Beware of rod licence rip-off merchants

Beware of rod licence rip-off merchants

I like to think I’m reasonably easy going and even tempered but occasionally something comes along that really does piss me off big time. Last week I received complaints from anglers angered by the re-emergence of a website offering a rod licence renewals ‘service’ which charges an incredible £11 for ‘processing’ online applications. Eleven Bloody Quid to process a £27 rod licence that can be done for nothing over the phone or online or in person through the Post Office!

An extra £11 to process a £27 rod licence - no bloody way !
An extra £11 to process a £27 rod licence – no bloody way !

Apparently this shameless rip off is perfectly legal and the situation has been made worse by the idiotic government ban on marketing imposed on the guys at the EA and other public agencies. This has stopped the successful renewals campaigns that we have seen in previous years, led inevitably to a drop in sales and opened up an opportunity for ‘ online shysterism’ as rodlicencedotbloodynet now comes up top of any Google search for rod licence renewals.

I guess this is what David Cameron’s Big Society is all about? Rolling back the frontiers of the public sector and allowing the spivs to charge us for a free service and take much needed funds that should be going into fish and fisheries.

Another great idea from Cameron's Crew...sell less rod licences to fewer people for more money and feed the sharks too !
Another great idea from Cameron’s Crew…sell less rod licences to fewer people for more money….oh….. and feed the sharks too ! (Cartoon: Steve Bell@guardian)


The Angling Trust is quite rightly warning anglers not to pay a penny more than they need and is encouraging everyone to use the completely free service provided by the Environment Agency and the Post Office.

The Environment Agency website has been amended to warn people that there is no need to pay any processing charges whatsoever.

Paul Lidgett, Senior Fisheries Officer with the Environment Agency  said;

“We are aware that other websites offer to ‘process’ your rod licence application for you and may charge you a fee for this service. We have no connection with such websites and do not endorse the service they provide. Anglers who buy their licence direct from the Post Office website are not charged an additional fee. They also receive a licence confirmation number by email allowing them to go fishing immediately”

Details of this ridiculous rip off are buried away in the small print at These  extra charges confer no additional benefits to anglers.

“ offers you third party data processing services, for which we charge a service and administration fee of £5 for short-term licences and £11 for full licences.” 

As far as I’m concerned it beggars belief when we are in the middle of a nasty recession which has hit hard the pockets of so many people that there are organisations out there seeking to charge anglers 40% extra on the cost of a coarse fishing licence for absolutely no benefit at all.

Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon has been lobbied strongly by the Angling Trust to lift the idiotic ban on marketing rod licences
Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon has been lobbied strongly by the Angling Trust to lift the idiotic ban on marketing rod licences

The Angling Trust has been lobbying MPs and government ministers to allow the EA to market rod licences and the correct process for renewals as they provide an irreplaceable source of income for both angling and fisheries. However, in the meantime we strongly advice all anglers to avoid these websites like the plague that they are and to apply either on line at  or visit their local Post Office in person.

We know that Richard Benyon is embarrassed by the idiotic decision of his government colleagues and we are hopeful that the EA will get an exemption and be allowed to advertise and promote rod licence sales once again in the very near future. Why not drop him a line and tell him what you think ?

30 thoughts on “Beware of rod licence rip-off merchants

    1. I fell for this Rip off,
      as soon as i got their confirmation email and realised they had charged an extra £11 i sent them an email,
      and told them to cancel the transaction,
      i also notified my bank and they told me as long as i cancelled they would refund the £11 if TAD services take the money out of my account,

      1. I also fell for it. Paid £38 for an OAP £18 licence. The web site at should be avoided. I have e-mailed asking for a cancellation but not hopefull and I have now asked my credit card provider to cancel the payment if possible. My big question is why did the EA include a slip of paper in postal reminders highlighting the rip off site? They are adding to the problem.
        Yes I was slow at catching on but although I expected a small handling charge I never dreamed that an EA associate (and that is what they are) would rip aan OAP off for £20.
        Keith L

  1. I have also been duped by this one, I was charged £47 for a £27 licence, it will get to the stage where people will not buy the licence and take the risk of getting caught.
    I think this one should be sent to Anne Robinson and the watchdog team.

    1. Still happening today May 2014 just gone online and renewed my licence and the top one on Google was made out to look like the environment agency web site charged me £20.00 extra for nothing tried to cancel immediately but too late, watch out for

  2. Just checked my bank account and the b*stards have charged me £47 for a licence and I’ve emailed them no reply so tried ringing the number guess what the number does not exist I have not received my licence through the post yet and only have a email with a order number to say I’ve purchased my licence these sites should be removed and these con artist taken to court

  3. I applied for a rod licence for the first time online via fishing rod licence application services on Sunday 30th June 2013 and have paid £47 for the privelage and as yet have received no confirmation email and nothing through the post. I have just emailed them to see what has happened whether i have actually got a licence or not but have heard nothing. How do you contact these people via telephones and do you get your licence that youve paid for??? help help help. What can be done??? Shane

    1. Shane, I did same as you. Ended up buying one from Post Office & lo & behold my original licence turned up next day. Therefore I had 2 licenses and had paid a total of £74. Wrote to Environment agency with cover letter and Licence from post office & they refunded me £27. If I were you I’d wait a couple of weeks which is what it took for my “rip off” licence to arrive. If you,ve purchased yours via credit card contact credit card company . They may be able to help you. I used debit card & bank told me I couldn’t do anything as it is same as a straightforward cash transaction. Good luck.

  4. Got ripped off didnt know it was a dodgy site tried to cancel but have been charged no sign of license no response to emails I am covered to fish what a rip off!!!

    1. Me to , my wife thought she would treat me but when she found out the cost after paying she tried to cancel but no joy. Did eventually get £12 back but these sites need to go, there again in 15 years I have never had a renewal letter from the E A so gave them a going over as well, good luck for the season and tight lines D J Musgrave

  5. I too have been stung on this scam!!! I applied for a concession licence which i recieved, but was charged £38!!! Outrageous!!!
    These people should be prosecuted for fraud!!

  6. Can’t believe these haven’t been shut down yet. I’ve been caught out, thinking I was on the EA website, filled in my details and paid £47 without realising. When I realised what I had done I tried to cancel, mail after mail sent. I did think about phoning, but at £1.53/min decided against it. I placed my order on the 20/09/13 and I still haven’t received anything at all. I will wait for another week to see if my licence arrives and then contact the bank -fraud dept.

  7. I entered renew rod lisence renewal. The website that came up looked official and was not rod it was or something similar. Had the EA logo where I needed to renew. Got to payment did not have a subtotal, I should have stopped then. But the other half was deseperate to go and I was doing it as a gift for him. Only to then realise I’d been stung for £47!!!! Contacted the bank immediately to stop payment but it was immediately pending so they could not stop it. I have emailed them to refund it and my bank have told me to call back after 24 hours to get it back via the fraud team. I’m not hopeful. I’m quite savvy and computer literate….. I am peeved beyond all belief. When I spoke to the bank they did say payment was being made to I’ve told them I’m not authorising the payment. The terms and conditions box was not accompanied by the terms and conditions. I’ve been back to re read the “small print” and it basically states that they may not even get a lisence to you at all but on the main front page it states we will email it to your smart phone so you can fish straight away. It’s fraudulent. If you don’t get what’s advertised then we are due a refund surely we have rights?

    1. Still happening today May 2014 just gone online and renewed my licence and the top one on Google was made out to look like the environment agency web site. I am P*ssed off because if my wife or Son had done this I would be calling them idiots, Have contacted my card company to issue a dispute will still go fishing but reading some of the comments I don’t know if I will have a Licence, but if I get challenged I’ll go to court and fight it, charged me £20.00 extra for nothing tried to cancel immediately but too late, watch out for

  8. Not a happy man just bought 2 rod licence 4 rods got charged £94 by http://www.rod licence net i would treat them like the thieves that they are and cut there bloody fingers of shame its so far would drive up there and confront them and get me money back in person just been on the linear fisheries for my holiday and luckily no N.R.A bailifs come round because the number i wrote down had no revalence what so ever and could have been done for no licence? makes me very angry and theres nothing wrong with what there doing ripp off britans gone to a new level

  9. I avoided this scam by reading the small print, any cowboy can set up a website to sell anything they like. You can buy a rod licence from several sources for the exact amount, Tackle shops, post offices and online from the EA.

  10. This is the blurb from They make it very clear that they charge admin fees. offers you third party data processing services, for which we charge a service and administration fee of £5.00 for short-term licences and £20.00 for full licences. Customers may also purchase a rod licence through the Post Office – either in the high street or online at By doing so, you will not incur any additional service fee over and above the cost of the rod licence itself (cost is dependent upon which type of licence you require), but the features below will not be included. The benefits of buying through ourselves are detailed above, our fees are:
    Short-term: £8.75/day, Short-term salmon: £13.00/day, Full trout & coarse licence: £47.00

  11. How many people actually read the small print…. absolutely fuming.
    I agree with Trev .. thieves and taken it to a new level.
    The site passes itself off as an EA site.. Fraudsters.

  12. I’ve been had too!!!! Massively pissed!!!!
    My wife thought she was doing the right thing by following the environmental agency top link.
    I’ve sent a few emails to these cowboys but not heard anything.
    I’ve tried ringing Barclays but because I agreed the payment, they won’t stop the transaction. Apparently I have to wait for them to claim it before applying for it to be claimed back.

    I’m my license turns up in the next week or so, then i will just dry my eyes and get on with what I love, fishing.

    These dickheads need a good kicking!!!

  13. Here’s their contact details:
    01730 828251

    Postal Address:
    TADServices Ltd, Unit 2, West Tisted, Hampshire, SO24 0HJ.

  14. We have also been caught out by this scam. I have emailed them and they have replied. Obviously they don’t want to do anything about it. We have received the licence but I cannot believe that I fell into the trap!!! Their website is not very clear about the £20 which is how I fell into it.
    I am going to continue to pursue with them, sure I won’t get anywhere but it will make me feel better to make a complete nuisance of myself!!

  15. Just been done by the same scam had no idea of the extra charge until I checked my emails and saw I £47 pound charge i instantly sent a email asking to cancel to which no reply and as expected no answer when I rang them, I have not been fishing for a few years and this hole thing has put me off altogether! Something must be done about this site!!!

  16. Hi just got back into fishing after a 4 year absence . Thought of getting a day licence . But thought for £27 I may as well pay for the rest of the year . Then noticed £47 taken from my account . Thought it must be a mistake . But no I’ve been ripped off . This has finished me and fishing . Feel sick . Now looking for a licence to shoot shits in England jx

  17. Hi Thanks for putting the information for everyone to see it will help others.
    We just thought the licence had gone up as I have just renewed my husbands licence he is over 70 . I thought \I was doing right getting it over the internet and yes I was duped into going through on of these sites costing £35. It wasn’t until my grandson told me it was through a site which charges extra.

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