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Swedes' ire at out-of-hours TV-fee collectors

Swedes' ire at out-of-hours TV-fee collectors

Published: 07 Mar 2013 11:40 GMT+01:00
Updated: 07 Mar 2013 11:40 GMT+01:00

Swedes have been left seething following the tactics of the Swedish TV-licence fee collectors, who are making telephone calls at "uncomfortable" hours in an effort to round up those not paying the annual television fee.

Call staff employed by Radiotjänst, the state agency that collects the fees that fund Swedish public service broadcasting, are making an increased push to make Swedes cough up the 2,076 kronor ($320) annual fee for ownership of a television receiver.

However not all of Sweden's residents are pleased with the agency's methods in contacting potential licence payers.

"Calling on a Saturday night is no good at all. It's almost uncomfortable that they call on the weekends," Kari Hiltunen told the Aftonbladet newspaper after answering a call from a hidden number at 6.30pm on a Saturday.

"They should leave people alone on weekends."

Radiotjänst has pulled in 12 million kronor in the past two months thanks to 6,000 new licence payers, following the agency's push to target Swedes using computers, tablets, and smartphones to stream television.

The CEO of Radiotjänst, Carl-Gustav Johansson, confirmed that the company may call up until as late as 7pm on Saturdays and 8pm on Sundays, but that he saw no invasion of privacy in such timeframes.

"It's a question of values," he told the paper.

"We don't think it's crossing the line to call at half past six on a Saturday night."

The Swedish TV-licence law has been in place since 2006, when it was stipulated that anyone who can access an entire TV channel on any device is required to pay the fee.

When private broadcaster TV4 put all their channels online in autumn last year, that law came into effect.

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Your comments about this article

12:23 March 7, 2013 by rob582
never will pay...
13:31 March 7, 2013 by Sc4lesy
I think this CEO has rather odd values especially for a Swede. Corporations only have 1 value, money, & is 1 of the reason for government & policy makers existence, protecting the people. Try valuing family & personal time Mr Johansson. I am sure you would not like people from other companies calling you at home on weekends while sharing dinner with the family, I am hoping this is a time you treasure. Think again before you comment. It is a ridiculous law anyway to tax people on an assumption they would use something. It is nothing more than a money grabbing exercise. Use some common sense & respect, please.
13:46 March 7, 2013 by Ulvenkai
If you're annoying people on a weekend, you're crossing a line.
14:25 March 7, 2013 by engagebrain
they are trying to get cheats to pay and the cheats don't like it - no surprise there.
15:25 March 7, 2013 by Programmeny
TV4 didn't put their channels online. I'll pay the fees when their channels are available to watch online. I don't have a TV and I watch TV on my laptop but their channels aren't available. They have a "premium" service for which you have to pay, that is, besides the radioavgift.
17:06 March 7, 2013 by oldgreygoose
Yes, people are angry. So what? The question is what are Swedes going to do and the answer in nothing. Swedes are going to cry and whine and at the end of the day they will shut up and pay. Because thats how they are. Is anybody oil to go to STV headquarters and have a demonstration or contact the responsible politicians and target them for removal from office? Of course not. Because Swedes are passive. I would love to be wrong but I am not. So just deal with it.
18:02 March 7, 2013 by Mxzf
"It's a question of values," he told the paper.

Yes, Radiotjänst is just as valuable, sorry, destructive to society as any other salesforce calling at half past six on saturdays.

Can you NIX them?
10:17 March 8, 2013 by StockholmSam
Check out Carl-Gustav Johansson's telephone number on Eniro. He is in Kiruna and Östermalm. Feel free to give him a call on a Saturday evening at 7pm or Sunday at 8pm. Seriously.
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