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BBC doesn’t even bother to read complaints

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.

15 thoughts on “BBC doesn’t even bother to read complaints

  1. Well the catastrophist community adheres to a position without bothering to read the facts, so why should we expect catastrophist hypesters to bother reading things that challenge their reactionary beliefs?

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  2. It strikes me that the BBC failing to read – and act accordingly – upon what you wrote to them, should be grounds for successfully taking the matter further. It is difficult to see how the BBC can justify such behaviour.

    If they say they don’t have time to read in detail all the complaints about the programme because they received so many, then that would be to shoot themselves in the foot. What other excuse could they have?

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  3. I think there’s probably quite a few of us who have now fired off Part Deux of our complaints, on receiving the form letter. Has anyone yet received a response from the BBC to your response to the BBC’s response to your original complaint?

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  4. Mark, yes, of course, all they have achieved is giving me something else to complain about.

    Alex, I was a bit slow off the mark (due to being on holiday) so I haven’t yet sent a response.

    By the way, the next piece of BBC climate bullshit is on Radio 4 on Saturday, from Alice Roberts: “why are we still rushing towards the environmental apocalypse …”

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  5. I recently found the same thing with my (conservative) MP. I had written to him asking why the Welsh Assembly, (to be followed by Parliament) had declared a climate emergency, why Claire Perry had met XR and why Gove was going to do so. I asked why St Greta was allowed to address Parliament when the Speaker has declared the US President will not be allowed to do so. I had put together a detailed letter showing the foolishness of the claim of a Climate emergency.

    I had a reply within a week:

    “Thank you for your recent email regarding climate change. As you may be aware, last night MPs passed the motion making the UK Parliament the first in the world to declare an environment and climate emergency.

    Last week there was a large protest outside Parliament about climate change, run by the Extinction Rebellion group. I took the opportunity to meet with a number of the protestors who had travelled from (his constituency) to take part in the gathering. On the same day, Swedish 16 year old, Greta Thunberg, visited Parliament to share her message with MPs and Government.

    It is fair to say that climate change has not received the political attention it deserves over the last three years as Brexit has dominated our national life. However, the UK continues to make progress in meeting its climate change objectives. Some of these achievements are outlined as follows:
    Blah, plastic bags, blah, blah.

    Further to this, the UK has surpassed the progress of any other industrialised country to reduce emissions and is firmly on track to meet the 2050 target to reduce emissions of all greenhouse gases by 80%. I was very pleased with the leadership role that the UK played at the UN Climate Change Summit in Paris in 2015 and whilst our record is not perfect, I believe the UK is a world leader in taking climate change seriously and will continue to do so.

    Whilst progress is being made in the UK, I agree that this does not mean the UK should not continue to make further efforts to address climate change. Further progress on climate change requires tough policy choices and a serious focus on technical solutions rather than just more rhetoric.”

    His reply bore no relationship to anything I had written and he had clearly not read it, as this was a standard response sent out by his staff to anything that mentioned climate. I have replied, asking him lots more questions (including what temperature should the planet be!) and requesting that, as my MP, would he please read my e-mail and reply to the points raised.

    Three weeks later, no response.

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  6. Dennis,

    I think you will find that the silence you have experienced is the sound of one hand clapping. The Welsh Assembly has entered Nirvana and you’re not allowed in with your foolish questions.

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  7. Dennis. It is not exactly clear if you were complaining to a WA as well as your MP. If you were, then why not translate your complaint into Welsh complaining about Argyfwng hinsawdd (climate emergency)? Be interesting to discover if they have a Llythyr ffurflen (form-letter) for such eventualities.

    I recognize this matter is deadly serious, but if you don’t mock it, you’d cry about it.

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  8. Of course the BBC uses form letters.
    .. Did you try to be a Climate alarmist saying the prog was not alarmist enough ? And did you get the same form letter back ?

    Having 2 form letters , and scanning complaints quickly to be alarmist or skeptic would seem logical to me.
    Asking for a non form letter reply, is a ridiculous request and so is quite correctly ignored.

    However they should be upfront about replies being form letters.

    BTW BBC routinely throw all criticism in a box marked “green inkers”

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  9. @Alex Cull
    My rejection of the BBC’s generic response to my first complaint was acknowledged on 28 April. On 14 May I received a holding email from the BBC apologising for the delay:

    “Thank you for taking time to contact us again recently. This is an update to let you know that although we had referred your complaint to the relevant people, we regret that it may be a little longer before we can reply.

    We investigate and reply to most complaints at this stage of the complaints service within 20 working days (around four weeks), but cannot do so every time. It depends on what your complaint was about or how many others we are investigating, and can sometimes be affected by practical issues. For example a production team may already be working on another programme or have gone on location.

    We apologise for this and have been in touch with the relevant staff again. We therefore ask you not to contact us further in the meantime.

    For full details of our complaints process please visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/handle-complaint/.

    In the meantime thank you for contacting us – we appreciate your patience.”

    Another two weeks havd passed since then. Either they are working furiously on a damage-limitation plan, or just hoping we’ll give up. I think I’ll ignore their request not to contact them again and submit another complaint at the weekend about their tardiness.

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  10. @ DaveS, it will be interesting to read the BBC’s (eventual) response – wondering which will arrive first, the BBC’s reply or Brexit? Place your bets…

    @ Paul, re the upcoming “A Saga of Trying (and Failing) to Save the Planet”, what made me smile was finding both “why are we still rushing towards the environmental apocalypse…” and “the 40 years since ‘climate change’ began to be discussed by world leaders” in the same paragraph.

    The apocalypse is certainly taking its sweet time, despite all that 40 years of “rushing” going on.

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  11. DAVES / ALEX
    I received the same holding letter replying to my second complaint. The bit about delay caused by a production team possibly not being contactable because on location is amusing. I Don’t know what the director is doing, but the researcher, hired on a three month contract after spending three months on an uninhabited island after graduating, is now on another short term contract, but in London, and presumably contactable. Three months to research the Facts on Climate Change? It would take that long simply to read all the articles at Climate Audit.

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  12. I finally got around to chasing the BBC again this morning, ignoring their request not to contact them again. So we’ll see if they fob me off with more excuses. Thanks Geoff for the info that the programme’s ‘researcher’ has been working in London – I pointed that out to them.

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  13. I’ve stopped listening to BBC radio 4 because of the fake climate alarmism and political bias. Together, they constitute quite a proportion of the output. I am not alone in switching off. The BBC fails to realise that when funding becomes an issue in a few years’ time when the charter is up for renewal, the Corporation will not find much support, sympathy or loyalty with the public.

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