care visits’ for non-payment (Image: Getty)
They are scheduled to begin in the autumn, subject to any further COVID-19 restrictions which may arise.
TV Licensing has described customer care visits as helping individuals to become correctly licensed.
The visits are to be carried out by individuals who are specially trained in assisting older customers.
TV Licensing has said no “record of interview” – usually required before a prosecution is considered – will be made on these visits.
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Over 75s have already been written to regarding their TV Licence arrangements.
This correspondence has informed people of how they can make arrangements to start paying.
This can be done all in one go, or alternatively arranged by Direct Debit to spread the cost across the year.
Of course, some individuals who are not happy with the TV Licence payment may wish to cancel the arrangement.
TV Licence: European TV Licence fees (Image: EXPRESS)
If a person paid in full or by Direct Debit, they are encouraged to use the organisation’s ‘Contact Us’ form, and subsequently cancel the Direct Debit with their bank.
Those meeting the cost with a TV Licensing payment card will need to call the TV Licensing company for more details.
Individuals who are 74 or over and receive Pension Credit are encouraged to sign in online to apply for a free licence.
Those who believe they are eligible, but do not currently have a free licence should contact the company on 0300 790 6117.
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A TV Licensing spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “Nine out of 10 over 75 households have made arrangements and we are grateful for their support for the licence fee.
“We will continue to support the small group of older customers who are yet to get set up, which is why we have written to them outlining the simple steps they need to take.
“In addition, customer care visits, which will begin in autumn, have been carefully designed for those who may require further assistance.
“They are not enforcement visits and will be carried out by a specially trained customer care team.”