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Over the last week the BBC has been sending out responses to the follow-up complaints that people after they were unsatisfied with the response made to their original complaint. This second stage, known as “stage 1b”, has been responded to with yet another copy-and-paste response. This means that many of the issues people raised in their complaints were not addressed, and in many cases the response seemed to address issues that had not been raised in the complaint at all. If you have received your second complaint response, and would like to take it further, it is now time to take it to “stage 2”, which is a complaint to the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit who should carry out an independent investigation. You must make this third complaint within 20 working days of receiving the second response.

To make a stage two complaint to the Editorial Complaints Unit (ECU) you should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Make sure you include:

  •   the reference number that is found in the second response that you received (something like CAS-1234567-A1BCD3E)
  •   the date you received your second response
  •   preferably the text of the second response (easiest way to do this is to forward the response you received, and include your new complaint at the top)

The format of this complaint is a little different, and you can go up to a maximum of 1,000 words (not including the forwarded original complaint). If you go over 1,000 words then they might reject your complaint, so be careful not to write too much.

To begin your complaint, you might wish to mention that you received a copy-and-paste response that did not address your points and/or that the response seemed to answer some points that you did not raise.

It is absolutely vital that you explicitly include each and every one of the points that you raised at Stage 1b that you want the ECU to reconsider, preferably with a brief explanation of why you want it reconsidered (such as that they did not respond to your point). The ECU will not look at anything from the original complaint unless you specifically mention it in your stage 2 email, and if your complaint is too vague then they will not investigate it at all. Also the ECU will not consider any new points that you did not raise at stage 1b, so there is no point in bringing up anything you haven’t already mentioned before.

Once you have sent your complaint, the ECU should acknowledge receipt of it within five working days. They will then usually provide their response within 20 working days, although they sometimes require up to 35 working days for complex cases. If you are unhappy with the ECU’s response, there will then be the opportunity to take it to the final stage in the complaints process (which will either be the BBC Trust or Ofcom). We’ll provide further guidance on this in due course.

It’s important that the complaint is mostly written in your own words, but if you are struggling then we have provided a skeleton template for you to complete below.

Dear Editorial Complaints Unit

Reference: CAS-{write your reference here}

On {date you received response} I received a response to my stage 1b complaint regarding BBC Two’s ‘Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best?’ broadcast on 12 January. The response was a copy and paste response which was also sent to many others who complained, and {it did not address all of my points}, {it addressed points I hadn’t mentioned}, {I felt they didn’t investigate my complaint properly}, {their response had factual errors}, and {I was unhappy with the response to some of my points} [choose as many as appropriate and/or add your own].

My stage 1b response did not address the following of my points:

  •   {list each of the points that you made in your second complaint that they did not reply to at all}
  •   {for example} the show frequently mentioned puberty blockers without mentioning they were reversible
  •   {add as many points that weren’t addressed as possible}

Also, I am unhappy with the response to the following of my points:

  •   {list each of the points they responded to inadequately and say why you were unhappy}
  •   {for example} the lack of balance in experts interviewed. The response said the show “included extensive interviews with transgender people and advocates for gender affirmation” but few clinicians who support gender affirmation were interviewed and they were given far less time than Zucker and his colleagues.
  •   {add as many points as possible}

As a result I would like you to consider this as a stage 2 complaint.


{name you used in the complaint}


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