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Talking talk

David Kermode | 12:40 UK time, Thursday, 24 August 2006

At the risk of becoming the resident blog bore ("becoming?" I hear you say), I want to return to my theme of interaction again.

Breakfast logoAs I've said before there's nothing new per se in audience interaction - people were writing in to That's Life 30 years ago - it's just much easier to do it these days. But it's those very means of doing it that have also made life more complicated too.

Last week, Susanna Reid, our main stand-in presenter, told me she'd been tempted by the new Carphone Warehouse Talk Talk broadband package, announced amid much fanfare on Breakfast back in the spring. She said she'd had a nightmare with it and had been driven to distraction.

Susanna ReidA potential news story? "BBC presenter has problems with computer"? Err, no.

However, we sensed from what we'd heard elsewhere (including a recent report on the Money Programme, to be fair) that many of our viewers might be in the same boat.

So, Susanna made a film about her experience, which aired on Wednesday.

A few people told us it was "indulgent". Someone even said it looked like a "vendetta".

It's certainly true that the power to put something on the television because you're cross about it is a privilege not to be abused. But we sensed it would resonate, and it did. We've had hundreds of e-mails from people who have had similar problems. Largely the complaints are about Talk Talk, but other broadband providers have also been driving our viewers wild.

A few people said Talk Talk provided a great product - and we were careful to include those comments. We followed it up this morning, and we're planning something for next week on the difficulties people face switching between providers.

Two things strike me about this:

1) Technology has the capacity to make people really cross in a "can’t live with it, can't live without it" kind of way.
And 2) people like to sound off and we can help with that. But all they really want is someone to fix it. If only we could...

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