Tuesday 21 October 2014

The Argentinian ambassador gets the full BBC Complaints treatment

Argentina’s ambassador to the UK has made a formal complaint to the BBC about Jeremy Clarkson’s “provocative behaviour” in the recent Top Gear special, and demanded a public apology.
Ambassador Alicia Castro visited the BBC on Monday afternoon.
The embassy released details of the ambassador's meeting with the BBC’s director of television, Danny Cohen, in which she condemned the presenter and his team.
Well, it's one rule for the Argentinian ambassador and another for us licence-fee-paying Brits, isn't it?! I'm appalled that the BBC has allowed its notoriously labyrinthine complaints process to be by-passed so easily. She should have been made to suffer, like the rest of us.

So this is what the Argentinian ambassador should have experienced at the hands of the BBC Complaints department, word for word:

21 October 2014 
Your Reference CAS-1982-FKL-KO
Dear Ambassador Castro
Thanks for recently contacting the BBC. This is to let you know that we have referred your complaint to the relevant staff but that it may take longer than 10 working days to reply. We therefore ask you not to contact us further in the meantime. In the meantime we’d like to thank you for contacting us with your concerns. We appreciate your patience in awaiting a response.
Kind regards,
BBC Complaints.

23 December 2014
Your Reference CAS-1982-FKL-UK
Dear Ambassador Castro
Please accept our apologies for the delay in replying. We know our correspondents appreciate a quick response and we're sorry that you've had to wait on this occasion.
We have received a wide range of feedback about 'Top Gear'. Bearing in mind the pressure on licence fee resources, the following response strives to address the majority of concerns raised but we apologise in advance if not all of the specific points you have mentioned have been answered in the manner you prefer.
The BBC has very clear guidelines to ensure that any issues involving the British Falkland Islands are treated in line with our editorial guidelines on impartiality. We believe we followed those guidelines here.
However, we forwarded your complaint to Jay Clarkson, one of the output editors for 'Top Gear' who, explained in response:
"That old hag can go boil her head."
Therefore, let me assure you I've registered your comments on our audience log. This is a daily report of audience feedback that's circulated to many BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, channel controllers, cleaners and other senior managers. It ensures that your points, and all other comments we receive, are circulated and considered across the BBC. The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content. All feedback we receive, whether positive or negative, is always appreciated.
Thanks again for taking the time to contact us with your views.
Jenna Galtieri
BBC Complaints

23 February 2015 
Your Reference CAS-1982-FKL-FCUK-OFF
Dear Ambassador Castro
We have been considering the various complaints you have submitted in recent weeks. 
In our view, this correspondence therefore now represents a disproportionate use of BBC staff time and consequently of our increasingly limited licence fee resources.
In accordance with the BBC’s framework for handling complaints, we must inform you that the BBC’s expedited complaints handling procedure will now be applied to any complaints you make citing further examples to allege pro-British bias on 'Top Gear'. 
For the period of two years from the receipt of this email, we will continue to read any complaints you submit, whether directly to production teams or via the central handling unit, but a 200 mile exclusion zone will be placed around them and they will not be investigated unless “they appear to raise a substantive issue or disclose a serious prima facie case of a breach of the Editorial Guidelines where there is a significant prospect that the complaint might be upheld”.
Should you wish, you may write to the BBC Trust within 20 working days to request an appeal against this decision. 
Best wishes
Dayglo Maradona, BBC Complaints 


  1. I've made a complaint to the BBC concerning the article above ;-)

  2. This is spot ON!! It appears that the BBC way of dealing with complaints is exactly the same as it was from 2002 to 2007!!!!! But despite this won through sheer persistence a ruling that a documentary was flawed but still was unable to get an apology!! See http://netanyalynette.blogspot.co.il/2012/07/1-road-to-armeggeddon-sat-7th-june-2003.html http://netanyalynette.blogspot.co.il/2012/07/road-to-armaggedon-resonses.html http://netanyalynette.blogspot.co.il/2012/07/appeal-to-governors-road-to-armegeddon-3.html

  3. I can think of tens of millions of reasons per annum why nothing will come of this.


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