Home Attorneys & Lawyers South African Broadcasting Corporation [SABC] unwilling to close tv licence
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10:09 am EDT
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I have read a lot of the reports about VVM collecting monies on behalf of the SABC on the website and I am also in the same situation that all my correspondence is ignored by the SABC and VVM. My situation is simple. I have informed them both that I do not have a TV and both have my affidavit on file. It is far to late for these companies to claim innocence and to pretend that they have not received it. It is a waste of time and money to call the call centre to solve your problem. The call centre operators are trained to collect money and their modus operandi are, to make customers feel that it is impossible to solve their problem unless the customer pay the monies, even if it is not owed to the SABC. This is why VVM never acknowledges receipt of your correspondence. The pattern is very clear.

I know their modus operandi: They will ignore my correspondence and affidavit and keep quiet for a while, just to harass me all over again with higher and higher debt every year. I see it in an extremely serious light that VVM keep on threatening me with legal action and that my credit record will be affected, for monies that they know full well are not owed to the SABC.

Update by Hein Coetzee
Apr 08, 2011 3:04 pm EDT

I cannot agree more with your post. I read of somebody on FB who had the same experience as you - shocking! And this is a huge problem as you just have to type in VVM at the website - quite mind-blowing actually. It is worth their while however as you say, as I was one of the people that paid them out of decency for many years that I did not own a TV as I believed it to be my responsibility as I did not inform them of the fact at the time. Just to find out that it would have been quite irrelevant if I did inform them all those years ago, as they would have never closed my TV Licence account anyway, as can be seen from our experience and all the other of hundreds of people complaining. Besides debt older than 3 years is outdated debt. In this event I don't even think we have to hand in an affidavit or any proof ... but can they be safely ignored? Not from what I read on FB.

I even paid the same television licence account last year again just to get them off my back after trying numerous times to get this TV licence account closed ... You are so spot on about this... I am not going to give them one cent again. If they don't close my licence account shortly I am going to rapport them with the ombudsman and the law society. Furthermore, as far as I am concerned, if VVM neglects their duty to file the correspondence of customers that do not own TV's and are not liable to renew licences, VVM should therefore be held responsible for the debt with interest to keep their client the SABC happy. If the SABC do not accept affidavits as legal binding documents and they choose to believe that you are lying, the onus should rest on them to send out a TV inspector. (Very funny VVM pretends to accept affidavits on the website - big surprise to me and to everybody else that have handed them in I'm sure!)

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Aug 17, 2015 2:56 am EDT
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The company I worked for closed about 4 years ago and I sold my tv among other things and notified SABC of the cancellation in writing. We then had a computer crash and requested a copy of the cancellation as we heard many stories about them harassing people who cant prove cancellation. We spoke to a Senior Manager at the time and he assured us that we must not worry as they would contact us should there be a problem and if we don't hear from them, must consider the matter sorted. We kept the name of that person and like clockwork, 4 years later we receive an sms that the original amount of R375.00 is now R2825.00 as per the attorneys SSDA. We have sent SABC and SSDA correspondence which consisted of pages and pages. Eventually we were asked by SABC to submit an affidavit stating I do not have a tv anymore as I stay with family. I took off from work and got this done and soon after we received another email from the attorney saying thank you for the info but they require additional info i.e. who bought the TV, name of the buyer etc and that after we give all this information to know the amount of R2825.00 was was still payable. The cost involving the time and correspondence has been ridiculous as they request different things from both offices and then just decided I still owe it. I cannot afford legal representation otherwise this would have been resolved and they obviously pray on the easy targets. Nobody take responsibility and we have pages of correspondence to prove this. I am not able to make time for this as I originally gave my mom mandate to act on my behalf, that's why the sms come to her phone and she was helping me at the time. The consultant at the attorneys requested a mandate letter from me to appoint my mom, whether the was previously arranged or not, and that is what I did, as I am not able to spend so much time on this. I have no credit record and they are threatening to list me in 5 days time after all that was requested and sent. we are now looking at taking this public or where it gets attention. Ryan Hamman

Nov 20, 2013 4:56 am EST

Ok, so what can we expect, we are the only the paying sector of these TV Licences. We have also have not had a TV for more than 2 years. When these Customer Collection services phone you they do not accept your explanantion, wanting unendingly to know "what happened to your TV, why you do not have one" . My children have immigrated to Australia and still get harrased by these people and the amount owed just escalates. Relevant documents have been faxed by both parties but this has not helped at all. If I do pay it now I am saying in effect I am responsible for this licence, so I will not be paying it, I dont own a TV! End of story, if they would like to come and see they are welcome!
Patsy Odendaal

Dec 06, 2011 7:44 am EST
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I have had the same problem, I registered a letter to them saying I was leaving the country eighteen months ago, sent an affidavit to them which they lost, paid eighty pounds to have another one signed, now they say that they need a copy of my passport and my visa, not sure which visa they mean... that they do not require an affidavit, although they had sent me the form to have signed in the first place! I have no intention of supplying them with any further proof, the awful thing is that I have a perfect credit rating, and yet they are hounding me, so sad what our beloved country has come to, that the only departments that work are ones that collect money from innocent people, my daughter had the same problem with the Tax Department, twice now she has been taken off their books and yet still gets fines for non return of tax forms. Crime and corruption are the biggest issues that drive people away from South Africa

Jun 28, 2011 2:25 pm EDT

I sold our one and only TV set back in 1998 and informed the SABC accordingly in writing and attached the receipt from the buyer. Ever since (for more than 15 years) the SABC and their representatives continue ignoring even their own receipts, claiming fictitious balances and accusing, embarrassing, annoying, upsetting, discomforting, intimidating, threatening, frightening and bullying innocent people. As if that is not bad enough, VVM attorneys then require to submit irrelevant documentation! They are extremely incompetent and/or merely enjoy being useless. Meanwhile they expect people to pay licences for watching commercials which are interrupted by old films and ridiculous programmes which are repeated over and over again. PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN ...

May 10, 2011 6:33 pm EDT

Hi My name is Neville, I have exactly the same trouble with SABC and VVM. But to be honest, I've had just about enough of this nonsence. If there is anybody out there who is REALLY serious about stopping this ongoing harrasment from the SABC and VVM please contact me so that we can get together with 1 lawyer or attorney(wich ever). LETS STOP THIS NOW ! My e-mail is [email protected] Hope there are some people with balls that are willing to take this all the way.

Apr 18, 2011 8:16 pm EDT
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Wow it is unbelievable that there are so many complaints about the same two companies (SABC and VVM). The disturbing part is the apparent deliberate tactics used to frustrate and bully customers. Too many stories with such common threads.

I too have been in a lengthy dispute with the SABC over licence fees charged while I was abroad. They eventually agreed that they would reverse the disputed amount if I paid my fees that I agreed were due. I thought I was quite fortunate to get them to give me that assurance in writing. Needless to say they did not honour their agreement and I have been harassed in much the same way as others by VVM. I have sent documentation, made many phone calls and eventually got a call from VVM a week ago to say that it had all been sorted out and the SABC would correct my account. Well now a week and a half later (and several emails to get the assurances in writing) I received another threatening sms with an increased amount given as outstanding. Back to the beginning again. Only this time I have had enough. I am past disputing the outstanding amount. Is there anywhere one can go to complain about SABC and VVM? I missed the 567/702 chat radio feature on VVM. Is there anyone out there who is considering taking legal action - a class action against these guys? I really have been quite thorough in keeping all my emails since the beginning of the dispute several years ago. Any suggestions as to the best way forward would be welcomed.

Regards Angus

Apr 07, 2011 8:50 am EDT

Hein - this completely parallels our own experience. My wife and I were married 11 years ago and I took over responsibility for paying the TV licence which I have diligently done each year (and kept the licences - I'm that kind of guy!). Guess what? Yes you're right we got an SMS yesterday to MY cellphone (not my wife's) and referring to my wife's maiden name, claiming outstanding debts for the past I don't know how long totalling R3500. They have completely ignored correspondence submitted at their request some time ago which outlined the situation and which they claimed would end the matter - now WE have to submit documentary proof of this that and the other. The reality is that they have NOT issued any licence in my wife's maiden name, have never attempted to contact her and magically have now found their way to me - simply in order to make fatuous claims for illusory monies outstanding. By what right do they make these utterly outrageous claims?
My wife and I run a respected business in Cape Town and this is a bit like me saying to my customers that since you once did business with me 10 years ago I now have the right to charge you money every year for no services rendered whatsoever. I think I'd be in court quite quickly wouldn't I.
I'm sure we aren't alone and that other people have been the subject of these jackbooted terrorist tactics to the extent that they've paid up to make the noise go away - trouble being that it doesn't does it? Hence your note and my response.
This is an act that needs badly to be cleaned up and we must stand up for our reasonable rights. I'm ready, willing and able to go all the way with this one - and take them on in court.


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