If you wish
to complain about an SBS program or service this is the page which tells you
how to do it.
There are three
categories of complaints at SBS there are General Complaints, Code Complaints,
and Closed Captioning Complaints. First
decide which category applies to your complaint and then follow the
General complaints cover all SBS content and services.You can make a general complaint about any
aspect of SBS content, products or services, with the exception of closed
captioning which has a specific complaint email address (see below).
If you want to make a general complaint about
any aspect of SBS programs or about a program SBS is planning to show then this is the place to have your say.
General complaints can made by:
Phone:Toll free - 1800 500 727 (toll free)
TTY* - Call NRS on 1800 555 677 and ask for 1800 500 727
Complaint information is collected by SBS and
informs the future directions of the corporation.
While SBS attempts to respond to all general
complaints, it is not always possible to do so.Major concerns in general complaints are referred to relevant SBS
division for their information and written responses are normally provided.
SBS does not respond to abusive or offensive correspondence.
complaints cover all SBS content on any platform online, radio, or
television. Code complaints can only be made after content has been
broadcast or been uploaded. All Code complaints must be received within 6
weeks of the original publication or broadcast.
Code complaints must allege a possible breach
of the SBS Codes of Practice. The SBS Code of Practice can be found here
Code Complaints cover but are not limited to: allegations of prejudice,
racism and discrimination; the Classification of content including sex,
violence and language; and balance and accuracy issues involving news and
current affairs content.
Code complaints are investigated independently by the SBS Ombudsman and
a written response is provided to complainants as detailed in Code 9 of SBS
Codes of Practice.
The finding of the SBS Ombudsman to a Code complaint can be reviewed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
Code complainants must be Australian residents. If a complainant is not an Australian resident but is identified in the content which is the subject of complaint, they may also make a Code complaint.Complaints are required to provide their name and address.
Broadcasters are required to comply with rules and standards
relating to captioning television programs for the deaf and hearing impaired
(closed captions). These rules and standards are set out in Part 9D of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, and the
Broadcasting Services (Television Captioning) Standard 2013 (you can access
these documents at www.comlaw.gov.au).
In summary, SBS is required to:
•comply with the Broadcasting Services
(Television Captioning) Standard relating to the quality of captioning
for SBS ONE
•caption all English language programs broadcast
between 6pm and 10.30pm;
•caption all English language news and current
•meet an annual captioning quota for programs
broadcast between 6am and midnight;
for SBS 2 and NITV
•caption programs previously broadcast on SBS ONE
•where a program is premiered with captions on
SBS 2 or NITV, provide captions when the program is broadcast on the other
What are closed captions?
Closed captions are a text representation, in English, of a
program’s soundtrack. Closed captions are usually displayed at the bottom of
the screen. They are different to open captions or subtitles in that the viewer
can choose to access them or not, that is, they can be turned on or off
depending on the viewer’s preference. Open captions or subtitles cannot be
turned on or off.
Closed captions can be accessed on most digital TV receivers
by using the button marked ‘STTL’ or ‘CC’ (refer to the instructions provided
with your television receiver).
Problems with closed captions
Closed captions can be affected by factors outside of SBS’s
control such as your television equipment, and weather conditions around your
local transmission tower. If the captions are not presenting normally you may
wish to check with someone you know who lives nearby to determine whether the
problem is specific to your receiver.
If you are having technical problems, SBS may be able to
assist you – refer to the contact details under ‘Technical issues concerning
transmission, telephone and online SBS services’ above. For the reasons
indicated above, it is important that you provide SBS with information about
your location at the time of your call (suburb and state is usually
Complaints about closed captions
If you wish to make a complaint
that SBS has breached its captioning obligations (for example, SBS did not
provide a captioning service as required, or you consider the captions are of
poor quality) you must put your complaint in writing and send it to:
Post: SBS Captioning Complaints,
Locked Bag 028, Crows Nest, NSW
•identify the program broadcast including, if
possible, broadcast date and time and the channel on which it was broadcast;
•state the nature of your complaint (for example,
Complaints must be received within six weeks of broadcast.
SBS will respond to your complaint within 30 days.
If SBS has not responded within 30 days you are entitled to
make a complaint to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)
about the matter. If you consider SBS’s response to be inadequate, you may also
make a complaint to the ACMA. Contact details for the ACMA can be found at www.acma.gov.au.