Following on from last week's Hate Crime Guidance Manual we have the TV Licensing Ask Helpscript. All 964 pages of it. It sets out how the fee should be administered.
Staff are advised to look out for the particular 'key' words suggesting a customer is protesting about some aspect of the £145.50 annual fee. These include: compensation, complaint, disgraceful, disgusted, incompetent, appalling, furious, intimidation, mistakes, harassment, rude, threatening, outrageous, upsetting, unacceptable and swear words.
Officials are givens tock answers to common criticisms of the licence, including 'The BBC is producing poor programmes', 'Some are offensive', 'I am only going to pay a proportion of the fee' and 'If an old person had received this letter they would have been very shocked'.
Now I have the vocabulary that the Licensing authority understand, it's time I added to their complaint numbers. For years now the BBC's programme quality has been deteriorating. Here in Scotland we aren't even allocated our own main news programme. Scottish news is tagged onto the end of the 'main' BBC news. Yet they managed to build a multi-million pound, state-of-the-art centre in Glasgow a few years ago. Perhaps that's why there is no money left for quality programmes.
A TV Licensing spokeswoman said: 'There are more than 25 million licences in force.'In 2009-10 complaints totalled 29,900, representing 0.1% of all licence holders, which was a 16% decrease on the previous year.'Complaint numbers are published each year in TV Licensing's annual review.'She added: 'The Government is responsible for setting the level of the licence fee and defines who needs a licence.'