Who are the GEZ and why do I have to pay them €17.98/month?
Daylight robbery. Essentially, that is what this is.
Ok, so in the UK we have to pay the BBC for our TV license if we have a TV. In Germany, if you are alive, you have to pay two of the main TV channels ARD/ZDF €17.98 a month just because they exist.
GEZ is the organisation which steals this some of money called the Rundfunkbeitrag each month.
There is no “oh but I don’t have a TV”, the fact is, that if you are registered in the country at your local Bürgeramt, then you have to pay. Punkt.
If you live in a WG (flatshare) then you only have to pay once between you, so you can split the cost between whoever lives in that flat, but otherwise, you just have to pay it.
You can of course ignore the endless letters that they will send you, but they seem to eventually always catch up with people and then demand insane amounts of money. So I have resigned myself to just getting on with it and paying it.
Their argument is:
Oh but even if you don’t have a TV, the content we produce is there online so it is technically AVAILABLE for you to enjoy.
As a friend of mine recently put it whilst we were on this topic, “But if I hold a bake sale, does that mean I am automatically able to charge GEZ for the cakes because they are technically AVAILABLE for them to buy?” Silly logic, but this whole thing is completely laughable.
What is REALLY annoying about this, is that what they produce, ie where my money is being spent is utter drivel. Really I can’t quite explain to you how bad German television is. Granted, some of the output in the UK is pretty substandard, I genuinely cannot understand how anyone can bear to watch things like TOWIE and Made in Chelsea, but then again we’re all different. But here in Germany, it is even worse. The acting is bad, the scenery is bad, the camera angles are bad…its just generally BAD.
So, that’s that rant over. Essentially what I am saying is, UK-residents, you get off lightly with your £145.50 which ultimately goes towards producing the likes of Sherlock and GBBO. We’re stuck with paying out a small fortune each month and the only return we see on it is Germany’s answer to flipping Come Dine With Me – Das Perfekte Dinner.