Viewer enquiries respond to the vast majority of calls, emails and letters of complaint about programmes, on-demand and online content but commissioning editors bear primary responsibility for answering such complaints especially where they raise significant or sensitive issues. Replies should be reasonably prompt, duly courteous and appropriate to the issues raised.
If a complaint raises legal or compliance issues, they must be discussed with a programme lawyer who will advise on how the reply is drafted and it may need to be referred-up as appropriate.
Complaints addressed to the Chief Executive or Board Members about programmes, on-demand or online content should be copied to the relevant editorial head, Controller of Legal and Compliance and Director of Programmes where appropriate. In some cases, it may be more appropriate for the response to come from the commissioning editor. In other cases, it may be most appropriate for the response to be drafted by the Board Secretary with input from commissioning and legal & compliance.
Where a complainant is dissatisfied with a response from Channel 4 in relation to a programme or on-demand content on All4 they may decide to pursue their complaint with Ofcom and in some cases may decide to go directly to Ofcom without contacting Channel 4. Ofcom will then decide whether to entertain the complaint and write to Channel 4 in due course. Where a complaint is entertained, producers are expected to co-operate and assist with the commissioning and legal & compliance teams in preparing written submissions to Ofcom and they may also be required to attend an Ofcom hearing.
Where a complaint is dissatisfied with a response from Channel 4 in relation to online content which raise issues of fairness and/or privacy, they can appeal to the Independent Online Complaints Reviewer and seek a review of the complaint. If the reviewer entertains the review, producers are expected to co-operate and assist with the commissioning and legal & compliance teams in preparing written submissions to reviewer.