The joy of email… er… again 

8 March 2004

EMC MediaBlog on BBC email lists

Having previously detailed my frustrations with the BBC email services (possibly the only weak point in the world’s greatest content provider – Tessa Howler please take note), I’m pleased to provide a fabulous conclusion.

It didn’t look good at first.

Thanks for your email. Both Jade & Kasey are on leave and left within a day of each other, hence the autoreply messages which were intended for both external and internal messages about their show. In the meantime, I am producing the Early Breakfast show until Kasey returns.

With regards to your query, I’ve had a look at the list you forwarded to me and everything seems fine. I’ve also tested the links which appear in the message and there doesn’t seem to be any problems with them either. However, I will forward you query to the appropriate online team here and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.


1xtra, PO Box 1X, London W1A

Tel: 020 776 XXXXX Fax: 0207 76X XXXX


So, a positive reply from Karen, who isn’t technically minded about email – like most people – but is eager to help: exactly what we expect from BBC employees and what we get from them 99.9% of the time. The exceptions helping to ruin the rule, as with all vital public services.

And then Karen does what she says she’s going to do. Does the BBC have an Employee of the Month programme? If so, Karen is my nominee: she did what she said she would do, and solved this licence payer’s problem in no time at all. Thus:

Hi Russ,

Thanks for getting in touch regarding the 1Xtra newsletter and we apologise for the formatting mistake. We are using a new system to close a security loophole and the original formatting is not displaying. We

are looking into it. In the meantime here is this week’s newsletter with the correct formatting:

A good explaination, a copy of the email that is readable, some thanks for my trouble: this is the type of customer service private firms dream of. I wonder what’s reply would have been? Well, no reply at all, obviously. But if either of the staff did reply, I can’t see the public service ethos being so apparent.

It’s more likely to have been piss-taking. And Scarily ill-concealed at that.

But, so not everyone is perfect. I don’t care.

My TV Licence is up next month. This time I won’t pay it with a smile.

I’ll pay it with a song in my heart and on my lips.

Thanks, Karen.

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