Doncaster TV licence payers lag behind in technology stakes

Doncaster people prefer to pay for their TV licence by cheque.
Doncaster people prefer to pay for their TV licence by cheque.

People in Doncaster prefer old fashioned methods when it comes to paying for their TV licence, new research has revealed.

Residents prefer to make payments by cheque rather than using online services, according to TV Licensing.

Some towns and cities across the UK are forging ahead by leading the adoption of online payment channels while others, including Doncaster, prefer using lower tech methods.

With over 25 million licences in force across the UK, TV Licensing has witnessed an increase in customers who have embraced paying for their TV Licence online whilst others are doggedly refusing to give up on the humble cheque, a method of payment which has been around for hundreds of years.

Last year 20,085 homes in Doncaster helped make up the 5.6m customers across the UK who received their TV Licence by email (elicence) – a paperless way of paying for and updating their TV Licence account online. However, TV Licensing also received nearly half a million cheques from customers in the UK, including 1,167 from Doncaster, who preferred paying using the more traditional method.

The figures put Doncaster 32nd in the UK for payment by cheque, while the town ranks 39th for online TV licence payments.

Matthew Thompson, spokesperson for TV Licensing, said: “We would encourage our existing customers, as well as those buying their first TV Licence, to manage their licensing account and payments online. If you’re renewing your licence, it’s worth checking that you’re using the payment method that’s best for you.

“You can spread the cost of your licence using monthly Direct Debit, which can be set up in minutes online at tvlicensing.co.uk and you will then have the peace of mind of knowing that your licence is renewed automatically.”

What is quite remarkable is that some customers are still sending in TV Licensing stamps to either pay or part-pay for their licence, or for refunding, despite stamps being unavailable to buy since 2008. Over the past 12 months TV Licensing has received, on average, the equivalent of £300 a month in TV Licensing stamps.

Maurice Flack, a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society, said: “TV Licensing stamps were once a popular way of paying for a TV Licence in a time before widespread use of Direct Debits and credit cards.

“I remember buying the stamps with my father who would let me stick them in a special card which he then posted to TV Licensing in return for the next year’s licence. However, I’m surprised to learn stamps are still being returned to TV Licensing six years since they ceased to be available.”

TV Licensing has recently launched a mobile optimised website which makes it even easier for customers to pay, update or check their details online. Customers can choose to receive their licence or TV Licensing correspondence by email, and those using a Payment or Savings Card can now log in to see their details online.

A colour TV Licence currently costs £145.50 and is needed for watching or recording TV programmes as they are shown on TV, whether they are using a TV set, computer, or any other equipment. Anyone watching TV illegally risks prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.

To buy a TV Licence, or find our more information about licensing requirements, visit tvlicensing.co.uk