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Last Updated: Friday, 31 March 2006, 15:04 GMT 16:04 UK
Post Office loses TV licence deal
The Post Office said it is disappointed at losing the service
The Post Office will stop selling television licences after losing its contract with the BBC.

Sales of licences will be made at PayPoint outlets, found in convenience stores supermarkets and garages across the UK, from 2 May.

The BBC said the six-year deal will save 100m, as over-the-counter purchases have been falling in favour of transactions by direct debit.

Post offices have sold TV licences for the last 60 years.

The Post Office said it was very disappointed that customers will no longer be able to renew licences at its branches.

The new service will offer new licences, renewals and a payment scheme for those on state benefits.

There will be a three-month transition period until 31 July when licences will be available from both PayPoint and the Post Office.

Security

TV Licensing will also phase out saving stamps in favour of a savings card which will offer better security, while stamps can still be used at the Post Office until the end of July.

They will still be valid after that date through TV Licensing.

People who have purchased a licence using stamps within the past year will be contacted by letter explaining what will happen next, and providing a savings card by the end of June.

A 24-hour recorded information line, 0870 850 6709, will open on 1 April to explain the changes.

The new system will not be applicable to the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.

The PayPoint system, which started trading in 1996, has 15,000 outlets, exceeding the number of Post Office branches.

It can be used to pay utility bills and top-up mobile phone credit.




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