Tuesday, 2 November 2010

BBC weather, part 3

In my earlier posts, I discussed a problem where the BBC Online weather system gave inconsistent results between the summary and detail forecasts. Note that this is *within* the forecast service provided by BBC Online.

I submitted a complaint to them through their complaints system; not necessarily as a disgusted-of-Tunbridge-Wells type thing, more to inform them that there was a problem.

Yesterday afternoon I received a reply. It consists of a few paragraphs, of which most are boilerplate. The ones that actually contain pertinent information are as follows:
I understand that you're unhappy with the weather forecast as you it was inconsistent between bbc.co.uk and elsewhere on the BBC.

The nature of our climate is such that there are times when the weather doesn’t behave as forecast. We are confident that we are using the best source of forecast data, which we obtain from the Met Office - who have an extremely good record globally. We do feed back to them concerns about forecast inaccuracy and also put pressure on them to improve their accuracy.
Well, they really did not get the point I was making. I was not concerned about inconsistencies between bbc.co.uk and elsewhere on the BBC (e.g. broadcast forecasts); it was about glaring inconsistencies *within* the web service.

My flabber is well and truly ghasted. My original complaint to them included a link to the original blog post, which contained screenshots detailing the problem. Not only did they not bother to understand the reported problem, I doubt they even bothered to read the information given.

It should also be noted that they have essentially closed the issue, and have not provided a means within the email by which to continue the correspondence.

Another comment about their complaints system: after you submit a complaint, you get no acknowledgement from the system. Many other such systems email the sender immediately with a copy of the message and a reference number; this way you can check the message has been received and that your email address is correct. I had nothing from the BBC until this reply. Part of me wondered if I had entered the correct email address.

The question is, what do I do next? Do I just forget about it, or do I try and get them to understand the problem? Is it possible for me to reopen the issue that they appear to have closed? Am I going to get trapped in an endless loop of bureaucracy?

Although I may be annoyed at one part of the BBC, I was thoroughly entertained by their output last night on BBC Four: the excellent 'Atom' program was followed by the lovely Victoria Coren in 'Only Connect'.

Truly a feast for both mind and eyes.


Alan Sloman said...


It makes me smile, David.
I think you'll be pushing water uphill with this one! Have a go, but I reckon you stand no chance of getting a considered reply or an answer to what is going wrong.

Stick with the seaweed. It works for me!

David Cotton said...

Well, I've sent a complaint about their reply to my original complaint. :-)

I am not holding my breath.