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How to complain to BBC

Updated July 20, 2017

You may want to complain to the BBC because you think a broadcast included inaccurate or offensive material, or because you are having technical or reception problems. You can make a complaint online, by phone or in writing. The BBC has a carefully structured complaints system, designed to be as transparent as possible. The Corporation has a unique hybrid form of organisation. It is an independent body, overseen by the BBC Trust, and raises its own funding from a compulsory licence fee levied on its British audience. However, the government does have an indirect influence over it, since it sets the level of the licence fee.

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  1. Make a note of your complaint, outlining the issue you want to complain about. If you’re complaining about a programme, note the time and date of broadcast, the programme title, and the broadcasting channel.

  2. Go to the BBC website home page, and scroll to the bottom. Click on the ‘Complaints’ link to go to the complaints homepage.

  3. Click on the link on the left hand side of the complaints homepage titled ‘Make a complaint’. A series of online options inviting you to categorise your complaint culminate in a pro forma email. Fill it in and send it off.

  4. Call BBC Audience Services on 03700 100 222, if you wish to make your complaint verbally. A recorded message invites you to press one on your phone keypad to complain about any BBC service, or two to complain about reception or other technical problems. You may also use textphone by calling on 03700 100 212. Calls are charged at standard national rates.

  5. Post a letter to BBC Complaints, PO Box 1922, Darlington, DL3 0UR to complain in writing. Include your full name and address in the letter.

  6. Tip

    If you want to complain in Welsh, a link on the BBC Complaints homepage allows you to do so.

    If you complain to the BBC but find the response unsatisfactory, you can appeal to the BBC Trust, via the BBC website.

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About the Author

Ken Macdonald lives in London and has been a freelance editor and writer since 1999. He has written on topics including travel, food and gardening for UKTV, Expedia and “The Guardian” website. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English studies from Stirling University in Scotland.

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