TV licensing direct debit con

Is it just me, or does anyone else think that the TV Licensing people's monthly direct debit is a con? This is what it says on their website:
------------------
Pay monthly      You'll pay for your first licence by Direct Debit in equal monthly payments within the first six months.
If you don't already have a licence, or your current licence has less than six months to run, you'll make fewer but larger payments.
After this, you can start paying towards your next licence in 12 monthly instalments of around £11 per month (six payments before it begins and six after). These payments will always add up to the same amount as the annual licence fee. -------------------
It seems to me that you pay for your first licence in the first six months. You then pay half of the next licence in the next six. This means after a year you have paid 1.5 TV licenses.
It appears to me that they always (after 6 months) have half a license worth of money of yours which you'll never get back. This is just for the ability to pay in easy instalments. If you were to pay immediately, of course they effectively have the whole license money immediately, however you'd never pay more than one license in one year.
The whole thing sounds like a con, especially for those with low incomes. The text is misleading by saying "These payments will always add up to the same amount as the annual licence fee.".
Well, I'm paying annually by credit card and keeping the 1%, thank you, not that I mind paying for the BBC (despite the number of crap reality shows they keep pumping out).
cd
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X-No-Archive: yes

Why should any broadcaster spend GBP1M per hour on drama and get a minuscule audience when GBP200K per hour spent on weeding programmes wins more sensible-sized audiences? I bet the Beeb are in there bidding the GBP10M to buy 'Celebrity Everest Challenge' which will give them over 100 hours of broadcasting. A real wheeze of a programme in which the mountain rather than viewers decides who should be thrown off. Not many brain dead totties in skimpy bikinis, though.
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writes

Don't worry James... the renewal just came in, when I slap down my 126.50 I'll be thinking of you. Bottoms up!
Az.
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criticaldensity wrote:

Assuming you start from zero - you get the first licence now and pay for it in 6 monthly installments at 0% interest. In fact this is probably one of the few 0% interest deals that is really that. i don't know that they specifically upped the fee to compensate -
You pay for the second licence half in advance and half afterwards. Again what you pay in arrears is at 0% interest which balances out the 0% you get to charge them.
The alternative "easy pay" system is stamps - in which case to always pay a whole fee in advance.
Finally, you would get the "half a licence fee" back when you pulled out of the scheme. Either paying up front or if you no longer use the TV for broadcast reception purposes. Or leave the country.
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I reckon that if they had a "no nonsense" true monthly DD system then they would get far fewer people evading the licence.
I remember signing up for monthly DD but soon cancelled when I was plainly being overcharged. Monthly DD should be just that - 1/12th of the annual sum split into twelve equal payments. My broadband provider has no problem with it so why do the Beeb have such a problem with it?
Having said that I have wondered why you cannot pay car tax by monthly DD - this could easily discourage people from evading it who have difficulty finding a minimum 6 months up front.
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wrote:

Thats really what it is after the first one. In the first year you pay for your licence in 6 installments. Then you go on to pay a 12th every month, with 6 months in advance and 6 in arrears.
Having said that my daughter recently moved into a flat and baulked at the cost - as she felt she was being asked to pay too much in her first year- so they eventually paid the licence and cancelled the direct debit.
Neb
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snip>>>> > After this, you can start paying towards your next licence in 12 monthly

Ignore the first license. You pay half before and half after it is due, which is neutral. At the 6 months point they have been paid for half a license- which is losing you interest. You have paid 0.5 of a licence, yet get a whole one. For the next six months you are paying in arrears, which is losing them interest. So the payment six months late is balanced out by the payment six months early, and so on with the rest of the payments, so the effect is broadly neutral.
Ignoring all that though, many people run their finances in such a way that they juat can't afford to pay a licence in one go.
Neb
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On Wed, 08 Jun 2005 19:05:44 +0100, Nebulous wrote:

Yes, it's fine after the first half year, but you never get back the original half licence, until eventually the interest you have gained by not paying at the start of the year exceeds that amount. Personally I'd rather pay monthly, with a bit more to make up for the fact that you haven't given them all the money at once.
It would be much more sensible to pay the licence on a month-by-month basis, as presumably the BBC spend the money on a month-by-month basis (assuming they don't blow the money at once...). Phone companies, cable networks, internet providers, electricity companies, are all happy to be paid monthly. I don't know why the licence people need twelve months in advance.
cd
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"criticaldensity" wrote

That's because you used that licence up, when you watched TV for the first 6 months!
If you were paying the whole licence fee in one go at each anniversary, and eventually die just one day after one of the anniversaries, then "you never get back the *full* licence fee you just paid". In the alternative monthly arrangement, you'll have paid a half a year LESS than if you had been paying in full on the anniversaries instead.
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On Thu, 09 Jun 2005 11:41:48 +0000, Tim wrote:

No, you buy one whole licence in the first 6 months, 1.5 in twelve months. You buy one whole licence in the first 12 months if you buy in one go.

I thought you could always cancel your current licence and get back the money remaining.
It doesn't make sense that you can't buy a licence on a month-by-month basis. Virtually every other service is payed like this.
cd
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criticaldensity wrote:

The REAL con is the BT monthly payment system! That is designed to keep you paying too much.
example: Phone bill around 90 per quarter. BT talked her into "saving 10" by switching to DD @30 per month
She later switched her ISP to unmetered saving 15 per month+ and then switched phone calls to another supplier, using the same line.
Cost of BT per month now 10 approx.
BT agree to refund excess and cut monthly DD, but not until after they have taken one more payment of 30!!! Thus keeping 20 in credit...... all to "save" 10.
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"rob." wrote

That's not "the" BT monthly DD system - it is just *one* of them. BT also allow you to pay the exact bill monthly by DD - each time, you never over- (or under-) pay, because the DD is for the exact bill amount.
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What annoys me about TV licensing is that I cannot buy a TV license for the 4 weeks I will have a TV this summer. I have to buy a full year's license with the option of reclaiming the unused quarters. You would think in 2005 they would have a more flexible system.
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What would happen if you set up the direct debit payments and simply cancelled them as soon as you no longer required the tv?
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I used to have the same problem until I stopped having a TV but I thought that they had changed the rules and you can now claim back unused months, as for car tax?
There also used to be the point that if within one month of purchasing a licence you did not need a licence you could get a full refund. Don't know if that still applies and never tried to claim the month's refund.
Mark BR
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Normally you would have to buy a licence *before* you can use the set. In your case you are buying a year's licence partly before the event and partly after it, i.e. the start of your year.
Rob Graham
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"criticaldensity" wrote

Yes. The alternative is paying the full licence fee each time at the start of each year; this means after a year you have paid 2.0 TV licenses (a whole one at the start of the first year, and another whole one at the start of the second year).
1.5 < 2.0 !!
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On Thu, 09 Jun 2005 08:30:44 +0000, Tim wrote:

Yes, though after 11 months and 30 days, 1 < 1.5!
cd
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"criticaldensity" wrote

That's the whole point - half the time you're ahead, half the time you're behind. The average over all time is almost exactly neutral.
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On Thu, 09 Jun 2005 11:42:18 +0000, Tim wrote:

Not for short periods - the first year is much worse.
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