A few weeks ago Geoff wrote about his complaint to the BBC regarding “Climate Change – The Facts”, and how he received a reply from the BBC that failed to address the issues that he raised.
It soon became clear that the BBC was sending out identical form letters to people who complained.
I wondered whether the BBC had actually read the complaints, or was just automatically sending the same letter to anyone who complained about the programme, without even bothering to read the complaint.
So I carried out a little experiment.
Methods: I wrote a complaint (using the web form, that only allows 2000 characters) that pointed out some of the false claims made in the programme and ended as follows:
Please do not waste time by sending a form letter that fails to address the issue.
Results: A few days later I received this reply from the BBC:
Thank you for contacting us about ‘Climate Change – the Facts’ and your concerns surrounding the accuracy of the programme.
Climate Change – the Facts represented the work of a wide range of scientists from the UK and US, as well as other countries, demonstrating the scale and scope of scientific endeavour and thinking around this complex subject.
Their interviews were based on their research, describing what it has revealed and in some instances expressing personal reactions based on their deep insights. The overall content of the programme was also based on peer reviewed scientific research, which was rigorously checked by an independent scientific consultant, a leading academic at University College London. Inevitably in a 60 minute programme there
were some subject areas which could not be addressed in greater detail or which we did not feature…
Yes, exactly the same form letter that they sent to Geoff and others, that I had explicitly asked them not to send.
Conclusions: When the BBC receives a complaint regarding “Climate Change – The Facts”, they send out the identical form letter without even reading the content of the complaint.