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Feedback Returns!

Friday 14 June 2013, 16:51

Roger Bolton Roger Bolton

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Editor's note: Feedback is available to listen to online or to download and keep.

Last week I was rafting down the Grand Canyon in Utah, one of the few remaining places in the world where a mobile phone does not work. I left my watch behind as well. We rose with the sun and lay down as it set, lulled to sleep by the sound of the Colorado River. Shooting stars and satellites flew across the sky with unparalleled brightness. We drifted by rocks billions of years old, swam through the gentler rapids and held tightly on to our craft  as we crashed through the rougher ones. The hand of man was nowhere visible, except for the occasional deserted mud huts of some earlier native American civilisation. Herons, long horned sheep, rattlesnakes and turkey vultures appeared occasionally, indifferent to our presence. Mosquitos were blessedly absent.

Every day the skies were cloudless and temperatures were soon in the upper 30s. It was a life changing experience.

But of course none of this compares with the pleasures of presenting Feedback!

I returned to so called civilisation to discover that the BBC has just wasted £100 million pounds of your money on a digital project which has had to be abandoned. The BBC Trust is angry and embarrassed, and the former Director General, Mark Thompson, has been summoned back from his new job in New York by a parliamentary select committee which believes it has been misled about the DMI project.

This one will run and run.

So it is timely that the Trust has updated the Corporation’s complaints procedures and this week it published the results of a survey of licence fee-payers views of their effectiveness. In the first Feedback of the new series, I talked to BBC Trustee Richard Ayre about that survey, and about the DMI fiasco. Here is our feature.

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How easy is it to complain to the BBC? Your verdict on the revamped complaints system.

By the way, you can write to Feedback about any BBC matter, programmes, policies, or finances. You set the agenda, not the BBC, so do get in touch.

Roger Bolton

PS I am glad to be back, honest!

Listen to this week's Feedback or download it as a podcast

Read all of Roger's Feedback blog posts

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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    I didn't think the BBC for insurance purposes would allow a veteran presenter to take part in such a dangerous activity the week before his series was due to start. If something had gone wrong there would have been numerous and serious complaints!

    I was surprised to learn that the BBC receives around 4,000 complaints a week. Of course many will be frivolous like the one about pregnant women in leotards, but what interests me is the difference (if any) that complaints make. If, say, a hundred people were to complain that someone should be sacked over the £100 million wasted on a digital project would it make one bit of difference? Compared to money wasted by Government on some computer projects the figure is perhaps nothing exceptional. In fact, much of the money paid in salaries would probably have been paid anyway to staff of variable productivity.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Ian Rankin - Rebus
    Episode !/3 broadcast on Saturday 15 June 2013

    Unfortunately a portion of the recording is missing at the beginning. :( Any chance of getting this fixed?

    Otherwise I think that Radio 4 Extra provides a fantastic service to the world—well done to all involved!

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Licence fee payers Money being wasted? What´s new there?...The fact that a minority Sport such as cricket is all over the BBC like a rash and even when the game isn´t being played due to rain they "coverage" is continued.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Surely the worst waste of money was/is on the DAB radio fiasco. Wrong choice of technology and bad implementation. In this part of the South Midlands I still can't get a reliable DAB radio signal and have to rely on a television receiver to get radio stations which do not broadcast on VHF. I suspect that the cost of this mistake was several factors higher than £100 million.


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