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Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘disillusioned

A Fundamental Problem At The BBC

with 3 comments

I am very close to being the BBC’s biggest fan.  It is a remarkable and entirely unique institution.  Somehow it occupies a place between the state and the people which I can find no comparison for.  It would be easy to define it as some sort of socialist idea but it is genuinely independent from the state.  I do, however, have some concerns about its accountability.  I am very concerned about the way it handles complaints.

No Complaints Accepted Here

I have grown up with the BBC and I trust it.  In fact, I think that it’s done a better job of maintaining Britishness and values of integrity, tolerance, fairness and justice than any UK government of any political complexion.  That’s why the curmudgeons in all political parties turn against it.  I think Jeremy Hunt’s recent attacks and comments were particularly poorly judged.  He hasn’t a had a good start in government at all has he?

I made a complaint to the BBC recently and I am very, very unhappy about the way it has been handled.   The subject is not relevant here.  I shall write about it in future but for now it would distract from my point.  I am horrified to discover that the BBC does not handle complaints itself.   They are outsourced to Capita in Belfast which describes itself as “the UK’s leading outsourcing company…at the leading edge of redefining and transforming services to the public.”  For me that needs a huge pinch of salt, a mountain in fact and even then I’m choking on it.

Handling complaints should be at the very heart of an organisation.  It is the essence of your brand.  There is no more important management function.  Contracting them out is an abdication of responsibility.  More than that, it is a complete failure of integrity, a massive mistake.   If an organisation is truly committed to meeting its customers’ needs it must be as close to them as possible.  This irresponsibility strikes at the very heart of everything I value about the BBC.  I am deeply disillusioned.

If this disastrous decision had resulted in a well administered service then that might be some consolation but not a bit of it.  It is dreadful.  Every bit as bad as any horror story you’ve heard about British Gas, BT or yes, even a bank.  This is the British consumer experience at its very worst.

Not What It Used To Be

In sharp contrast to the rest of the BBC’s websites, try making a complaint online.  It’s like something from the very early days of the internet with clumsy, badly aligned fields and an archaic feel.  I almost expect to hear a modem whistling away in the background.  From a complainant’s point of view it’s quite useless.  You don’t get any option to save a copy of your complaint or email it to yourself.  You don’t even get an acknowledgement once you’ve completed it so you’re left with a completely unsatisfactory feeling of uncertainty.  Did they get it or not?  Will I get a reply?  When?

It gets worse.  Complaints are lost.  They don’t get answered at all.  They certainly don’t get answered within the 10 working days promised.  One answer I received was just laughable in its anodyne, crass simplicity.  It was nothing more than an patronising acknowledgement of what I was “unhappy about”.

Useless

I could go on even further but I won’t.  It does get even worse and it becomes embarrassingly so when Capita start to trot out the oldest excuse of all about “system problems”.  It is an excruciatingly bad, defining example of appalling customer service.  I’d say it takes the biscuit.

All this is the inevitable result of outsourcing your complaints procedure.  That aspect of business that should be one of your most important tools.  What’s worse is that Capita are absolutely useless at doing the job.

It is no exaggeration to say that, for me, this rocks the very foundations of everything I believed about the BBC to the very core.  It is not the organisation I thought it was.  I feel betrayed.  I am “disgusted of Tunbridge Wells”.   In fact,  I am very, very, very disgusted of Weymouth, Dorset.

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Censors And Abusers Of The Blogosphere

with 11 comments

By comment on this post I will record all those bloggers and website publishers who have chosen to bar me from their sites.

Book Burners

You might think for a gentle if opinionated Brit like me that’s unlikely to happen but it already has – several times.  I am profoundly distressed that most of the censors are from the US.  In fact I have learned a lot about America recently that I don’t like very much at all.  I’m disillusioned by the sheer nastiness and level of abuse that has been directed at me just for expressing my opinions.

I NEVER descend to abuse when commenting on other people’s words.  I NEVER censor comments that other people post about what I have written.

What amazes me is that so many of these people just can’t take the debate.  They descend into abuse and then they bar me.   If I did as they do I’d be so embarrassed and ashamed of my behaviour I don’t think I could carry on writing.  That’s how important integrity is to me and how irrelevant it seems to be to these people.

Some of the craftier censors don’t bar me completely. It’s almost unbelieveable isn’t it (?) but what they do is edit my posts or allow some while deleting others!  It’s incredible isn’t it that people can stoop so low?

So I do intend to embarrass these cowards here.  At least by posting links to their sites they will learn that they’ve been placed, deservingly, into the same category as book burners and censors the world over and throughout history.

Of course, anyone who wishes to explain, argue or defend their actions has only to post here.  All comments will be published in full.

Welcome to my hall of shame.

Not In The True Spirit Of The British Forces

with 10 comments

Corporal Mark Wright

Corporal Mark Wright

I was dismayed, upset and disillusioned to hear Rear Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt, Commander of Joint Helicopter Command, speaking about the inquest into the death of Corporal Mark Wright and the maiming of his six colleagues in Afghanistan.

The Coroner, the “guardian of the crown’s pleas”,  with the full authority of the Queen herself, found, as a matter of fact, that the mines were detonated by the downdraft from the Chinook helicopter that went into rescue the men.  Yet the Rear Admiral had the audacity, impropriety and outrageous, traitorous arrogance to say “that’s not true at all”.

Rear Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt

Rear Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt

The Coroner said that the MOD should hang their heads in shame.  The Rear Admiral should hang his head in a noose for the disgraceful, insincere, weasel and wicked words he spoke in an effort to deflect the Coroner’s criticism.

Clearly these men were badly let down and the Rear Admiral’s conduct will bring more pain to those that survived and to all the families and friends concerned.

Why can’t the senior officers and the MOD display just a fraction of the courage that Corporal Wright and his colleagues did and admit they failed them?