Buying a TV in the UK? No need to give your address any more

Some of you may already know this, but it’s worth remarking on the passing of one of the quirks of the Wireless Telegraphy Act (1967). This was the Act of Parliament that required anyone renting or selling TV receivers to collect name and address details, and pass them on to the TV licensing authorities.

As part of the current government’s desire to streamline things for business, this requirement has been abolished, with effect from the 25th of June this year. So, if you’re buying a TV, video recorder, set top box, or any of the bits of kit that used to prompt a demand for your address in the past, it’s no longer necessary.

I’d be interested to hear if stores are up to speed on this; I’m sure some are. And I’m equally sure that if some could get away with it, they would try and use this requirement to harvest your data for their own reasons too.

The Impact Assessment for this decision is worth a read; one curious thing – to me at least – is that in the cost implications, because the BBC isn’t a business or a ‘civil society organisation’, whatever that is, then costs it incurs don’t count, whereas savings to retailers do. A brief announcement of the change is on the TV Licensing web site.

8 Replies to “Buying a TV in the UK? No need to give your address any more”

  1. Interesting. Just this year I bought two TV’s, one via Amazon and another from a high street chain store. Amazon passed on my details to TVL and the high street chain store also requested my address – and this was not for delivery purposes because I was taking the TV home myself.

    1. Was that before or after the date of the change? I suspect a lot of stores simply don’t circulate this sort of information effectively to their staff, and the training in some multiple retailers is clearly no more than the bare minimum

  2. Currys refused to sell me a new TV yesterday unless I gave them all my details. When I told them that I do not wish to give out personal details the salesman stated that it was law and that they had to send on my details to the TVL authority. I then told them that it had changed in June 2013. The manager basically told me I was mistaken and in not so many words accused me of lying.

    I wanted the TV having travelled some miles to shop there, so I told him that he wasn’t getting my real name and address and he said “I don’t care”, so my name was John Wayne and I made up a fictitious address. I then purchased the TV and went home.

    What a farce.

  3. Strange because the BBC is funded by other companies? It’s a LTD company, it’s an act not a law. We are being forced to pay a LIEcence we don’t need to pay. [ snip…. legally questionable content removed –Nigel]

    1. It’s amazing how many times someone can be wrong in just a short comment.

      The BBC is not a Limited company. It is a Corporation incorporated by Royal Charter. Some individual parts of it have other legal statuses, and may make money (eg BBC Worldwide) by selling things to other companies, but the BBC is indeed a corporation.

      The licence fee is presently established in law by the Communications Act 2003. And just because it’s called an Act does not mean it’s not a Law, unless you’re particularly deranged in your understanding of how laws are made in this country.

      The fact that you choose to spell it with a capital LIE at the start rather suggests the sort of boorish behaviour that things phrases like ‘EUSSR’ and ‘NuLieBor’ are useful debating tools, not to mention witty.

      1. I purchased a new TV from Currys and they wanted my address, I told them I do not watch live TV and I bought the set for the Netflix and Amazon Prime. I further informed him this was perfectly legal and did nor require a TV licence. He still insisted I give him my name and address as he was instructed not to sell to anyone who did not comply. My wife was with me and she did not want to make a fuss so I gave him the information, but at least I did not tell him where Ann Frank was hiding.

  4. It’s now 2019 and curry’s are still insisting on name address they are aware of law change but want to sell on info or use it for their own use not sure where that falls with data protection. I husband had a row in there and insisted he would not bow down to there rules and after a long argument and a second visit he came out with a tv for my mother who if she did watch live tv doesn’t need a tv license as she is 80

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