Research Ngā Rangahau

Complainants Satisfaction Survey 2016/17

Download a PDF of the Executive Summary:

Complainants Satisfaction Survey 2016/17 – Executive Summary [PDF](516.83 KB)

Date published: July 2017

Research Company: Nielsen


The overall objective of this research is to gain an understanding of the level of satisfaction and experiences of complainants who have been through the complaints process and received a decision from the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA), so that improvements can be made to processes, interactions with complainants, and the clarity of BSA decisions and reasoning. The research focuses on:

  • How complainants came to know about the formal complaints process
  • The source(s) complainants referred to (in finding out what to do as well as preparing their complaint)
  • The reason complainants referred their complaint(s) to the BSA
  • Complainants’ perceptions of the way the BSA handled their part of the process
  • Complainants’ perceptions of the BSA decision/outcome of their complaint
  • Tracking perceptions of the BSA’s performance over time.


  • Online survey
  • 76 complainants who received a decision from the BSA on a complaint submitted or referred to it between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017 were invited to complete the survey. 44 complainants completed the survey (58% response rate).


Complainants’ satisfaction with the BSA’s overall management of the complaints process is consistent with previous years with 41% agreeing that the BSA handled their part of the complaints process well (compared with 40% in 2015/16 and 38% in 2014/15).

This year, there is greater satisfaction with each aspect of the BSA’s management of the complaints process, in particular, those who ‘strongly agree’ or ‘agree’ that the time taken between submitting or referring a formal complaint to the BSA and the final decision was reasonable (55% cf. 27% in 2015/16).

There were significant increases in satisfaction across all three areas of interaction with the BSA. An average of 80% of complainants were satisfied with the BSA’s written correspondence, 90% with telephone contact and 86% with the BSA website.

73% of respondents agreed the amount of contact from the BSA was about right. A quarter (25%) would like at least a little more contact, particularly in the early stages of the process.

There were slight decreases in satisfaction with aspects of the BSA’s decision-making, namely, that the decision was fair, the decision was clear and easy to understand, and the decision acknowledged the complainant’s point of view.

Areas for improvement

In response to the feedback given in the survey, the Authority’s focus will be on making improvements in the following areas:

  • Increased contact between BSA staff and complainants, particularly in the early stages of accepting a complaint
  • Continued improvements to the overall time taken, from receipt of a complaint to the BSA’s final decision
  • Greater clarity in decisions; clearer articulation of the standards being assessed and how they are applied, and the BSA’s reasoning
  • Making complainants feel heard, and that their concerns have been duly considered and addressed.