Updating the BBC Complaints website
Head of Communications & Complaints
Editors note: The new BBC Complaints website is now live. You can see it at bbc.co.uk/complaints/
Every year, the BBC receives around 1 million comments, appreciations, complaints and enquiries via the Audience Services team.
It's our job in Audience Services to ensure that every comment and complaint is normally shared in full the next morning with BBC staff, and overnight we compile and circulate a report of the day's audience feedback. This is how we make sure that each viewer and listener can tell the BBC directly what they think of our programmes and standards. No wonder then that this is one of the most widely read reports in the BBC - your reaction is invaluable to producers and managers, and is discussed across the BBC.
The rise of social media and more widespread publicity about the BBC has probably fuelled its popularity. The site has made it easier for you to contact us, and the result is that since 2008 the number of complaints has doubled to around 240,000 every year.
Each complaint we receive must be logged, classified, reported overnight and if necessary replied to. And although it is an enormous task, we send most replies within around 2 weeks. But to achieve this efficiently and still use your licence fee sensibly, we need technology tailored to our needs, as well as people to process, handle and reply to your comments.
Which is why, after some 6 years, the Complaints website is changing. The new site will be launching shortly, part of a wider updating of the BBC's corporate websites that started with the launch of the new BBC Media Centre site last month.
The new BBC Complaints site looks different, and uses a simpler design which we have tested with audiences, including their extensive feedback in the design process. The site will feature more editorial updates and links when there is a relevant report, statement or finding that has been issued by the BBC. It will link you directly to Radio 4's "Feedback" or "BBC Newswatch" programmes, so you can catch up with these when they are on.
The site also uses technology more efficiently, and our webform has been redesigned so that you fill in the information needed to help report and classify your complaint efficiently and get it to the right people overnight. It explains in more detail, as you complete it, why we need the details we request about your complaint.
If you need to use the new BBC Complaints site, we hope you'll still find it easy to use, even if it looks rather different. But above all of course, we hope you enjoy our programmes and really won't feel the need to complain...
Keith Jones, Audience Services