The TV Licensing Authority is facing fresh accusations of shoddy data governance after sending out a string of “final demand” letters addressed to a Brighton man who died nearly six months ago.
Concerned relatives have contacted Decision Marketing about the issue, after registering the man’s death just days after he passed away in May.
In fact, the man had not lived at the address since September last year, having spent his final months in a care home; his TV Licence expired on July 31 – three months after he died.
But the letters keep coming, with the latest one dated “September 2023”. The man’s nephew, a Decision Marketing reader, said: “These letters are not just addressed to the ‘owner/occupier’, they are addressed to my uncle who passed away many months ago.
“As you can imagine, this is upsetting for all of his family. You would think an organisation as huge as TV Licensing would run their mailings through a deceased suppression file – after all, there are at least three on the market – to ensure the licence holder was still alive. This really is basic stuff.”
The move follows a report in March this year that missing chef Claudia Lawrence – whose disappearance over 14 years ago sparked a nationwide hunt – is still being chased for her TV licence fee.
Claudia’s mother Joan said letters are still being sent to her daughter’s terraced cottage in York, with one recent missive even threatening court action and a £1,000 fine.
Joan, who estimates that two or three letters have been sent every year since Claudia went missing, said it “needs to stop”, adding the letters are causing the family “untold heartache”.
Capita has fulfilled TV licensing collection, management and administration on behalf of the BBC for more than 20 years. In 2022, it secured another five-year contract extension.
More than 52,000 people were fined following TV licence prosecutions in the latest figures from 2020.