A TROWBRIDGE pensioner has won a three-month battle with TV Licensing to get a new television licence.

Avril Fisher paid £157.50 after receiving a TV licence renewal notice at the end of August.

She sent off her cheque with a torn-off slip on September 6 and the money was taken from her bank account on September 29 - just a day before the renewal date.

But in October, the 71-year-old widow from Ash Drive, North Bradley, received an overdue notice from TV Licensing and told them she had already paid.

Mrs Fisher said: "On September 5 or 6 I rang the automated service but was cut off twice - the service said it did not recognise my 16-digit card number although I did it correctly each time.

"So then I wrote a cheque and sent it first class on September 6. 

"At the beginning of October, I got a renewal overdue notice. I checked with my bank who issued me with a temporary statement.

"My cheque for £157.50 was dealt with on September 29.

"I sent a letter dated October 17 explaining about the fact they had my money, but still saying I'm unlicensed.

"I also mentioned that I was a pensioner and a widow and how much distress this was all causing me.

“On Saturday, November 14, I got what I would call a very threatening letter from TV Licensing.

“It said my property is under investigation and my details had been passed to Bath enforcement division.

“It threatened me with the risk of prosecution and a £1,000 fine. It left me feeling worried and upset.”

The threatening letter from TV Licensing also told Mrs Fisher that full details of what to expect during the visit would be sent to her shortly.

Mrs Fisher then contacted Age UK for advice and was given a telephone number for TV Licensing which was different to the one she originally called.

She added: "Eventually, I spoke to someone who said I was unlicensed but there was mention of my letter on the computer.

"She said she needed assistance and I waited and waited and they then cut me off again.

"I tried again and got the automatic service and when asked to put my licence number in it said I wasn't licensed yet again, even though they have my £157.50."

At this point Mrs Fisher gave up and contacted her local MP Dr Andrew Murrison and the Wiltshire Times to ask for help.

She said: "If they've cashed my cheque, why no licence and why threaten me with legal action?

"I've done nothing wrong and they have done everything wrong."

A spokesman for TV Licensing said: “We are sorry for the inconvenience and concern caused to Mrs Fisher while trying to set-up her licence. An administrative issue led to a delay and letters being sent in error.

“The issue has been rectified and we have been in touch with Mrs Fisher to let her know that a licence is now in place.”

Mrs Fisher said she had contacted her MP and the media because she wanted to make other people aware of the issue and to stop them from worrying if in a similar situation.

"I hope that this doesn't happen to anybody else. I am delighted it has been resolved.

“I am over the moon because I have been so distressed but I still haven't heard anything from them."