Coin-operated television, electric, gas meters in the UK

Page 1 of 1 [ 15 posts ] 


(for non-US Residents): Ever had to insert a coin to get telly?
1. Yes 11%  11%  [ 1 ]
2. No 89%  89%  [ 8 ]
Total votes : 9

kraftiekortie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 86,991
Location: Queens, NYC

24 Jan 2023, 8:54 am

I just learned that many people in the UK, in the past, had to put coins into machines in order to get television, electric, and gas. I was flabbergasted when I found this out.



Last edited by kraftiekortie on 24 Jan 2023, 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

Radish
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 10 May 2022
Age: 63
Gender: Male
Posts: 12,711
Location: UK

24 Jan 2023, 8:58 am

Never heard of coins for television. It used to be common for coin operated gas and electricity meters. I had one when renting a flat when I was a student 40+ years ago. I think nowadays there are fewer (if any) such meters around, they have been replaced with pre-payment meters. Kind of like a card you have to buy credit for that the meter uses - I've not actually seen or used one though personally.

Most people just pay by direct debit, based upon their meter readings.


_________________
This space intentionally left blank.


DanielW
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Jan 2019
Age: 34
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,026
Location: PNW USA

24 Jan 2023, 9:02 am

I've never heard or seen coin-operated televisions. Usually once you pay for licensing, that's it.



kraftiekortie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 86,991
Location: Queens, NYC

24 Jan 2023, 9:08 am

I'll have to edit some above----it seems this was more common in the 80s/90s or before.

But I was watching a program, and in this program (taking place around 2014), a kid had to put a pound coin in a machine in order to watch TV.

I read that, in the 1960s, machines used to take shilling coins. A meter person would come, collect the coins, and give the residents a "rebate."



kraftiekortie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 86,991
Location: Queens, NYC

24 Jan 2023, 11:20 am

In a way, a system like this might be good (even though it can be a pain in the butt when the TV goes off in the middle of a good program). Especially if one is on a strict budget.

I don't feel many people liked it, though.

We have weird stuff in the US, too. Our equivalent of "housing benefit," known as Section 8, usually only "benefits" people theoretically. There's a years-long waiting list in many cities for Section 8. And most landlords don't accept it.

Then, of course, we don't have universal health care, except when one is found to be disabled, or is 65 or older. Even in "original Medicare," one has to pay 20% of a hospital bill.



klanka
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 31 Mar 2022
Age: 44
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,474
Location: Cardiff, Wales

24 Jan 2023, 12:28 pm

Shame about the lack of housing. It would make someone scared to work,cos what if they lost their job?


The UK system introduced something silly, the housing benefit goes into the person's account instead of the landlord's, this opens things up to going wrong on so many levels.

It all finished mostly in the 80's I think.



naturalplastic
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Aug 2010
Age: 68
Gender: Male
Posts: 30,728
Location: temperate zone

24 Jan 2023, 12:28 pm

In the US we had coin operated TVs in the back booths in porno shops. But thats it. And now porno shops have been supplanted by the Net.



Recidivist
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

User avatar

Joined: 4 Jan 2023
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Posts: 223
Location: Nr Bethlehem

24 Jan 2023, 1:15 pm

Yep, had coin operated TV, electric and gas meters.

WP was in black and white back then :twisted:

Image


_________________
I don't like politics, I don't like Communists, I don't like games and fun, I don't like anyone.


Radish
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 10 May 2022
Age: 63
Gender: Male
Posts: 12,711
Location: UK

24 Jan 2023, 1:57 pm

^ :lol: :lol:


_________________
This space intentionally left blank.


nick007
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 May 2010
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 25,890
Location: was Louisiana but now Vermont in the police state called USA

24 Jan 2023, 7:12 pm

This reminds me of those old Donald Duck cartoons. Donald had a quarter on a string he would put in lots of various machines & pull it back out kinda like a yo-yo :wink: I don't think that ever worked in real-life thou :chin:


Image


_________________
"I don't have an anger problem, I have an idiot problem!"
~King Of The Hill


"Hear all, trust nothing"
~Ferengi Rule Of Acquisition #190
https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Ru ... cquisition


Recidivist
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

User avatar

Joined: 4 Jan 2023
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Posts: 223
Location: Nr Bethlehem

24 Jan 2023, 7:27 pm

^ :lol:

I've heard stories of magnets being used to slow meters down though - doubt it worked.


_________________
I don't like politics, I don't like Communists, I don't like games and fun, I don't like anyone.


kraftiekortie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 86,991
Location: Queens, NYC

24 Jan 2023, 11:25 pm

People used to create plastic “coins,” or slugs, or whatever, and sometimes succeeded in not paying that way.

Just like, in the old days, people used to create metallic slugs to imitate subway tokens, so they could ride the subways for free.



DuckHairback
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Jan 2021
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,165
Location: Dorset

25 Jan 2023, 6:34 am

Never heard of a coin operated TV in the UK.

I'm old enough to remember living in houses which had coin-operated electric and gas meters in them though. You'd be watching telly and all the electric would cut out, leaving you in the dark which made it much harder to find a coin to put in.

We still have pre-payment meters in common usage here - you just use a plastic key with a chip in it that you have to get charged up at a shop. If you fail to pay your electricity bill the energy company will insist that you have one installed to stop you getting into debt.

I wonder if those TVs weren't more common in shared housing, like the old payphones?


_________________
Naturally occurring variant. Swollen oafish and wince positive.


goldfish21
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Feb 2013
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 18,492
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

25 Jan 2023, 2:00 pm

Never heard of prepay utilities (electric/gas) but never really thought about it as I've only lived where I live and hadn't considered that other parts of the world don't deliver energy and bill you for it afterwards. If people don't pay for a few months or whatever the duration is, then it can be shut off and they'll have difficulty getting an account in their name again. I Think we have laws here about not shutting things off in the Winter, though - definitely in all the colder parts of the country, which is everywhere but Vancouver lol.

Prepaid utilities do make a lot of sense, though. Especially for renters vs. owners. Then there's no trust on any sort of promise to pay based on a credit check etc.. just straight up add credit, get service, deplete it, add more etc.

In the suburb city I live in we have water meters so pay for every litre of water. Not sure if other cities around here have implemented that or not - some may calculate how ours used to and just charge an annual or quarterly fee along with property taxes and the line items for garbage/recycling/sewer etc.

Recidivist wrote:
^ :lol:

I've heard stories of magnets being used to slow meters down though - doubt it worked.


Depends on how they were constructed. It could have worked. Many meters have simple mechanical rotating discs that could be slowed down. Meter tampering here has been very common for hydro meters (electricity) as people with grow-ops would commonly tamper with or bypass meters entirely and steal electricity as if they paid for it it would be expensive And a red flag that they're drawing WAY too much power to be operating regular lights and a kitchen stove. So there are a lot of meter tampering experts around, seeing as this has been a massive underground industry for generations never mind decades. Might be dwindling now post legalization of marijuana, though. Not entirely sure as I've never played that game myself.


_________________
No :heart: for supporting trump. Because doing so is deplorable.


nick007
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 May 2010
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 25,890
Location: was Louisiana but now Vermont in the police state called USA

26 Jan 2023, 2:53 am

I heard of prepaid utilities before but I assumed it was something like paying your monthly cable bill at the end of the previous month or something like prepaid cellphone service that has limits on talk, text, & data.


naturalplastic wrote:
In the US we had coin operated TVs in the back booths in porno shops. But thats it. And now porno shops have been supplanted by the Net.
For some reason I'm suddenly thinking of the song, Coin Operated Boy by The Dresden Dolls :arrow:


_________________
"I don't have an anger problem, I have an idiot problem!"
~King Of The Hill


"Hear all, trust nothing"
~Ferengi Rule Of Acquisition #190
https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Ru ... cquisition