Tuesday, 4 July 2017

All around the houses, and my replies

Hello. The BBC is trying to take over the world. It is now asking, no demanding, that people register to listen to  BBC radio stations online. I have found it convenient to tune into Radio 4 and local BBC Radio while I am doing something else on the computer. It's easy to do, a couple of clicks and you can find what you want. I have particularly enjoyed Owain the weatherman on BBC Radio York on a Saturday afternoon, he has a three hour programme and plays some smashing music. Now I am asked to register to listen to him. I have looked for the station on the stereo player, but the signal is not good and the crackles are irritating.

You all know that I don't have a TV, and from last September I have not watched anything on iplayer since they brought in the new rule. I will not pay for a licence on principle when there is so much rubbish broadcast. After many years declaring to the licensing people that I don't need a licence, (they send me letters), I have recently replied to the latest. I have had confirmation back from them saying they accept my declaration and will contact me in two years time. Fair enough, I can accept they need to check.

But what will happen if I register to listen to the radio? You can bet your bottom dollar it will give them more ammunition to hassle me. There will be emails and letters winging their way in my direction. Once every two years I can put up with, but it is well known on the forums that they try and brow beat people into submission. I can do without that. So that's why I am reluctant to give them more information. I only want to listen to the BBC radio stations, which is free to anyone without a licence.

Here are some of the reasons they give for asking listeners to register. Most of it is bullshit, sorry, but I can't think of a nicer word to describe it. My replies in red.

If you’re 13 or over we’ll ask for your email address. If you’re under 13 we’ll ask you to create a username, which is different from a display name. You can find out more about display names here.
We use this to check you’re a real person (not a robot) and for security, so only you can access your BBC account. No one else will be able to see your email or username.
Your email address also lets you reset your password if you forget it. And it means we can get in touch if we need to tell you about something new, like a change to our terms of use. I don't want you to get in touch, I just want to listen to a few of my favourite programmes. 
When you first register we ask for your date of birth. This is so you can use the parts of the BBC that are suitable for your age. For instance, we don’t let adults post on children’s message boards. Cobblers. I am a grown up, I can decide for myself what is suitable for my age.  
It also means we can see how people of different ages are using the BBC. Along with information about people’s gender and location, it helps us check we’re making something for everyone. For goodness sake, none of your business where I live. I only listen to the bits I am interested in, you can broadcast what you like, I don't care. Gender has absolutely nothing to do with what people listen to. I am a mix of all of them. 
Knowing your date of birth means we can also give you more relevant info across the BBC and in any BBC emails you sign up for. I am only as young, or as old, as I feel. If I want to bop along to Radio 1, I will. If I want to join the fuddy duddies on Radio 4, I will. I was born, that's all you need to know. 
If you’re 18 or over, we’ll only keep your year of birth, not the day and month. This is because we only keep data we need to make the BBC more personal to you. We don't need your day and month of birth to do that, so we don't keep them. Don't get personal with me. Please respect my space, you are not allowed in it. If you don't need them, why are you asking?
If you’re under 18 we’ll keep your full date of birth so we know when you turn 18. And when that happens, we'll delete the day and month from our records. No kids in this house, trot off. 
We ask everyone what gender they identify as. You can choose female, male or enter another term of your choosing. And there’s also an option if you’d prefer not to say. My gender is what I choose to be, there are so many options now, I might be something one day, and something else another day, so don't ask the question.
This helps us see how people of different genders are using the BBC. Along with information about people’s age and location, it helps us check we’re making something for everyone. We might use this, along with other info about you, to give you more relevant info across the BBC and in any BBC emails you sign up for. For goodness sake, just do your job. I don't sign up for emails, don't need them cluttering my box. 
If you’re in the UK and 18 or over we’ll ask for your home postcode. If you’re in the UK and under 18 we’ll ask for your hometown. That’s the place where you live. If you're outside the UK and 18 or over we'll ask for your country of residence. Jeez, so many bluddy questions. Next thing there will be a van parked outside and a bloke with a clipboard knocking at my door. 
We use your location to give you relevant local info online and in any email newsletters you sign up for. Told you...shall I shout it. DON'T NEED LOCAL INFO, DON'T NEED EMAIL NEWSLETTERS.
We also ask for your full postcode because it helps us understand how the BBC is used across the country. As a public service, we need to make sure we're making something for everyone and giving best value for the licence fee. Stop wittering on for Gods sake.
The BBC is a public service. Everything we do has to benefit you, our audience. And that includes what we do with your personal information. Look after the listeners that moan a lot, I am not one of them. 
We use this information to benefit you in two ways:It helps us make the BBC more personal for you. It means we can:
  • Recommend things we think you’ll like
  • Show you content that’s relevant to where you live
  • Make sure you can use things that are appropriate for your age.
  • As a public service, we need to make something for everyone. 
As more of our content gets consumed online, we need to understand who's consuming it. Things like iPlayer give you more ways to enjoy BBC content. And while they let us see how many people are enjoying the things we make, they don’t tell us anything about them, which makes it hard to know if we’re making something for everyone. For goodness sake, how old is the BBC, surely you must be getting some things right after all this time. Don't you know, you can't please all of the people all of the time.
That's why we ask you to sign in and provide a bit of information. Find out more about your information and privacy.
We share some of your personal data with TV Licensing, to check if you are using BBC iPlayer and to keep their database up to date. Yes I bet you do, this is the part I don't likeFind out more about when you need a TV Licence.

It's spooky how much information large institutions are asking for now. Big Brother is definitely watching over us. 

As a public service BBC, you need to be more transparent with your costs, how much you are making, and how much you are paying out. How much money you are wasting on middle management and how much it is costing to massage the ego's of over paid so called celebrities. Maybe I should send you my own questionnaire to help me to decide whether you are worthy of my donation to your coffers, but until I get the full picture from you, you get nothing from me. 

Thanks for popping in, enjoy your day, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

50 comments:

  1. This is brilliant some of your red comments did make me laugh out loud but I agree with every word you say and it's not just the BBC don't get me even started on BT.

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  2. What a lot of twaddle! I love the BBC, but there are things about it that really get my goat - the use of 101 presenters to cover each and every sporting event (many of whom seem to have no knowledge of the actual sport), the constant 'celebrity' this that and the other and the way that I recommend my sister in America to watch various new series if they appear on BBC America only to have her tell me they have already been shown there before they have appeared here! Tracy

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  3. It is leading up to having total control over every thing we do or say.It is Big Brother watching you.I love your...red comments,lol,Debi,Leicx

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  4. Thank you! I have exactly the same issue as you with this, and it's great to know I'm not alone. I've no TV and have been hassled regularly by the licensing folk, so even though you can listen to the radio on iPlayer without needing a TV license, I am loathe to sign up to it. I managed to listen to a friend's interview by clicking the "I'll do it later" button instead. Allie x

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    1. I had the 'Do it later', button for a couple of weeks, then it disappeared and now says I must register to listen. Your button may not be there next time.

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    2. Aw, I did wonder if that would happen. I shall ration any possible future use carefully. It's too likely that signing up would be akin to handing a bully a taser. Thank you. Allie. x

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  5. This is very interesting, I am sure you will be right Ilona but I thought if you listened to bbc radio (even on iplayer) the purchase of a tv licence was mandatory. My hairdresser has to pay 2 licences in her salon for listening to radio 2; one is an 'artists' copyright' licence and the other I thought was a 'tv licence'. Anyway, I'm heartily fed up with the bbc rubbish on the tv (I wish they'd put on adverts to get the revenue and scrap the licence fee altogether). Amanda

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    1. Playing music in a public place to the general public, shop, bar, hairdresser etc, requires different licences. No licence required in a private home.

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    2. Thanks Ilona, knew you'd know the answer, that's cleared that up. Amanda

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  6. I don't like what they are doing at all.I feel it's an invasion of ones privacy.It's a bit like those nuisance ,unwanted phonecalls and leaflets-bordering harassment I feel x

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  7. I agree with you about the BBC, load of old tosh on to, bluddy wimbledon, yawn, and even Radio 4 is dumbed down now, thank heavens for your blog. Blogland ain't what is used to be either, some posh bird from Devon going on about flower arranging and lots of people writing about being fat, where are the intelligent and creatively inspiring blogs like yours gone. Keep up the good work.

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  8. I don't have a problem with them asking the questions. Someone has to pay for the programming...I don't really see it as "free", as I don't see libraries, the NHS or the fire service as "free" - taxes pay for those and the licence fee pays for the BBC. Perhaps they should introduce a licence fee to listen to the radio...may be 10% of the TV licence cost? And definitely get rid of free licenses to over 75s!

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    1. That's a bit naughty.Some pensioners already struggle to pay their bills,going without enough food and heating

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    2. In which case means test it, but don't give it to everyone just because they are old. And I have the same view about the winter fuel allowance, and thenpeniosn triple lock...I view it as vote buying!

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    3. I know pensioners who rely on their winter fuel allowance to buy logs to heat one room,keeping their gas bill lower

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    4. My point is means test it. I do not think that people with lots of money in the bank, wry generous private pensions and living mortgage free in a substantial house should get: free bus pass, free TV licence, winter fuel allowance and have a triple lock on their state pensions....in fact I don't think anyone should have a triple lock on their state pension.

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    5. Let's hope you are never in the position of needing any help through no fault of your own-life, however well planned can change

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    6. I am not saying scrap the NHS, all I am saying is that the old age freebie should be means tested. The public purse is not bottomless. Means test the fuel allowance, bus pass, TV licence, scrap the triple lock (ie get rid of the automatic increase irrespective of inflation) and put the savings towards giving nurses a pay rise.

      Nothing to do with needing help through no fault of your own.

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    7. Under my proposal someone whose needed help through no fault of their own would be covered....except for the triple lock.

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    8. I would feel happier with the triple lock I think but -Que Sera Sera

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    9. The triple lock isn't fair to me. I don't see why a pension should rise at a higher rate than inflation. Many people, however, would seem to agree with you. May's car crash of an election campaign would seem to support that. I think the triple lock was appropriate to give the state pensions a boost but no longer needed. A friend told me that her aunt was on state penion and lived in Arizona and had to accept the winter fuel allowance!

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  9. It's never been so easy to know everybody's business because folks will give away their information just to get a $5 off coupon or have a chance to win a $50 gift card. Unfortunately, we're never going back to "privacy"; those days are over.

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  10. Wow, things are really different here. Guess I'd rather put up with the ads and not have to pay a fee. I am deeply suspicious of any large corporation who says they need my personal information to "help" me. Selling information about people is a big business.

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    1. I wouldn't mind paying for the programmes I want to watch, or a small fee for the radio. But I'm not paying for the whole caboodle.

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  11. I maintain a separate "junk" email address for this sort of thing. They have no way of knowing if the information you put in is correct or not. Just sayin'! :)

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    1. You wouldn't believe the details I gave them!!! Had so much fun with that. Serve them right for being so nosey!

      On FB did the same - I'm a 111 year old woman living in Borneo and working as an Interplanetary Sandwich Shopper for NASA Earth, having studied Reading Discworld at the University of Wollongong in Australia after graduating from Hwa Chong Institution Boarding School, China.

      Apologies to anyone for whom this is a genuine profile :-)

      Linda xx

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    2. Ha ha, you've got a better imagination than me. Well done.

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  12. We have a licence but have to use a proxy server to listen to the BBC when in Europe.

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  13. I think that the bbc should be more accountable in how it spends our money. Yes spend money if you want to on costume drama, it can be sold on abroad. But i was raging mad that they were prepared to spend £15 million to have the ridiculous baking programme. One could reply that it is apparent that I don't watch it but many others enjoy it. Fair enough I say, but that type of programme is far more suited to commercial tv. Hence, channel 4 paying £25 million for it because they can expect massive advertising revenues. By all accounts buying on amazon goes crazy when they use different kitchen gadgets.

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  14. Do NOT sign up with them. It is not compulsory and none of their business what you listen to. You would tell them if your were unhappy so if they don't hear from you they should assume all is well. What they really want to know is your ethnicity etc. It will all passed to the government which is why I never answer those questions. Well, I've got that off my chest 😄

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  15. Totally agree Ilona, we gave up our TV many years ago and we will never return to subsidising the shady practices of the BBC. I had a suspicion this would happen once the IPlayer TV was cracked down on. If you want to listen to live radio on the PC try http://www.internetradiouk.com/region/yorkshire-and-the-humber/#bbc-radio-york-103-7-york
    Personally I'm going back to my DAB radio for live radio and giving up 'listen again' on the PC. I'm just happy that for the moment I can still download Claire Baldings Ramblings wo registering but for how long?
    Lorraine

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    1. Fantastic, Lorraine. Thanks for that, can now listen to Radio York, and lots of others.

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  16. I haven't had a TV of my own since I left my parent's home nearly 30 years ago & I don't miss it at all. I'd happily pay a small licence fee to cover local radio and radio 4 if they wanted, I think they provide a real service and I get a lot of pleasure and information from them, but no way on earth am I paying for TV - most of it is of no interest to me, and the bits that are potentially of interest are done far too slowly. I do tend to watch obsessively for about two days if I stay somewhere with a TV, but that just suffices to show me that the vast majority of stuff is like marshmallow sweeties, nice on first bite but horrible aftertaste and very bad for you!

    Radio all the way!

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  17. Kaythegardener4 July 2017 at 20:44

    If they want personalized marketing surveys, then do it separately, not as a need to register for the programs!!

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  18. You can listen to BBC Radio stations and a whole host of other radio stations through the TuneIn app or via www.Tunein.com. No need to register, but no "listen again" facility.

    For those of us who like to listen to live Radio 4 or whatever station takes your fancy this is a way round having to register. Hope this helps :)

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    1. Thank you Mindo, this is very helpful. It's not very often I use the 'listen again' facility for radio. I reckon that if I've missed it, I've missed it, move on.

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  19. I hate how massive corporations want to know all our details, mostly to benefit them and bombard us with unwanted, intrusive advertising. Re the BBC, this seems to be mainly about their worries over whether they are catering to all branches of the population, what a load of bumph and twaddle to wade through, love your responses to it Ilona! Personally I do find iplayer very handy but will have to think about whether I want all this intrusive faff to be able to use it. I seem to watch less and less tv nowadays. I really do feel the BBC licensing model is becoming outdated now. I agree they could cut their outgoings considerably.

    A bit off topic, but I feel the same about direct debits. I know all the advantages etc but hate how corporations have control of your money. I pay my bills at my convenience, not theirs.

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  20. agree completely with your aggravation.

    This intrusiveness is more and more common, around the world, not just in U.K.

    as for keeping "anything" private (email, age identifying data etc)...
    Not Likely...

    There is hardly a week goes by, when one doesn't hear in the news of yet another "hack" or somesuch, where all users data is stolen...

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  21. Oh Ilona, I love your comments. Last week I signed a petition (I know it's probably a waste of effort) asking for the licence fee to be scrapped altogether. I have become so disillusioned with the BBC over the last few weeks with the blatant bias on all their news programmes during and after the election and Brexit coverage. I like to make up my own mind about how to think and vote. The BBC should be neutral and report the facts and if they can't manage that then they really should be made to earn their own income like all the other channels and relieve us of this tax.

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    1. I don't know if online petitions work, but I have to say, I don't sign them.

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  22. In Germany, every household and business has to pay for TV and radio, about 15 € per month. The only exeption is when you are deaf and blind or live on unemployment benefits. Our son recently set up a business of his own (in our house!) and before he had earned his first euro, there was a bill from radio and TV fees.

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  23. As they;re funded through the licence fee they're only doing due diligence in terms of asking for info on age and gender (coming from a background of decades of experience working in non-profits and membership orgs you absolutely have to do this).

    If they didn't ask those questions - which enable them to report on diversity and inclusion - they'd be crucified by regulators and other groups.

    Also you've missed the point on one of the age questions which specifically talks about not letting adults post on kids boards - that's the barest minimum needed due diligence wise to protect kids from predators. Can you imagine the outcry if something awful happened and it could be traced back to contact made by an adult to a kid via one of the Beeb's message boards?

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  24. Hi Ilona... I think they are asking people to register 1) for the purposes as they state and 2) maybe a little for why you think. There's a lot of speculation at the moment that the Beeb may have to introduce a fee for listening to radio stations, and some speculation that FM is on its way out as everything goes digital. I actually think we need to resist total digitization as it's a bit disenfranchising, and I, like you, ghost my online visits. Yes, I have a TV license I say. No, I'll register later... or never.

    Hopefully, it won't come to that. There would be so much competition from free at the point of use content providers, I don't think they will.

    What I don't get is how a lot of people have become convinced that paying £22 a month for the same channels as on Freeview, or £50 a month to see the stuff you actually want to, but packed out with ads is better value than £13 for the BBC. They used to let you watch catch-up for free, but now it all needs to be covered by the license. That's the tabloids for you.

    I want to downgrade to just the license fee and a Freeview TV, but my TV addict OH is currently finding it more convenient to subscribe to a cable provider and top up with Netflix. I think you've got the right idea. No TV!

    Mind I do love Doctor Who... and Versailles.. and The Detectorists... and Uncle... and Who Do You Think You Are.. and Line of Duty... and Happy Valley.

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  25. I listen to BBC I Player but have not been asked to register? I listen to The Archers and GQT so I guess that labels me a fuddy duddy....

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  26. And why all the moans on here? If you don't like things just pass them by..stop moaning

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    1. Not sure who that comment is aimed at, Linda. All I can see is a discussion going on. Yes there's a little moan going on further up, between two people who have a difference of opinion.

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    2. My apologies if my comments came across as a "moan" - did not mean it that way, just that, at the end of the day the public purse has to pay for things and I was expressing my views on what I see as unfairness.

      Your blog, as always, is thought provoking.

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    3. My apologies too.Have a good day Traveller x

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