Refusing to pay TV license fees (Rundfunkbeitrag)

1,366 posts in this topic

3 hours ago, Adem137 said:

 

No, but they force me to pay for it anyway.

It's the same when you buy a Netflix subscription. There are crappy movies there, and there are good movies. You do not need to watch the bad ones, you can stick to the good ones.

 

A lot of Germans watch only football on public TV channels. You aren't interested in football? Change the country!

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23 minutes ago, yourkeau said:

It's the same when you buy a Netflix subscription. There are crappy movies there, and there are good movies. You do not need to watch the bad ones, you can stick to the good ones.

 

A lot of Germans watch only football on public TV channels. You aren't interested in football? Change the country!

 

Yeah, but if I cancel my netflix subscription I dont have the mafia knocking at my door.

 

I've only ever seen a couple of games broadcast for free. Anyone who's really into football would have a cable/satellite tv package. 

 

They have a 6 billion euro budget, where the heck does that money go? Just buying documentaries that other countries have produced? Not good enough. 

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1 hour ago, Adem137 said:

Yeah, but if I cancel my netflix subscription I dont have the mafia knocking at my door.

Welcome to Germany, the land of contracts which can initially last 2 years and renew automatically if you do not cancel 3 months in advance.

 

1 hour ago, Adem137 said:

They have a 6 billion euro budget, where the heck does that money go? Just buying documentaries that other countries have produced? Not good enough. 

They have a lot of own documentaries. Also, due to federated nature of Germany the money is not 6 billion managed by Berlin. I live in Bavaria, and my money goes to Bayerischer Rundfunk. It is distributed this way:

Out of 17,50 euro per month

8,66 euro goes to BR

3,71 euro to ARD

4,32 euro to ZDF

And some peanuts to the Deutschlandsradio

 

The link shows how the money is separated between different BR divisions. For example, BR Klassik radio gets 32 cents, while Bavarian TV with its Heimat shows gets 3,45 euro, almost half the money. So, in my case I fund ARD, ZDF and BR TVs. Out of these three I watch only ARD and one mountaineering show on BR, Bergauf Bergab. But it is really good, I can't imagine it getting into commercial TV: too few interested people. 

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8 minutes ago, Smaug said:

 

A lot of it to finance company pensions for their workers that the rest of us can only dream of:

ARD legt 7,4 Milliarden zurück für Renten

Now the real motives of GEZ enforcement become clear. This is a real gravy train.

For every victim they can find for their scheme, 13.50 Euros become available for their collective pensions, per year. 

 

Keep in mind, that the 6 Billion Euros, is not including the advertisement revenue. 

 

I am fighting this on principle, I will make it difficult for them to collect from me.

 

For people that like their programs, please pay and support them. I am not in favor of their programs or the mandatory nature of the collection. Let them send a contract for every new resident and those that agree, can pay. For those that don't agree with the contract, they don't pay.

 

Simple and efficient. But of course, the bureaucrats won't like that.

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I find it outrageous that print media--which tends to be better quality in terms of actual journalism--is suffering, is not subsidized, and yet those of us without TVs or radios cannot throw our money their way. I would MUCH rather through my money at a progressive print magazine or newspaper who can actually pay its writers than any TV media which I will simply never watch--not online, not ever.  

My view on this is that this tax is also used to confirm the permanency of German language. I think a large number of Germans and German residents would rather invest that money in Netflix or another media source rather than local/national media that they don't watch. The pervasiveness of English language media would also pose a threat, so I think there is some nationalism at pay and as others point out, nepotism towards economic ends.  Personally, I think the way this is administered is not economical and should revert to a model that those who buy cable packages for television pay for this, those who have just internet pay a lower rate since we can't access much compared to the TV packages, and leave those without either alone.  

That or, this tax is spread evenly to print media, especially independent journalism. 

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5 minutes ago, zwiebel said:

I find it outrageous that print media--which tends to be better quality in terms of actual journalism--is suffering, is not subsidized, and yet those of us without TVs or radios cannot throw our money their way. I would MUCH rather through my money at a progressive print magazine or newspaper who can actually pay its writers than any TV media which I will simply never watch--not online, not ever.  
...

 

Isn't this what you do every time your purchase a newspaper or magazine?  Can't you simply just spent more money purchasing more?

 

 

5 minutes ago, zwiebel said:

... those who have just internet pay a lower rate since we can't access much compared to the TV packages, and leave those without either alone

 

Actually I would argue that via internet you can access more.  All the TV broadcasters have a "mediathek" where you cannot only catch-up on programs which you have missed, but also often view older programs, and more of them are even allowing programs to be viewed online before they are aired on normal TV.

On TV you can only access what is broadcast at that specific time, or you need a special box to record and view programs later (or access the mediathek).

 

 

Don't get me wrong, I also don't like to pay such a tax and the means of enforcing it seems rather old fashioned.  But I do think that they provide a service and I do think that they should be supported.  Although I also think that they have a lot of overhead that could be removed to make them more efficient.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, dj_jay_smith said:

 

Isn't this what you do every time your purchase a newspaper or magazine?  Can't you simply just spent more money purchasing more?

 

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I don't understand this? I have never been charged for anything I don't use. I don't have a TV or radio, I do not partake in any German media.  So this doesn't make sense. If you are asked to pay money, that is generally because you use what you are paying for. I and others here don't.

 

4 minutes ago, dj_jay_smith said:

 

Actually I would argue that via internet you can access more.  All the TV broadcasters have a "mediathek" where you cannot only catch-up on programs which you have missed, but also often view older programs, and more of them are even allowing programs to be viewed online before they are aired on normal TV.

On TV you can only access what is broadcast at that specific time, or you need a special box to record and view programs later (or access the mediathek).

 

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Again, I do not access any German media at all.  This is a tax FOR German television, not CDs, not t-shirts, not cars. So for those  who only watch foreign online media or those of us who have no time for this, this is entirely useless.   My questions pertain to putting this fee towards independent media. Not international movies. 
 

4 minutes ago, dj_jay_smith said:

Don't get me wrong, I also don't like to pay such a tax and the means of enforcing it seems rather old fashioned.  But I do think that they provide a service and I do think that they should be supported.  Although I also think that they have a lot of overhead that could be removed to make them more efficient.

 

 

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I don't get any benefits of this "service".  At all. To the contrary, I am asked regularly by German English-language media to write for no fee whatsoever. So I think whatever this forced fee/tax is doing, it isn't helping writers or independent journalism.

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This is not even a tax. GEZ are hoping that the people that do pay don't realize that they don't "have to" pay.

 

There is no constitutional requirement, no confirmation from the Steueramt/Finanzamt (who are the only qualified authorities to levy tax) that this needs to be paid.

 

All GEZ do is send letters out to every new registrant and hope they pay and not stand up and fight for their constitutional rights. 

 

The more people that pay, more money they have in their coffers to "enforce". 

 

More you think about it, they are a mafia, asking for a "protection fee".

 

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I don't own a TV set and I don't listen to the radio except for an Austrian radio station in my car on the way to work yet I pay the silly fee.  Sure it is a pain to pay for things you don't use but there are many many things that you are paying for that you may never use.  Police, fire, schools, etc. etc. 

 

Suck it up and pay the bill.  Who knows, maybe someday you will suddenly develop a irresistable craving for Lindenstraße.

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9 minutes ago, gr8bay said:

There is no constitutional requirement,

But a legal one.

 

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5 minutes ago, jeba said:

But a legal one.

 

An administrative one, which is not binding. We are taking this to the constitutional court. Let them decide.

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9 minutes ago, BradinBayern said:

I don't own a TV set and I don't listen to the radio except for an Austrian radio station in my car on the way to work yet I pay the silly fee.  Sure it is a pain to pay for things you don't use but there are many many things that you are paying for that you may never use.  Police, fire, schools, etc. etc. 

 

Suck it up and pay the bill.  Who knows, maybe someday you will suddenly develop a irresistable craving for Lindenstraße.

Police, fire. schools etc.. are used by us all implicitly, even if not explicitly. 

 

No one has the right to tell others what they should do with their money. Especially, for a voluntary contribution like GEZ

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1 hour ago, gr8bay said:

Keep in mind, that the 6 Billion Euros, is not including the advertisement revenue. 

 

I am fighting this on principle, I will make it difficult for them to collect from me.

 

For people that like their programs, please pay and support them. I am not in favor of their programs or the mandatory nature of the collection. Let them send a contract for every new resident and those that agree, can pay. For those that don't agree with the contract, they don't pay.

 

Simple and efficient. But of course, the bureaucrats won't like that.

Germany is a democracy. It means, the people find it correct to have this tax. One can do passive resistance because democracy is the power of majority, that means that interests of minorities is being ignored. But do not create conspiracy theories about "bureaucrats", "TV mafia" or "government" collecting money by force. German people collect this money. They are ok with it.

 

Yes, Germans are not being asked directly like in Switzerland, but do you think the referendum results would have been different here? Of course, no.

 

So:

passively resist GEZ by making collection of tax difficult = ok

conspiracy theories = not ok, nonsense


 

Quote

 

This is not even a tax. GEZ are hoping that the people that do pay don't realize that they don't "have to" pay.

 

There is no constitutional requirement, no confirmation from the Steueramt/Finanzamt (who are the only qualified authorities to levy tax) that this needs to be paid.

 

Unfortunately this argument is passé. Agreement between public broadcast media and the states to collect the tax is deemed legal by Federal Court.

 

The only other legal way, Constitutional charges, might still find its way, but then the Constitutional Court will not make GEZ illegal. It might only make current system of per residence collection illegal. Then we will go back to per device collection or introduce Internet tax or similar models.

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While I get that folks don't like having to pay the GEZ, if you watch the news (you're paying for it after all) and understand it, you will see that at least some of the funding goes to provide excellent coverage of current issues.

 

I see the alternative (US system) as a pretty grim alternative.

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My debt was sent to a bailiff when it reached 930 euros early last year. (I called it a debt for lack of an better word).

 

I had no option but to pay as am planning to get a soft loan from a bank and I did not want my Schufa jeopardized.

 

Called the bailiff and I paid in monthly installments of 75 euros. Though I skipped some months in between. But I paid the whole figure in about 10 months.

 

This German TV fee is the biggest robbery in the history of all robberies.  

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1 hour ago, The Vindictive said:

My debt was sent to a bailiff when it reached 930 euros early last year. (I called it a debt for lack of an better word).

 

I had no option but to pay as am planning to get a soft loan from a bank and I did not want my Schufa jeopardized.

 

Called the bailiff and I paid in monthly installments of 75 euros. Though I skipped some months in between. But I paid the whole figure in about 10 months.

 

This German TV fee is the biggest robbery in the history of all robberies.  

Call it a debt, a tax, a fee, a robbery or whatever else you like, but you chose to live in this country and part of living here is paying it (whether you like it or not!).

 

If you don´t like it, try to change it. If you don´t want to change it, and still don´t want to pay the fee, then get ready to deal with the consequences. If you don´t want to do any of the above, then you can chose to live in another country where there is no such fee.

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I really don't see how this petty "rebellion" actually changes anything. I mean, German TV is practically unwatchable anyway, except for those poor ladies who seem to misplace their undies after midnight (then the bloody clip ends)

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56 minutes ago, jeremytwo said:

I really don't see how this petty "rebellion" actually changes anything. I mean, German TV is practically unwatchable anyway, except for those poor ladies who seem to misplace their undies after midnight (then the bloody clip ends)

 

It doesnt its a mild kind of civil disobedience with the vague hope that if enough people join in it will be Merkles "poll tax" and they will be forced to reverse it.  However that ship seems to have sailed, aside from lots of bitching and moaning its being paid so it looks like mission accomplished.

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14 minutes ago, zwiebelfisch said:

 

It doesnt its a mild kind of civil disobedience with the vague hope that if enough people join in it will be Merkles "poll tax" and they will be forced to reverse it.  However that ship seems to have sailed, aside from lots of bitching and moaning its being paid so it looks like mission accomplished.

At the moment the achievement is that it is not being raised. The media claim that it is the same tax for many years, but they forgot about massive increase of payers since 2014 as well as doubling the price for "radio" customers.

 

Every increase of the tax is met with resistance, so the media are force to save anyway. The Swiss pay more despite having less media to fund: basically, SRF and local channels. The money from French/German parts of CH goes to fund minority language TV (Italian, Romansch), but these are a smaller country peanuts.

 

One should also understand that public media set the lower bar. Every commercial media should offer something more than is already funded by tax. That's why you can think that private funding is better, but without public lower bar Germany will also have own Fox News and the likes.

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