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Are we being served?  BBC again! (Read 14,195 times)
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Are we being served?  BBC again!
Sep 23rd, 2006 at 10:28pm
 
Don't know if this has been discussed but I noticed the other night that the BBC's other consumer prog 'Are We Being Served' asks the public to contact it on - you've guessed it - an 0870 number!  Spectacular lack of knowledge consider Watchdog had to give up its 0870 number.  I dropped a line to the email address of course: arewebeingserved@diverse.tv  -  you might like to do the same.
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derrick
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Re: Are we being served?  BBC again!
Reply #1 - Sep 24th, 2006 at 1:26pm
 
You will get no change from these people, have a look at this thread
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NonGeographicalMan
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Re: Are we being served?  BBC again!
Reply #2 - Sep 25th, 2006 at 1:08pm
 
derrick wrote on Sep 24th, 2006 at 1:26pm:
You will get no change from these people, have a look at this thread


BBC Watchdog changed their number derrick so I can't see why you reach this conclusion as this is another program specifically championing the rights of consumers to get good service and protest against ripoffs.

I would suggest that people become deadlocked with BBC Information and then escalate to the Governors Complaints committee.
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derrick
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Re: Are we being served?  BBC again!
Reply #3 - Sep 25th, 2006 at 1:17pm
 
Quote:
derrick wrote on Sep 24th, 2006 at 1:26pm:
You will get no change from these people, have a look at this thread


BBC Watchdog changed their number derrick so I can't see why you reach this conclusion.


Well NGN, you have been at this longer than me,why Watchdog changed their number I do not know, but if you look at the thread I have mentioned you will see what I mean. That the BBC are amongst the prolific abusers of the 0870 scam as you well know, they will not release goe numbers to the public and I for one have requested the ICO to make them release the numbers,(some hope), but if you don't ask you don't get).

With your input to this  site I cannot see the reason behind your post on this thread, unless you have gone to backing the BBC in their use of 0870 numbers?
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NonGeographicalMan
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Re: Are we being served?  BBC again!
Reply #4 - Sep 25th, 2006 at 1:40pm
 
derrick wrote on Sep 25th, 2006 at 1:17pm:
With your input to this  site I cannot see the reason behind your post on this thread, unless you have gone to backing the BBC in their use of 0870 numbers?


Dear Derrick,

The BBC are in a long term contract with Moneygrabbers Capita who run the call centres that they either cannot get out of without vast penalty costs or that they do not want to get out of.  Capita has some exceedingly high level contacts with New Labour.

Thus while I totally expect the BBC will in general not change their 0870 scam numbers I think Are We Being Served is a possible exception because of its active pro consumer rights stance and the embarrassment that is then caused by using such a scam number.  It is illogical for one BBC consumer program to stop using 0870 and another BBC consumer program with the same Julia Bradbury not to also offer a non 0870 number.

Elsewhere I offer little hope as I had extensive correspondence over their Coast series encouraging people to call 0870 numbers on a mobile (prohibitively expensive for most call plans) for information on the walks and was given the constant foboff that they couldn't have afforded to run the service otherwise.

I haven't had time to escalate this issue to the Governors though and I thinks someone should as the Governors are independent of the self serving careerists on the BBC Executive management board who interested only in expanding total BBC funding to increase their own salaries and the total size of the empire.

It will be interesting to see what happens in Feb 2008 and whether the BBC moves to 0844 at 5p per minute as I fully expect it will do.  However perhaps further public condemnation between now and then may encourage them to remain on 0870 and stomach the inevitable increase in the price of their call centre contract with Capita when 0870 is charged at 01/02 geographic rates. It also remains to be seen if the BBC will bring in a true Voip termination calls name for BBC Information that is cost free to be used through Skype, SIP and other all Voip based phone systems in due course.  The continue hidden revenue sharing on 084/7 number is clearly going to hinder the growth of Voip to Voip calling outside the PSTN at the rate that might otherwise have taken place.
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« Last Edit: Sep 25th, 2006 at 1:41pm by N/A »  
 
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derrick
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Re: Are we being served?  BBC again!
Reply #5 - Sep 25th, 2006 at 2:14pm
 
Quote:
derrick wrote on Sep 25th, 2006 at 1:17pm:
With your input to this  site I cannot see the reason behind your post on this thread, unless you have gone to backing the BBC in their use of 0870 numbers?


  It is illogical for one BBC consumer program to stop using 0870 and another BBC consumer program with the same Julia Bradbury not to also offer a non 0870 number.



No it isn't as they have proved by doing exactly that!

I e-mailed them the following on 21st July,(the day after the first "are we being served" transmission),

Hello.

You appear to have learnt nothing from your sister programme, Watchdog, who in the last series bowed to public pressure and stopped using rip off 0870 and changed to a geographical number.

All Government agencies,(and I include BBC in that) have been told NOT to use 0870 for consumer contact,these numbers are premium rate,yes PREMIUM, as the cost is 2½ time the amount of a geo call from a BT landline, (a 150% premium on an ordinary 01/02 number) and can cost up to 40p per minute from a mobile or payphone.

The BBC receive their revenue from the licence fee and should not be covertly receiving more via the telephone system, the very least you should do is to display the cost of calling these numbers so as to be within CAP/COI guidelines.

Please supply the geographical number that your 08700 104515 relates to and please do not tell me it does not, as all 0870 numbers point at a geo number.


And their reply on 22nd July was:-

Dear Mr ******

Thank you for your e-mail.

I appreciate that you continue to object to the BBC's use of 0870 numbers.

As previous correspondence on this issue has stated, the BBC gave considerable thought to the appropriate use of national rate numbers and decided that callers to the BBC should pay the same costs regardless of where they were calling from, and those costs, typically should be no more than the price of a stamp.

There is also another operational benefit of using 0870 numbers. Along with other non-geographic numbers' such as 0800, 0845 etc it is possible to better route these calls and report statistics. To better serve the BBC audience we have several contact centres handling telephone calls, emails and letters. These contact centres operate as one 'virtual' service and depend on the use of 0870 and other 'intelligent network numbers' to provide the best customer service.

Call charges are a matter for the network operators and the regulator but the BBC use of 0870 numbers is the result of careful policy and operational considerations.

Nevertheless, I do acknowledge your continued concern and can assure you that your further comments on this matter will be fully registered and made available to senior management within the BBC. Feedback of this nature helps us when making decisions about future BBC programmes and services and your views will most certainly play a part in this process.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact us.

Regards

Jonathan Carberry
BBC Information

So do you still think they will change to a geo number if the programme comes back? Roll Eyes I don't think so.
Also notice they STILL use the term "national rate", which is not only a lie, but breaks the Consumer Protesction Act 1987(part III). a CRIMINAL Act, they obviously don't give a damn


Why has the site changed my last word tfrom DAMN to darn?


[/color]

It's still doin it?  the word should be D A M N  but without the spaces
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« Last Edit: Sep 25th, 2006 at 2:18pm by derrick »  
 
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NonGeographicalMan
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Re: Are we being served?  BBC again!
Reply #6 - Sep 25th, 2006 at 2:34pm
 
The reason you got that response is because it was produced by a cretinous employee of Capita in Belfast who run the BBC Information call centres and correspondence department.  The continued claims that 0870 costs all customers the same are obviously ridiculous and totally out of date as different phone providers charge varying scam levels of non 01/02 compatible pricing.  They are also in breach of the spirit of ASA guidances on 0870 numbers in these comments.

I suggest you escalate this complaint to Management and the Governors for review.

Here is the link for the BBC Executive Board who are the only people who can immediately bring the 0870 scam to an end if they want to.  Their email addresses are all firstname.lastname@bbc.co.uk

www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/keyfacts/stories/exbo.shtml

Also see the list of Governors most of whom have firstname.lastname@bbc.co.uk email addresses:-

www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/keyfacts/stories/governorslist.shtml

You will get nowhere with the national minimum wage morons employed by the BBC in Belfast who just pump out the lies that Capita's greedy management have told them to on pain of the sack.

I suggest you email the Director General and cc other main board directors and  say you are unhappy with the response from BBC Information.  Then if he does not respond (as has been known with the BBC Director General sadly) then escalate the complaint to the Board of Governors as specified in the BBC's own complaints procedures listed on their website at www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/complaints_process.shtml

Recent Governors complaint appeal adjudications are listed at:- www.bbcgovernors.co.uk/docs/complaints.html

Quote:
"What can I do if I don't like the reply?
Please reply initially to the person who responded to you and outline your concern.
If your complaint is about a specific programme, and you believe it breached the BBC's editorial standards, you can ask the independent Editorial Complaints Unit (ECU) to investigate. The unit examines such complaints independently. We will help you contact the ECU but its address is BBC, Media Centre, Media Village, 201 Wood Lane, London W12 7TQ.
If you dispute the ECU's ruling you may appeal to the Governors' Programme Complaints Committee

Can I complain to an outside body?

Yes. You can complain to Ofcom about all issues except impartiality, inaccuracy and some commercial issues. These remain the responsibility of the BBC.

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derrick
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Re: Are we being served?  BBC again!
Reply #7 - Sep 25th, 2006 at 2:41pm
 
The complaint is now in the hands of the ICO, not that I expect any resolution:-


20th September 2006

Case Reference Number FS50******

Dear Mr ******


Your information request to the BBC.

Thank you for your correspondence dated 14th September 2006 in which you make a complaint about the BBC's decision not to release the information you requested. 

Your case has been allocated to one of our case resolution teams who will contact you as soon as possible to explain how your case will be progressed.  Due to the volume of complaints we are receiving at present it may be several months before you hear from us.

If you need to contact us about any aspect of your complaint about the BBC please contact our Freedom of Information Helpline on 01625 545745 being sure to quote the reference number at the top of this letter. 


Yours sincerely,

Sent on behalf of

Mr Paul Arnold

Head of Customer Service

FoI Case Reception Uni

The Information Commissioner's Office



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NonGeographicalMan
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Re: Are we being served?  BBC again!
Reply #8 - Sep 25th, 2006 at 2:49pm
 
derrick wrote on Sep 25th, 2006 at 2:41pm:
The complaint is now in the hands of the ICO, not that I expect any resolution:-


But the complaint to the ICO is presumably about the BBC not releasing the total number of calls received by Capita and/or total money made by the BBC from the 0870 operation?

You still need to complain to the Director General and then the Governors Complaints Committee about the BBC continuing to mislead customers that 0870 numbers are charged at National Rate and are supposedly non discriminatory and equally priced to all uk customers calling the BBC.

Clearly by definition anyone who has BT Option 3 or an equivalent inclusive calling plan is specifically disadvantaged in an additional manner to most other BBC customers as Option 3 customers have to pay 7.51p per minute above what they pay for other 01/02 calls but BT Option 1 customers only pay 4.51p per minute extra over 01/02 calls.

The Governors are outside the BBC main career tree or main political structures and so much more likely to actually take your 0870 complaint seriously.  They are in effect the equivalent of the Ombudsman in other industries in respect of their high level complaint function.
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derrick
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Re: Are we being served?  BBC again!
Reply #9 - Sep 25th, 2006 at 2:56pm
 
No the complaint to the ICO is about the refusal of the BBC to release to me the geographical numbers that the 0870 numbers point at.

"They are in effect the equivalent of the Ombudsman in other industries in respect of their high level complaint function"


Do you really have any faith in ANY Omudsman's offices?
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NonGeographicalMan
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Re: Are we being served?  BBC again!
Reply #10 - Sep 25th, 2006 at 3:21pm
 
derrick wrote on Sep 25th, 2006 at 2:56pm:
Do you really have any faith in ANY Ombudsman's offices?


Yes I have considerably more faith in the BBC Governors than I have in the Information Commissioner's Office which is impossibly overloaded with work and has poorly skilled staff.

If you complain to the Governors your complaint will be considered at high level by intelligent people.  They do not consider that many complaints each quarter but the trick is to get the complaint to them as I note they insist on the use of the old fashioned post and do not have an online form or email address.  Why not write and see if they accept the complaint after first emailing the Director General as I feel sure you will get no sensible response there (other than possibly a brush off back to another BBC Information Capita person cretin) as it is the Director General and his team who agreed to the travesty that is Capita BBC Information and particularly the despicable customer complaint crunching way in which it is run.

Also complaining to the ICO about the BBC not disclosing the alternative numbers is unlikely to be successful as the BBC will probably cite commercial confidentiality as a reason for non disclosure.  As the call centres are all run by Capita and not the BBC the ICO is unfortunately very unlikely to uphold your complaint.
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derrick
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Re: Are we being served?  BBC again!
Reply #11 - Jan 11th, 2007 at 10:56am
 
As you will see from my post #7, I complained to the ICO in September 2006, and except for an acknowlegement letter on 20th September and another one on 15th December apologising for the delay i now have a nother one, the contents of which are below:-



Information Commissioner's Office

Promoting public access to official information and protecting your personal information

Mr ******

10th January 2007

Case Reference Number FS

Dear Mr *******

Freedom of Information Act 2000 Request for information to the BBC

Further to our letter dated 15 December 2006, we are writing to inform you that we are about to begin preparatory work regarding your complaint about the response you received to the information request you submitted to the BBC.
As you may know, the Information Commissioner's Office has received a large number of cases since January 2005. Recently, we have introduced a number of changes in this organisation with the aim of improving our case-handling procedures. This has included a reorganisation of the complaints department by sector, introducing, for example, specialised central government, health and police teams.
Your case has been allocated to one of the specialist central government teams. We envisage that your complaint will be passed to a case officer for a full investigation within the next 6-9 months.
We apologise for the length of time it is taking to consider your complaint. We appreciate that, due to the passage of time, your request may no longer be relevant. We should therefore be grateful if you would contact us within the next 20 working days to confirm that you still wish to pursue your complaint.
You may respond by writing to the address below or by email to: operationssupport@ico.gsi.gov.uk quoting reference FS
Yours sincerely

FOI Operations
Team 3 - Central Government
Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF t:01625 545700 f: 01625 524510 e: mail@ico.gsi.gov.uk w: ico.gov.uk


So "due to the passage of time", it looks like the outcome, if any, will be after the BBC change to 0844, then it will be a different request with the same long time scale.
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Re: Are we being served?  BBC again!
Reply #12 - Jan 11th, 2007 at 1:07pm
 

Sorry for butting in, but I love this bit:

And their reply on 22nd July was:-

Dear Mr ******

Thank you for your e-mail.

I appreciate that you continue to object to the BBC's use of 0870 numbers.... those costs, typically should be no more than the price of a stamp.

A brilliant example of demeaning a just complaint - a great piece of spin!

The price of a stamp - what stamp exactly? a green shield stamp??
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Re: Are we being served?  BBC again!
Reply #13 - Jan 12th, 2007 at 10:50pm
 
derrick wrote on Jan 11th, 2007 at 10:56am:
As you will see from my post #7, I complained to the ICO in September 2006, and except for an acknowlegement letter on 20th September and another one on 15th December apologising for the delay i now have a nother one, the contents of which are below:-



Information Commissioner's Office

Promoting public access to official information and protecting your personal information

Mr ******

10th January 2007

Case Reference Number FS

Dear Mr *******

Freedom of Information Act 2000 Request for information to the BBC

Further to our letter dated 15 December 2006, we are writing to inform you that we are about to begin preparatory work regarding your complaint about the response you received to the information request you submitted to the BBC.
As you may know, the Information Commissioner's Office has received a large number of cases since January 2005. Recently, we have introduced a number of changes in this organisation with the aim of improving our case-handling procedures. This has included a reorganisation of the complaints department by sector, introducing, for example, specialised central government, health and police teams.
Your case has been allocated to one of the specialist central government teams. We envisage that your complaint will be passed to a case officer for a full investigation within the next 6-9 months.
We apologise for the length of time it is taking to consider your complaint. We appreciate that, due to the passage of time, your request may no longer be relevant. We should therefore be grateful if you would contact us within the next 20 working days to confirm that you still wish to pursue your complaint.
You may respond by writing to the address below or by email to: operationssupport@ico.gsi.gov.uk quoting reference FS
Yours sincerely

FOI Operations
Team 3 - Central Government
Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF t:01625 545700 f: 01625 524510 e: mail@ico.gsi.gov.uk w: ico.gov.uk


So "due to the passage of time", it looks like the outcome, if any, will be after the BBC change to 0844, then it will be a different request with the same long time scale.   


Suggest you check on your rights to complain about the ICO as this kind of stonewalling delay is just totally unacceptable.  Everyone else in the world including the people they regulate has to work to reasonable deadlines like 28 days to do things.

Also you should be writing to the Information Commission richard.thomas@ico.gsi.gov.uk and Chief Operating Officer simon.entwisle@ico.gsi.gov.uk

But at this stage I would be bring this kind of unacceptable delay to the attention of my MP using www.writetothem.com

From:-

http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/library/corporate/practical_application/c...

shows that you can complain to the Parliamentary Ombudsman via your MP about the ICO.

I would write to richard.thomas@ico.gsi.gov.uk copying in simon.entwisle@ico.gsi.gov.uk with cc to your MP who is probably surnamex@parliament.uk where x is the initial of their first name.  Alternatively just copy and paste in your email to the ICO when you contact your MP about the ICO's unacceptable delays using www.writetothem.com

Why does everyone else have to hit deadlines while the ICO can just delay things forever!
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bettyboop
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Re: Are we being served?  BBC again!
Reply #14 - Jan 17th, 2007 at 6:50pm
 
Hi!

I belong to a large national forum created by a national magazine.  I have consistantly promoted this website to members on the message board and some have taken notice at last  Roll Eyes

It appears to me that the Internet using populace do not know about this site or if they do do not pass it on. I feel the more we pass it on the more folk will hopefully sit up to the rip offs.

One lady I chatted to on the forum waited 1hour and 35 minutes after listening to many options then the staff at the company were useless and mishandled her query on an 0870 number and she now awaits her bill from her provider. It's costing her 7.5p per minute! Angry  

I also belong to another smaller forum to do with telecommunications and I upset one chap big-time by saying that 0870 is a scam.  He was so incensed he unsuscribed! Angry Too bad! Smiley

Much of what is discussed on this lively  forum is abit above me at the minute but the posts are very good as far as I can see. I have not read many yet but will plough through them .

Thanks#

Bettyboop
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