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Messages - Alisonthecase

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Thanks for your words of encouragement Northoftheborder, but I'm not quite so sure I can share your optimism. Something is telling me it's now too late for any listeners, to try and have their say.

If you read my previous post two months ago, you will have seen that my friend's niece emailed the presenter in question. Having written that it was "time this was all sorted out" all he ever managed to do, was install a block upon her emails to him. Exactly the same unfriendly treatment that her auntie, me (and a friend of ours) had all received. No reply, no warning of what was about to occur. Quite frankly, what a cowardly course of action.

Unfazed by all of this, she waited a few weeks before sending a short but polite email, to a presenter at Radio Stoke. Although this chap didn't reply, he passed her email on to someone who did. The same day, too!

Their assistant editor Alistair Miskin asked her to provide more details, so that he could either discuss her concerns, or pass them on to someone who knew more than he did. She replied, informing him that this was a show carried each Sunday by Radio Stoke, but which she thought came from BBC Hereford & Worcester. Alistair responded promptly and politely, confirming that he had forwarded her email to the BBC H&W management team.

At last! Perhaps a BBC manager will be able to answer a simple question - Alistair Miskin undoubtedly did as much as he could. However, over a fortnight later, we have yet to see any response from BBC Hereford & Worcester.

We listened to the show at the centre of all this controversy, last Sunday. During the final hour, where once there had been something like 45 minutes of music requests, we heard just two listeners' names directly linked to music played. This weekend's show was worse still, with the presenter plumbing the depths of "misheard lyrics". Would it really be too hard to accommodate an hour of listener requests? Or don't we matter to you, any more?

No wonder BBC H&W have been so reticent to respond to my friend's niece. I could always ask them myself but, somehow, I hardly think it's worth my while. Far better instead to retune to another part of BBC local radio.

Looking upthread, I see that Northoftheborder started it all off, just over two years ago. She was right all along, wasn't she? BBC managers aren't able to answer simple questions. At all. How sad, for us mere listeners.

It's been a good three months, so I reckon it's time I got back in touch and updated you on how this bizarre issue has progressed. Just a quick reminder of something I wrote, back in mid-June:

With some help I then found the email address of David Jennings, the Head of BBC West Midlands. Yesterday I emailed him, asking him to explain this astounding treatment of a loyal listener. I am still waiting for an acknowledgement, never mind any kind of reply.

September's nearly over, but there's been nothing from Mr Jennings. Not one email. Clearly the concerns of licence-fee paying listeners in his region are of the utmost importance to him, aren't they? Northoftheborder was correct!

Not too long after my first ever forum posting, there were a few "interesting" changes to the Sunday afternoon show. A much greater number of listeners got to choose music, during the final part of the programme. Strangely this last hour is no longer referred to as "The Jukebox". Instead the presenter tells us: "Now it's time for a few of your suggestions". Who knows, is this the 21st century way of referring to what we all used to know as "requests"?

Each of our emails remain blocked by this presenter, with very little likelihood of any progress. What did we ever do to deserve this?

When I last checked (a week ago) this was still the case, so my assertion that there wouldn't be any progress has also proved to be the case. Over three months later, it looks highly unlikely that we'll ever be unblocked, doesn't it?

In actual fact, a further two listeners have now had their ability to email this show blocked. Last Sunday, my friend's niece politely pointed out that it was "time this was all sorted out". This weekend (when she tried to request, I'm sorry suggest, a well-known song) her email bounced back, with a standard "Sender Denied" message. The presenter never bothered to address her concerns, nor did he ever warn her of the possibility of this action taking place.

Back in June (when we'd both become aware that this presenter had blocked our emails) a former work colleague volunteered to help us out. He'd had to stand down from his job a while ago owing to poor health, in fact he's not at all well. But as he'd kindly offered to assist us both, he emailed the show explaining simply that it was his first ever request - on behalf of two friends. But his message was completely ignored, as were the following two emails.

Having waited a while, he recently tried to email the show once again. This time, his email generated a response. Yes you've guessed it, a message stating "Sender Denied". For goodness sake, what has BBC Midlands come to?

You may contend that the BBC are only reacting to my posting on this public forum. Giving them a bad name, you might say. But I was only forced into doing that, after they blocked my friend - who'd previously sent a variety of successful requests to this presenter. Then they blocked me, after I'd sent my first ever request to this show. Now they've blocked my friend's niece, plus our friend who's very poorly indeed. How many more of us will be blocked?

Where will this all end? Every one of us was only trying to stand up for ourselves, or for friends that we cared deeply about. Well you would, wouldn't you? What on earth ever happened to "Be Part Of It"?

Hello everyone, this is my first ever post. Why I felt I had to do so is rather upsetting, so I will try my best to explain things to you all.

Actually this has been done on behalf of a close friend, who assists me in a voluntary capacity. I manage a small team of counsellors, and have known my friend for close on five years. Over that period we often found time to discuss BBC local radio, so she soon made clear how much she enjoyed a cross-section of music spanning almost five decades. In spite of this, she is only still in her mid-forties!

To be quite honest the BBC does not serve our part of the world (East Cheshire) too well with local coverage, but I have managed to listen to Radio Stoke on some Sunday afternoons. As this is my only true day away from work, it's just nice to have something to relax with! The late afternoon programme does not come from Stoke, I think it's shared with BBC Shropshire and BBC Hereford & Worcester.

During the last sixty minutes of his show, the presenter has what he calls "The Jukebox". In 2015, most of this hour of music could still be chosen by audience members. So my friend began to contribute a handful of music requests to this show early last year. Virtually all of them were accepted without any question, simply because she varied what she asked for! When reading out her requests, the presenter gave the impression that he was entirely happy with this state of affairs. Other listeners also got to have their musical say..

As 2016 dawned, our Sunday afternoon enjoyment continued. But we noticed changes were occurring, in particular a subtle reduction in the amount of listener requests. Despite this, my friend continued to participate until half-way through March. After a request failed to appear, she resent it a week later. Again nothing, so she queried it (via email) with the presenter. In his reply he politely explained that there had been some email "problems" but that he could forward her request to the presenter (who was to be covering the next fortnight) or that she could email the female relief host her own direct request. She chose neither of these options, but thanked him.

The next two programmes (with the relief presenter) were not too good. The first two hours were wasted on asking listeners to guess what year the music was from. Although she still ran "The Jukebox" the music choices were noticeably more "watered-down" than the regular presenter. On a positive note, most of the final hour's music was actually chosen by listeners. Wisely my friend asked for more mainstream music, as this presenter had previously struggled to "find" her a Kate Bush hit - somewhat incredibly from a 1985 Top 20!

When the regular host returned, my friend mischievously requested Communication Breakdown by Led Zeppelin! He seemed happy to play it. One week later, she revisited the request from March, which of course he had invited her to resend. But now he had changed his tune, claiming it was obscure. Other listeners have had far more obscure material played. This is where things start to deteriorate.

A week later I attempted to do something new to me, requesting this same piece of music for my friend. The prompt email reply asked me to phone BBC Hereford & Worcester (in office hours) to discuss this. I never knew 21st century music requesting was this complex!

Owing to pressure of work, neither me (nor my friend) could spare any time to phone them. She has never had to phone them before.

The following Sunday she tried to email this programme, but her email bounced directly back, with a clear "Sender Denied" message.

During the week I stepped in on my friend's behalf, enquiring why she had had her email blocked. Their Editor was of very little help.

Subsequently I learned that the presenter had also blocked my email. As a "new contributor" I find this turn of events extraordinary.

With some help I then found the email address of David Jennings, the Head of BBC West Midlands. Yesterday I emailed him, asking him to explain this astounding treatment of a loyal listener. I am still waiting for an acknowledgement, never mind any kind of reply.

Each of our emails remain blocked by this presenter, with very little likelihood of any progress. What did we ever do to deserve this?

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