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TVL/BBC's explanation of Val Smith's changing signature

A colleague of mine wrote to TVL/BBC in February 2007 to ask whether Val Smith was a real person:

I wish to reply to a letter that I have received from Val Smith of TV Licencing Customer Services.

Before I write, please confirm that Val Smith is a real person.

Heather Ford replied:

I can confirm that Val Smith is indeed an employee of this company, her name is just one of the managers names that are sent out on our correspondence letters.

I hope this explains the position and if you have any questions, please telephone us on our advice line number 0870 243 0229.

My colleague responds:

If Val Smith is a real employee, could you explain why her signature changes from letter to letter?

For example, see here [link].

Claire Talbot of Customer Relations replies:

Thank you for your recent email, received 11 February. Details have been passed to the Customer Relations Department for my attention.

Television Licensing sends thousands of letters to addresses on a daily basis. Of course, it would be impossible for all of these to be sent and signed personally. We therefore use different Television Licensing managers as signatories on the letters we send. Whilst they are aware of the content of the letters they are unaware of the personal details of each recipient.

It is usual for a sample signature of the appropriate manager to be used which is then copied onto the enquiry letters.

Val Smith has worked for TV Licensing for some time, it is possible that she has produced a sample signature on more than one occasion which has differed to the original.

Any TV Licensing queries received in writing are dealt with by our Contact Centre in the first instance. If a complaint is made, details are passed to the Customer Relations Department in line with our formal complaints procedure.

I trust this answers your question.

There is quite a lot I could say about the fourth paragraph, but I don't think it is necessary.

Instead, I reproduce again Val Smith's signatures so that you may judge for yourself the accuracy of Ms Talbot's explanation.