I'm just gonna say what we're all thinking

The German radio tax thing looks like a scam

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@bgcarlisle When I was living in a dorm in Duesseldorf the broadcasting fee inspector guy would come around every couple of months and knock on the doors of the international students to meet his quota. Total sleazebag.

@bgcarlisle Yeah basically. I accidentally ignored them for a year? Now I need to call them because a) only one person per household is supposed to get billed, but they bill everyone so you have to argue with them, and b) by the new regulations as a student i'm actually not only not supposed to be billed but supposed to get back what i've been paying so... uh... yeah.

@bgcarlisle If you really don't want to deal with it, there is a form .. I forget which website. But the form will only allow you to authorize future automatic payment, not provide a way for you to pay current due amounts. And it's worded in a way that doesn't pass through translate well. So even if you plug your billing info in there and do the SEPA mandate you'll still have to cover fees up to the date it was entered separately.

@bgcarlisle 10:1 you got it right, and if you didn't you just get .. another form. It's fine to take a few tries if necessary.

@bgcarlisle Btw, for technical stuff or government stuff translation... they're better at handling the 'bureaucrat Deutch' which is nearly its own dialect.

@bgcarlisle I used to rely on heavily and they're still better for language learning although is catching up, but for quick cut-paste interaction is the current top of the line.

@bgcarlisle Sounds worse than the TV license here. They just send a letter every year and you go on a website and say I do/don't have a TV.

@mplouffe @bgcarlisle When the inspector came by my room I told him I was streaming a radio station through the internet, not listening to the radio waves. He wasn't impressed and said my stereo had a receiver, so I *could* have been listening to radio. They've since closed even that loophole and *any* device makes you liable to pay, including computers and smartphones.

@jboy @bgcarlisle That sucks. I think there's a similar clause in the TV licensing stuff here that's related to online live streaming. It all ends up being largely unenforceable because a warrant is required to prove someone is breaking licensing rules. I'm not sure how it would work for student accommodation.

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