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Home News Stories BBC is branded 'amateurish' over license fee letter timing

BBC is branded ‘amateurish’ over license fee letter timing

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The BBC was branded ‘amateurish’ after it emerged letters explaining the end of free TV licences for over-75s will not be sent until after it happens.

Around three million of the 4.5million viewers who are over 75 will no longer be exempt from the £157.50 fee from August. 

But the ‘payment invitation’ letters will only start being posted from this weekend.

The BBC was branded 'amateurish' after it emerged letters explaining the end of free TV licences for over-75s will not be sent until after it happens (pictured: BBC headquarters)

The BBC was branded ‘amateurish’ after it emerged letters explaining the end of free TV licences for over-75s will not be sent until after it happens (pictured: BBC headquarters)

The letters are also likely to be posted in batches, meaning many pensioners will face a longer wait before they are notified of their extra bill.

Age UK’s Caroline Abrahams said: ‘It all smacks of a very last-minute decision.

‘It’s distinctly amateurish. It doesn’t give us much confidence that it will be well-administered.’

The BBC delayed ending the over-75 exemption from June 1 due to coronavirus, costing £40million a month

Around three million of the 4.5million viewers who are over 75 will no longer be exempt from the £157.50 fee from August (file photo)

Households are not expected to act until they get the letter, but those not on pension credit will still have to backdate their new subscription to August 1. 

Mrs Abrahams told the Sunday Times she feared the BBC would make ‘a hash of it’.

The BBC delayed ending the over-75 exemption from June 1 due to coronavirus, costing £40million a month. 

A spokesman said: ‘The decision to start the new scheme in August has not been easy but we could not continue delaying without profoundly impacting programmes and services.’

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