If the BBC can't get it right….

Now I’ve started using ‘titles’ to my weblog posts, but if you’re not reading the site through some kind of RSS feed you won’t know what any of them are. I’m not keen on breaking up the flow of my posts on the main site though, so let me spell it out for you just this once… The title of this post is If the BBC can’t get it right…

Now the BBC runs a number of mailing lists. Once I signed up for one of them when I was trying to keep up with one very specific aspect of what they were doing. The list I signed up to was called ‘Communicate’. I’d like to provide a link to the page in question, but I can’t find it on the site anymore. Anyway, after a while I decided to unsubscribe and so followed the link on their site to this page. I filled in my information and got this reply:

Thank you for requesting the Communicate Newsletter. You will receive 3 information emails, and only need reply to ‘Confirm Subscribe’ to begin your subscription.

1. Majordomo Results
(There is no need to reply to this email – it is just to advise you that your email address has been used to subscribe with us)
2.Confirm Subscribe
(You MUST reply to this message by simply clicking the ‘Reply’ & then ‘Send’ buttons in your email program)
3.Welcome to Communicate
(This message is to welcome you to the Newsletter, please retain it for your future reference)

You’ll notice – of course – that this is welcoming me to the newsletter. Humph I thought. Maybe they’ve got the copy wrong. But no. I continued to receive the newsletter. So I followed the other instructions relating to signing off the list. Let me spell this stuff out:

“If you wish to unsubscribe from this newsletter or have received it in error, please click here: or send a blank email to stating ‘Unsubscribe Communicate’ in the subject line (keep the rest of the e-mail blank).”

Ok, well I tried the first one, so I thought I’d try the second one. Only to be sent (immediately) a reply that went like this…

“This message shows the result of status of your request to subscribe, unsubscribe, or alter your subscription to one of the BBC’s mailing lists.
**** No valid commands found.
**** Commands must be in message BODY, not in HEADER.

Hmm. Interesting. So that information was just wrong then? Note at no point around here is there any e-mail address that I could use to contact anyone directly if I actually can’t get the damn thing to work. And the BBC isn’t a small organisation. There must be 40,000 or more people working for them at any one time. It’s not beyond the bounds of reason that I might never figure out who to contact… Anyway – I’m fairly sure I’ve tried this other approach as well – with the commands in the ‘proper’ place, and that it didn’t work either. But I’ll try. Again.