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  #81  
Old 03.10.2007, 16:09
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Re: Do I have to get a TV licence from Billag?

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  #82  
Old 05.10.2007, 09:55
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Re: Do I have to get a TV licence from Billag?

Interestingly enough, here in Denmark we have identical system. Here we only have one language and no solidarity issues (german/italian/french issue). We pay about 280 euro a year. They recently rebranded it a "media license" so it also covers people with cell phones and internet access.

No big deal, really.

Morgan

ps. we pay 40-68% income tax, so i'd definatly like to trade with anyone in CH
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  #83  
Old 05.10.2007, 10:22
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Re: Do I have to get a TV licence from Billag?

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Interestingly enough, here in Denmark we have identical system. Here we only have one language and no solidarity issues (german/italian/french issue). We pay about 280 euro a year. They recently rebranded it a "media license" so it also covers people with cell phones and internet access.

No big deal, really.

Morgan

ps. we pay 40-68% income tax, so i'd definatly like to trade with anyone in CH
Ja & car import tax is frightening ...
I feel your pain in an empathetic way. Friend of mine lives in Mälmo & he is always telling me about the amount of Danes living is Southern Sweden.
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  #84  
Old 05.10.2007, 10:34
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Re: Do I have to get a TV licence from Billag?

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Ja & car import tax is frightening ...
I feel your pain in an empathetic way. Friend of mine lives in Mälmo & he is always telling me about the amount of Danes living is Southern Sweden.

Car taxes are beyond brutal. I paid 67.000e for a BMW 318i with steptronic and some extras.

Im looking forward to opening my business in Geneva

M
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  #85  
Old 07.11.2007, 23:15
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Re: Do I have to get a TV licence from Billag?

A update on the Billag thing, after taking some professional advice.
  • If you live in a hotel for longer than 3 months, you are deemed to be a long term resident, and become liable for your own Billag bill (even though the hotel is already paying the applicable fees).
  • Legal action in the event of non payment comes in the name of the Swiss Confederation. Billag are just their agents.
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  #86  
Old 07.11.2007, 23:34
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Re: Do I have to get a TV licence from Billag?

In the UK, if your address is unlicensed you'll get a warning letter over and over even if you don't own a TV etc.

My mate tells me he's never ever received anything from Billag, although the fact it's a holiday place might put it off their radar. I wouldn't recommend avoiding it though.
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  #87  
Old 08.11.2007, 00:16
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Re: Do I have to get a TV licence from Billag?

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In the UK, if your address is unlicensed you'll get a warning letter over and over even if you don't own a TV etc.
They have been known to send those letters to non-existent addresses too, for example to number 13 on every single street of an estate which had been built with no number 13s.

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My mate tells me he's never ever received anything from Billag, although the fact it's a holiday place might put it off their radar. I wouldn't recommend avoiding it though.
There's a section in the Billag FAQ about holiday homes. The FAQ is here in German, and French.

As analogue TV gets switched off (it's already started, and the target date is 2010), you'll have to register to get digital TV, or simply do without.

As Lob points out above, if you've got digital TV, you've also got radio, and of course you've registered with your supplier to get them, so there's no escape.
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  #88  
Old 09.12.2007, 10:07
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Re: Do I have to get a TV licence from Billag?

Do Billag have the right to access my computer to see which programs I have installed? To explain what I mean by this question, I'll give a little info and background first.

As JVC quoted in full above, the Billag website states that you have to pay for radio if you have a broadband/high-speed connection and you have a program installed that will play radio (e.g., MediaPlayer), and you have to pay for TV if in addition to these two things you also pay for a subscription to an internet TV service.

We have no radio, no car, no radio alarm clock, and no cell phone; We have a TV, but we cannot receive incoming signals because it has no antenna, our cable socket has been plugged by the cable TV company, and we have no satellite. The TV is merely for DVD watching and the Billag website says that in this case we don't need to pay them for TV access. Therefore our internet connection is the only thing that they can catch us for, and only for the radio because we don't have an internet TV subscription that we pay for.

However, to make us pay for the radio, Billag would need to prove both of the criteria that are stated on their website: 1) that we have a broadband internet connection, but this should be easy for them to do; 2) that we have a program installed that allows us to play internet radio (e.g., MediaPlayer), this one seems much harder for them to do. To do so, they would have to access my computer and look at what programs I have installed. This therefore brings up the question as to whether Billag have the right to peruse my hard disk? I would think not, and I would therefore think that there is no need for me to pay for Billag. Does anyone have further knowledge on this topic?
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  #89  
Old 09.12.2007, 11:11
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Re: Do I have to get a TV licence from Billag?

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As JVC quoted in full above, the Billag website states that you have to pay for radio if you have a broadband/high-speed connection and you have a program installed that will play radio (e.g., MediaPlayer), and you have to pay for TV if in addition to these two things you also pay for a subscription to an internet TV service.
These Billag shysters are worse than the UK license fee thieves.

I got a registration form in German late last week. Like the UK form, it implies you have to pay for the TV. No mention of exemptions, such as use for DVD watching only.

Section 5. "Ja, ich kann TV-Programme empfangen" - "Yes, I can receive TV programmes".

"Nein, ich habe kein betriebsbereites TV-Gerät" - "No, I don't have a (ready for use/ functioning)? TV set".

To me that is confusing. I have a TV, but I cannot receive TV programmes.

I have a TV but no connection to receive external signals. I use it for DVDs and games. I have an iMac + broadband connection, but I don't have a TV service subscription, and I don't listen to "radio".

It looks like they're determined to screw you for at least the radio fee. But the radio fee alone seems very high. Does it reallly cost so much to support radio services here as a proportion of the TV programming costs?

I found additional information on the rules and regulations in English here:

Reception fees
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  #90  
Old 09.12.2007, 12:52
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Re: Do I have to get a TV licence from Billag?

Thanks for that link, 'Bodmin. Through that I was able to find the official word on receiving content via the internet direct from the government (from the Federal Office of Communication) in English. The previous statements were only based on the statements from the private collection agency, Billag, and translated from a foreign language. So, below is the official word from this page. However, still no word as to whether they have the right to peruse your hard drive to prove that criterion #2 is met.
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Private reception via the internet

Conditions for the private reception of radio programmes via the internet:
  • Reception via ISDN or broadband connections (e.g. ADSL, cable network, etc.)
  • Reception via corresponding software (e.g. media players)
If these conditions are met and there are no other radios in the household, there is an obligation to register for the reception of radio programmes via the internet.

Conditions for the private reception of television programmes via the internet:
  • Reception via broadband connections (e.g. ADSL, cable networks)
  • Reception using appropriate software (e.g. Mediaplayer, Realplayer)
  • Conclusion of a subscription for the reception of television programmes over the internet with a corresponding internet services provider (this condition may cease to apply in future if the live streaming of programmes which can be received without subscription improves both qualitatively and quantitatively to such an extent that it corresponds to current levels of terrestrial programming).
If these conditions are met and there are no other televisions in the household, there is an obligation to register for the reception of TV programmes via the internet.
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  #91  
Old 09.12.2007, 13:08
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Re: Do I have to get a TV licence from Billag?

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Section 5. "Ja, ich kann TV-Programme empfangen" - "Yes, I can receive TV programmes".

"Nein, ich habe kein betriebsbereites TV-Gerät" - "No, I don't have a (ready for use/ functioning)? TV set".

To me that is confusing. I have a TV, but I cannot receive TV programmes.

I have a TV but no connection to receive external signals. I use it for DVDs and games.
I agree, that is very confusing. I couldn't find the rules on the Federal Office of Communication website. But I did look again at the rules on the Billag website in French here and in German here. There are too many negatives for my intermediate French to translate perfectly, and when I use Google Translator it appears to say one thing in the French version and the opposite in the German version. The translation from the German is "Only if no workable antenna infrastructure (satellite, antenna, cable, Internet) is available, there is no television set for the reporting requirement." but the translation from the French is "The reporting requirement does not disappear when no longer receiving system is in use (satellite, portable antenna, cable, Internet)."

EDIT: I received a better translation of the French, which now agrees with the German version: "The reporting requirement only disappears when there is no working reception system (satellite, portable antenna, cable, Internet)." Therefore, if you have a TV but have no antenna, no satellite dish, the cable feed has been officially plugged by the provider, and you do not pay for a special internet TV service (see above post) then there is no need to pay for the TV license.
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Last edited by ChrisW; 10.12.2007 at 15:20. Reason: More accurate translation found.
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  #92  
Old 10.12.2007, 00:41
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Re: Do I have to get a TV licence from Billag?

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Forget about data privacy my friend. As long as it suits the government it will be shared. I remember we discussed this on another friend and someone said that they knew someone who worked in an electronics store and it was their job to send details of new TV purchases to Billag. I've been told that Billag also receives details of new registrations when people move to an area. But since this is dependant on 4000 different communities sending the data in, it might not always happen.

See this thread for more discussion on data protection
Ever get asked for your postcode when you buy stuff from Media Markt? Ever wonder what happens later
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  #93  
Old 12.12.2007, 18:04
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Re: Do I have to get a TV licence from Billag?

Billag guy came round today. I thought at first he was someone to fix the tv (which has pictures but no sound, well, it buzzes loudly). So I said yes we do have a tv, then realised the mistake. now I have a tv licence starting from december in my name for a tv that isn't mine and doesn't work.

also he said it was CHF23 every 3 months when the bill arrived. but now I realise from the internet its CHF23 PER month, its just the bill arrives every 3 months...

I technically don't have internet and said we had no radios so I'm not paying for that but it is still going to be a bit and probably quite a struggle to make my housemates pay for it even though its their tv. I was also under the impression that they HAD a license. when asked about it when I arrived they told me how much it was. I assumed this meant they had one.

this is so annoying. I keep getting the swiss try and bill me for things that aren't mine or that don't need to pay. e.g. as I am in receipt of a grant from the Swiss Governement I don't need to pay residence tax. doesn't stop them trying to make me though. what really got me was when I received that letter it said if I didn't reply in 10 days i was essentially going to be put on their equivalent of emergency tax but the letter ws sent cheaply so took 5 days to get to me. In the end the university dealt with them for me. No such luck here I suppose..
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  #94  
Old 12.12.2007, 19:47
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Re: Do I have to get a TV licence from Billag?

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Billag guy came round today. I thought at first he was someone to fix the tv (which has pictures but no sound, well, it buzzes loudly). So I said yes we do have a tv, then realised the mistake. now I have a tv licence starting from december in my name for a tv that isn't mine and doesn't work.
I am told that you don't have to let Billag into your home (or anyone else for that matter). Just say it's inconvenient. That would at least have given you chance to discuss the matter with your housemates.

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I technically don't have internet and said we had no radios so I'm not paying for that but it is still going to be a bit and probably quite a struggle to make my housemates pay for it even though its their tv. I was also under the impression that they HAD a license. when asked about it when I arrived they told me how much it was. I assumed this meant they had one.
So how did you get a licence in your name? Why didn't you give your housemates names, or better still refer the guy to them for clarification?

From my experience with such guys in the UK, they can be pretty aggressive, to the extent of charging someone who shouldn't really have to pay.

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also he said it was CHF23 every 3 months when the bill arrived. but now I realise from the internet its CHF23 PER month, its just the bill arrives every 3 months...
That sounds like the old amount, and sounds as though the guy was "misrepresenting the truth", to put it politely.

The latest figures can be found at the OFCOM site, where it shows the monthly TV fee as 24.40.

Folks interested in seeing where the money goes can scroll down to the bottom of that page.
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  #95  
Old 12.12.2007, 21:13
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Re: Do I have to get a TV licence from Billag?

Would you need a license for a projector? I have an HD projector that I'd like to bring over to CH (already checked that it would work over there), but would like to skirt around the absurd tax if at all possible...

How do they define a TV as far as licenses are concerned?
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  #96  
Old 12.12.2007, 21:29
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Re: Do I have to get a TV licence from Billag?

if you can view TV signals through cable, satellite or over the air then you pay.
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  #97  
Old 13.12.2007, 10:14
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Re: Do I have to get a TV licence from Billag?

No-one has yet answered my question (see above) as to whether Billag has the right to look at your hard drive to verify that you have the software needed to prove that you must pay the radio fee. Any thoughts?
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  #98  
Old 13.12.2007, 11:51
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Re: Do I have to get a TV licence from Billag?

they can check your car for a radio, your phone for a radio so, potentially - yes they could.

Has anyone heard of this happening? Possibly not.
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  #99  
Old 21.12.2007, 11:38
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Re: Do I have to get a TV licence from Billag?

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No-one has yet answered my question (see above) as to whether Billag has the right to look at your hard drive to verify that you have the software needed to prove that you must pay the radio fee. Any thoughts?
We had a visit from Billag last night and we tried to get the chap to come in so we could show him that we didn't have a TV but he said he wasn't allowed to come in.
If they can't come in then they can't check your hard drive. However, this was their initial visit to us. Perhaps they could get the police involved in subsequent visits but I still don't think they would have the expertise to start checking hard-drives.
We will have to pay the radio fee for the last 10 months as we have had a radio in the car. Still, I suppose that's better than the 5000 CHF fine.
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Old 07.04.2008, 13:12
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Re: Do I have to get a TV licence from Billag?

I know this is an old thread, but came across this while looking for something else.

From my understanding you have to be able to receive 'Swiss' programming.

I've had Bilag visit a couple of places I lived in.

First place, I ONLY had a DVD player connected to the TV (the guy even came into the house and confirmed this).

Second, & my current place. He asked me about my Satellite dish, and I told him it was for SKY TV to receive English programmes (which is true). He asked me about radio's in the car etc.. and I told him it was disconnected and I use an iPod (which is true). I DO NOT have cable coming into my house, but use ADSL.

You have to be able to receive 'Swiss' programming, not just have a system capable of receiving 'Live' TV programmes.

I do however want to change this and receive some German and maybe french programmes, so I might be liable for this in future. Unless I can get and prove that I can only view non-swiss programs.
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billag, billag internet, billag visiting, bills, entertainment tax, fine, internet registration, radio licence, rants, ripped off, tax, television fees, tv licence




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