TV Licensing won’t refund us after we made a double payment

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My husband and I are both pensioners and for the past three months have been trying to get a refund for an overpayment of a TV licence. We initially sent a cheque in October to pay the £157.50 fee but heard nothing. Three weeks later, we had a reminder asking us to pay. We assumed the cheque had got lost in the post, so sent another. A week later, we got the new licence and a week after that, a second.

I have phoned the accounts department numerous times but they are unhelpful and there’s still no refund. I understand this is happening to many older people who have paid twice.

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JP, Ipswich

TV Licensing blamed your double payment on an administrative error. It has apologised and refunded the second payment. Given what’s going on, and the fact cheque processing centres are probably working with reduced staff, a cheque leaves you a hostage to fortune. That’s not to excuse TV Licensing, but I certainly would not be paying any big bills, in this way now – if ever. Direct debits are the way to go.

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