You are not alone in organizing your 75+ year license. At 82, you are part of a large group that previously had free licenses. However, as of August 2020, everyone over the age of 75 – with the exception of those receiving a pension credit – will have to pay the fee for the first time since 2000.
These controversial changes (which I would add that this newspaper would like to see overturned) combined with Covid upheaval – and a sizeable number refusing to pay in protest – means that many thousands of people over 75 have not yet organized their payment.
You rightly say you are not a “non-payer or refuser” Despite the fact that you tell me that you and your wife are increasingly finding that the issue has “too much crime, violence, sex scenes and swear words” in it.
You tried to pay using the method you were most comfortable with, and you also chose to pay on your second try. They sent a single check for the full fee and, to be on the safe side (albeit a little reluctantly), paid the surcharge for registered delivery. They contacted me last week to say the check was safe this time.
The good news for others in your situation is that they don’t have to rush. The BBC announced last month that the pandemic had given people over 75 years of age more time to sort through their licenses – though it wasn’t exactly specified for how long.
This means that, for the time being, those over 75 who have not yet paid can watch TV programs on all channels without fear of prosecution or a £ 1,000 fine for non-payment.
It’s a hello from me
If you’ve turned to this column and wondered what happened to Katie Morley, I can tell you that she’s been researching parenting for the next several months. Don’t worry, I have faithfully promised her that I will look after her loyal readers in her absence. I am a seasoned personal finance journalist who has covered money matters for national newspapers for over 25 years.
During my award-winning career, I have resolved many complaints on behalf of readers and I intend to hold Katie’s brilliant work at holding companies accountable. I am ready and waiting to investigate your complaint. So have your letters and emails ready. Here you will find all the ways in which you can reach me.