Over To You

Over To YouQ.I hope my fear about who checks the BBC email inbox does not sound ridiculous but many of us listeners, especially your African listeners, send negative comments about the evil deeds carried out by our authorities. We’re a bit concerned that we may be betrayed by the person who reads the mail. I’d like to know who’s in charge of checking the BBC inbox and how they protect us listeners.Arnaud Emmanuel Ntirenganya, Cameroon A.The BBC World Service receives roughly 15,000 comments, complaints and requests from listeners each month via email, telephone and post. It’s obviously quite a tall order for any organisation to manage this volume of correspondence, so we employ a team of 25 audience relations staff who handle the incoming correspondence sent to us in over 25 languages. What we do with the correspondence received is very much dependent on the nature of the query. For example, requests for general information such as schedules and frequencies are handled directly by our audience relations staff. If we receive a general comment about our output, this is generally sent direct to the programme producers to ensure that they are kept informed of the impact a programme has made on the audience. If we receive a complaint, that complaint is recorded in our complaints system and passed to relevant editor who in turn will provide a response within 10 days.The BBC, like most organisations in the UK, is governed by the Data Protection Act of 1998 which prohibits us from sharing or sending any information to third parties without prior consent from our listeners. I know this issue is of huge importance to Arnaud, and indeed all our listeners, and I’d like to reassure them all that the BBC takes this law very seriously. We don’t send their correspondence outside the organisation unless they have granted us permission.The recruitment process is handled by the BBC’s human resources department and they are rigorous in ensuring the integrity of staff hired by BBC. I can reassure our listeners that the audience relations teams have undergone stringent checks and that they do not pass information to third parties.Juliet Cotterell, Manager, Customer Marketing Services, BBC World Service 

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