TV licensing staff in UK given manual to detect when customers are angry

London, Oct 11 (ANI): TV Licensing bosses have issued staff with a manual advising that customers who use words like 'idiot', 'shambles' or 'useless', are likely to be making a complaint.

The manual also advised staff to look out for other indications that a viewer may be unhappy, like the use of capital letters or the phrases, "When will you people listen?", "Who do you think you are?" and "Sort yourselves out!"

The 964-page manual, known as the TV Licensing Ask Helpscript, which was released following a Freedom of Information request, sets out in detail how the fee should be administered.

A large section is dedicated to dealing with complaints, including prepared answers to regular objections about the BBC's "offensive" programmes and the aggressive tone of licence fee warning letters that could "shock" elderly people.

The document adds: "Remember underlining of key words and phrases or the use of bold or capital letters designed to make certain parts of a letter stand out is also an indication of a complaint."

The TV licence fee has been a growing source of irritation for the British public in recent years, with some people unhappy about the threatening behaviour of licence-fee collectors and the perceived bias of the BBC.

The BBC Trust announced last month that the licence fee would be frozen at 145.50 pounds for at least a year because of the financial pressures on viewers.

"There are more than 25 million licences in force. In 2009-10 complaints totalled 29,900, representing 0.1 percent of all licence holders, which was a 16 percent decrease on the previous year," the Daily Mail quoted a TV Licensing spokeswoman as saying.

"Complaint numbers are published each year in TV Licensing's annual review. The Government is responsible for setting the level of the licence fee and defines who needs a licence," she added. (ANI)

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