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Son Has Incredible Response To TV Licensing’s Threatening Letters To Dead Mum

by : Emily Brown on : 24 Oct 2019 09:17
Son Has Incredible Response To TV Licensing's Threatening Letters To Dead MumSon Has Incredible Response To TV Licensing's Threatening Letters To Dead MumSWNS

A man came up with the perfect response to TV Licensing when the company repeatedly sent threatening letters to his dead mum. 

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The company hounded the former home of Dorothy Brewis for more than a year, despite her son David informing it of his mother’s passing within weeks of her death from a stroke in November 2017.

TV Licensing sent four letters to the address between July and October 2018 in which it demanded she pay for her licence and threatened the ‘current occupier’ with £1,000 fines if they failed to renew in time.

Man responds to TV Licensing as dead mum after they continue to send threatening lettersMan responds to TV Licensing as dead mum after they continue to send threatening lettersSWNS

David realised the company obviously hadn’t quite got the message that his mother was no longer around, so he decided to make things more clear.

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Last October, he penned a letter to TV Licensing as ‘the late Mrs Brewis’, pointing out his mother wouldn’t need a TV licence because she was dead.

The company then fell silent but just when David’s letter appeared to have been successful, it sent another three letters to his mother’s address, each threatening alleged licence offenders with legal action.

Man responds to TV Licensing as dead mum after they continue to send threatening lettersMan responds to TV Licensing as dead mum after they continue to send threatening lettersSWNS

The first of the three letters arrived this August, so the bereaved son wasted no time in highlighting the company’s error.

He edited its letter to be more accurate, rewriting the sentence ‘we understand you may be busy’ to read ‘we understand you may be dead’.

David also added a note at the bottom, explaining:

As my son has told you – several times now – I am unfortunately, dead. He will let you know if either I come back to life and start watching TV again, or if anyone else starts living here.

In the meantime please leave him alone.

Yours posthumously, Mrs Brewis.

Man responds to TV Licensing as dead mum after they continue to send threatening lettersMan responds to TV Licensing as dead mum after they continue to send threatening lettersSWNS
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Unbelievably, TV Licensing still didn’t register his mother’s death and two more letters arrived in the following months.

Last month, David responded again, writing:

I’m afraid I’m still dead and there’s nobody living here.

My son will let you know if that changes. Please leave him alone.

Man responds to TV Licensing as dead mum after they continue to send threatening lettersMan responds to TV Licensing as dead mum after they continue to send threatening lettersSWNS

His final reply read:

Sorry, I’m still dead, and so don’t really watch much telly. Please leave me and my son alone.

Yours, the late Mrs Brewis.

The son, who works as a teacher, said his replies were meant to be ‘tongue-in-cheek’ as well as ‘slightly passive aggressive’. He posted images of them on Twitter, where he branded TV Licensing as ‘Incompetent clowns’ and ‘Lazy Bandits’.

Man responds to TV Licensing as dead mum after they continue to send threatening lettersMan responds to TV Licensing as dead mum after they continue to send threatening lettersSWNS

Speaking about the letters, David said:

This is about the only field in modern life where we are asked to prove that you’re not breaking the law by secretly watching TV. Normally the state is inaccessible, and when we want it, we can’t easily reach it.

But it has no problem intervening on relatively trivial matters such as this. They have no issue with sending threatening letters.

These kind of letters, by the way, go to elderly people too. Can you imagine what kind of shock it would be to get a note like this at 70 or 80?

There is a heavily implied presumption of guilt – over TV.

Man responds to TV Licensing as dead mum after they continue to send threatening lettersMan responds to TV Licensing as dead mum after they continue to send threatening lettersSWNS
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Finally, almost two years after his mother’s death, David managed to get his point across.

The company apologised to David for causing ‘distress’ but maintained it had a duty to enquire if the properties of the deceased were still unoccupied.

Man responds to TV Licensing as dead mum after they continue to send threatening lettersMan responds to TV Licensing as dead mum after they continue to send threatening lettersSWNS

A spokesperson said:

After Mr Brewis informed us that his mother had sadly passed away we recorded the property as being unoccupied and stopped any correspondence to the address for some time.

We have a duty to write to unoccupied properties after a period of time so we are able to establish whether it remains unoccupied or whether new residents are occupying the property – that’s why these letters are not addressed to a named person.

We are very sorry to Mr Brewis for any distress these letters may have caused and we have cancelled any further correspondence to this address for a further 12 months.

David’s response was certainly innovative; desperate times call for desperate measures, I suppose!

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Life, Bereavement, Crime, Death, family, TV, tv licence, TV Licensing