BBC to simplify complaints process
November 29, 2022
By Colin Mann
The BBC is further improving its complaints process to support greater transparency and maintain trust with audiences. To deliver this commitment, the BBC says it will: Make the complaints website easier to find and use; better explain how audience feedback is shared and used across the BBC and improve how we explain the steps in the complaints process; and improve how all editorial teams respond to complaints so there is consistency across the BBC and follow-up complaints are dealt with equally and fairly
The plans follow internal analysis of the complaints process and an Ofcom review published in June 2022. The changes are expected to be made within the next six months.
“Trust is a core value of the BBC,” commented BBC Director-General Tim Davie. “If audiences want to raise a complaint they must be dealt with swiftly, fairly and consistently and the process must be easy to understand. We thank Ofcom for their research which has helped inform these changes.”
Internal BBC research shows that 84 per cent of complainants felt the process of contacting the BBC was ‘easy’ or ‘very easy’ (based on sample of 1,735 complainants this year). While overall satisfaction with the complaints process is very good, we want to improve the audience experience further.
“To help we will update our complaints webpages to ensure they are as easy to find and navigate as possible,” said the Corporation.
There will be greater prominence of how to make an editorial complaint on the BBC website with video content that explains how the BBC handles complaints and how audience feedback is shared across the Corporation.
“We will ensure that additional text is included in all responses to complainants at each stage of the process, setting out what the next step might be. If complainants are not satisfied with their initial response they can write back to us and expect a further reply. Following audience research, greater care will be taken to ensure that these responses contain a more reasoned or detailed response, where possible,” it added.
“A strength of the BBC complaints process is that audiences are able to engage with editorial teams right across the Corporation. At this stage of the complaints process, we will make sure editorial teams are directly involved in the response. We know that delays can occur at this stage so we are improving guidance to teams and will enforce compliance with the process, aiming to significantly boost the speed and quality of audience interactions,” concluded the BBC.