How to Complain to the BBC
Although we all love the BBC there are occasions when we feel like throwing a brick at our television sets. Don’t do that – complain. How should you go about this?
- First you need to distinguish between a rant and a complaint. A complaint is something to which you expect a reply. Just saying that you don’t like the new Dr Who is not really a complaint but just a comment.
- There are three basic ways to complain. You can do so via the BBC website at www.bbc.co.uk/complaints. You can write to BBC Complaints, PO Box 1922, Darlington DL3 0UR or you call complain on the telephone by calling 03700 100 222. I always prefer the written word so that you have a track record of what you have said and the response.
- If you have a complaint about impartiality or accuracy you may well also decide to contact Ofcom see www.ofcom.org.uk for contact details. Ofcom regulates all broadcasters and telecommunications companies in the UK. This process can be slow and time-consuming but it is free.
- There is an internal appeal process for any complaint to the BBC Trust. See www,bbc.co.uk/bbctrust for details.
- The BBC publish their complaints periodically so it is worth researching online if your experience mirrors that of other viewers.
- Although you might equate the BBC with the licence fee (since that is where the BBC’s money comes from) a complaint about the fee is a separate issue and should be treated as such. See www.tvlicensing.co.uk for contact details and helpful information.
- What does constitute a typical complaint? The most common complaints are background noise, the lack of availability of digital channels, digital on-screen graphics and too many trailers.
- It goes without saying that if you want to you can circumvent all of the above and compose a much more targeted complaint. Do a bit of research and find the programme producer or whoever by name and write to them in a personalised way. I once complained (in jest) about the excessive moaning of a tv detective’s girlfriend. Amazingly, in the following episode she was murdered. I’m not sure that happened as a result of my complaint but it did, it was my most stunning success ever!