Are you the Deadwood?

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Adrian Cooper
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Are you the Deadwood?

Post by Adrian Cooper »

I guess that, firstly with the introduction of 'revalidation' and then with UKCC, the BCU were expecting to lose some of the 'older' 'out-of-date' coaches. I'm sure they would feel that this was desireable and an improvement to the overall body of canoe/kayak coaches.

Now I've heard from a few people that they have recently given up the coaching scheme albeit that they may not have given up coaching.

If you have done this, perhaps the BCU are already considering that you are deadwood and are not mourning your passing. If you are not deadwood but merely fed up with the whole coaching scheme, have you written to the BCU to tell them so. If you don't I'm sure they will be thinking the worst of you.

So do you consider yourselves deadwood?

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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by Adrian Shanahan »

Adrian,

I know there are many many people out there whom have given up lots of there time / effort & money in the coaching scheme and as you said just because they have left or not kept up with the scheme does not mean they have stopped coaching.

But with out revalidation or continual professional development are these "coaches" really up to coaching what is considered best practice, now before anyone jumps down my neck here I am more that's aware that its all about getting people out in boats etc. But surely if one wants to remain and be recognised as proficient and qualified coach it requires constant work as opposed to doing an assessment many years ago and resting on your laurels since then?

I have travelled around an awefull lot and paddled with people from all sorts of club back rounds and have seen folks still being taught stuff today that was considered redundant over 10 years ago.

Surely any such "deadwood" as you put it would best spend their time kayaking/training etc as opposed to writing letters that will most likely be ignored to the BCU?

Playing the devils advocate.

Adrian (ella)

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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Doesn't take a minute to write a letter to the 'governing body'. Don't you think they might like to hear what their membership think?

Absolutely agree that coaches should keep up to date. Coaches I work with are always exploring improvements in technique and safety. But I am not talking about the real deadwood, I am investigating perceptions against actualities.

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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by box2k2 »

I used to coach.

As mine and the BCUs views grew apart, so I made a conscience decision not to participate in the coaching scheme.

Does put me in the deadwood category?

I've concentrated on my personal skills, and have improved massively as a result.

I'm still happy to provide guidance and advice to others, but there appears to be an implication that because I'm no longer "current" my coaching abilities and skills are less valid than those of people actively involved in BCU schemes.

As for writing to BCU? If I genuinely thought they were interested, then I would.

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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by El Pres »

Now I've heard from a few people that they have recently given up the coaching scheme albeit that they may not have given up coaching.
Ive been " Deadwood" for years then !! ......... I Aint Bovered

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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by twopigs »

I think there are three categories - the deadwood, the no longer growing and the still growing. Adrian is defining these from a BCU point of view I feel, those like himself who have had enough of the BCU machine and said "enough" are the deadwood. The BCU may no longer value him, but fellow paddlers will value his wisdom and his ability to share it.

I think I fit into the "no longer growing" category, L3 in kayak and open canoe and doubt if I'll get any more BCU tickets. (But I was amazed when I got to L3 kayak 7 years ago.) BUT I will keep that CPD going and try to improve my own paddling and coaching- so in my mind I'm still growing, even if in the eyes of the BCU I've stopped!
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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by Glyn B »

As far as the bcu is concerned, almost certainly. I attend update courses (of my own choosing) work to improve my own technique, but have abandoned teaching the stars at all (fortunately there are others in the club willing to do this) I just teach 'em to paddle. Still get a huge buzz when one of my victims gets down a river with style and a smile.

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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by jmmoxon »

I think I fit into the "no longer growing" category, L3 in kayak and open canoe and doubt if I'll get any more BCU tickets. (But I was amazed when I got to L3 kayak 7 years ago.) BUT I will keep that CPD going and try to improve my own paddling and coaching- so in my mind I'm still growing, even if in the eyes of the BCU I've stopped!
You don't have to be moving up the qualifications ladder to be "still growing", as long as you are still looking to improve your coaching, that's great - "no longer growing" would be the people who aren't thinking about their coaching, but still instruct others, "deadwood" would be those who no longer use the qualification.

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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by Small feet »

I've written to the BCU and emailed a number of people there with no reply. I think I've done this about 4 times last year so I've given up trying to talk directly with them. I've also rang them which is much more effective but I only once got past the 'I will get him/her to call you back'. It's not all bad news though. We've got an active PDO who is the complete opposite. He's quick to reply to emails and calls, he even been down to our club a few times to visit and provide advice. I think its fair to say he's the reason why I've stayed active rather than become deadwood. Unfortunate the reality of the new coaching scheme high cost in time and money for what appears to me as only a little better is going to prevent new-wood. I can't help feeling the greater concern is not loosing deadwood but preventing new growth. After all, how many people who put time into coaching can really give it up?

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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by Chrace »

I'm well on my way to becoming BCU deadwood. Currently doing my UKCC 2* and I absolutely hate the OC/"other craft" part. I'll still finish it to have the badge, but it's likely to be my last.

The reason I invested my time, effort and money in becoming L3K over the last 4-5 years is because I felt like giving some of all the good stuff I experience in a kayak to others. I haven't coached for money, so it's all because I really like whitewater kayaking - as simple as that.

Now that the only official route to continually progress learning how to be a good coach is by dragging myself through stuff I really don't like to do, I can't see myself progressing along the path BCU has laid out any further. It doesn't mean I am deadwood in general, I will continue coaching, progressing my coaching skills and hopefully enrichening my fellow kayakers' experiences but I won't be holding a badge saying I can do so.

Right now I am reading "Inner Skiing" as part of learning more about coaching myself and others on the subject of rational/irrational fears. I will also seek out courses relating to skills or knowledge relating to kayaking, but it's unlikely there will be any BCU registration payments involved.

PS: If anything, send the BCU the link to this thread? Seems we have a fair few with the same reasoning and approach on here.

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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by jmmoxon »

Currently doing my UKCC 2* and I absolutely hate the OC/"other craft" part. I'll still finish it to have the badge, but it's likely to be my last.
Unless you go for level 5 coach, then there is no need to do any more non-kayak stuff (which is still the old scheme anyway). The 2 star is only necessary for you to be able to hand out star test certificates - you could still maintain your L3K status without getting new 2 star yourself. If you look on the open canoe skills as being transferable to your kayak skills (which most of them are) it will also improve your overall paddling.

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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by Pete the kayaker »

Yes, I'm deadwood, was CL3K and CL3S but the new schemes require me to teach craft where I am not very well qualified and are overburdened with form filling. I didn't have any problems with revalidation but it's now also more expensive to maintain my qualifications and the BCU have also hacked me off by losing certificates.
I voiced my concerns with the new scheme at local forums but was told to shut up. Not really the actions of a listening or caring governing body. As far as I'm concerned the BCU higher echelons seem to be run by race-heads for race-heads and isn't really interested in representing the recreational non competitive paddler. I'm still a member as the Thames/British Waterways licence represents value, but my coaching days are past. Do you think putting my points across in writing (rather than at a Forum) will really make any difference? - or will the BCU 'lose' this too!
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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by Chrace »

Yes, I can stay BCU L3K, but (correct me if I am wrong) the UKCC 2* is the entry skill level to coach under the UKCC scheme? If I don't do it, I cannot transfer and thus cannot "progress". And if the UKCC is the be-all of the future of kayak coaches I doubt there will be two systems, BCU and UKCC, running in say two years time. (that's 5 years in BCU time.. :)
jmmoxon wrote:If you look on the open canoe skills as being transferable to your kayak skills (which most of them are) it will also improve your overall paddling.
People keep telling me this, but it's not likely to improve my skills if I don't like doing it, is it? To me it is a pill being forced down my throat under the "it'll make you feel better" banner. Or like one of those exams at uni where you hate the subject and know you will never use this again, but you need to pass it to enter next year's classes.

I had actually given up on UKCC already and am only doing 2* because I am getting it virtually for free (with a big thumbs up to the other coaches in the club for that).

And while doing the 2* star now at least it gives me a chance to see whether I was right about not liking OC (which I was), I cannot believe this will be the last I need to do of OC if I want to carry on as a coach with all the talk about UKCC being "multi discipline".

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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Chrace wrote:Yes, I can stay BCU L3K, but (correct me if I am wrong) the UKCC 2* is the entry skill level to coach under the UKCC scheme?
I've just twigged why Mike thought you were going for level 2. The new star awards have nothing to do with the UKCC. You are going for new 2* not level 2, correct.

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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by powereduppackman »

I'm a UKCC Level 2 and I thought the courses were great - I think the system is great, I have a bigger appreciation for paddle sport than I did when I started. Yes, I even enjoy open boating! (It was a surprise to me too). The only complaint I have is that I think there's quite a bit of paperwork for Level 2 assessment and I'm not convinced anyone is going to put as much effort into reading it as I did creating it.

When I was at university someone said it was really hard work, the lecturer said "Well, they don't give these things away" (it was a proper degree). Coaching is the same, if you want to do it - you need to do some work for it. You can't just decide to be a coach one day.

Open boats - Get over it, you only have to get to 3 star standard - it's not rocket science is it? - you don't even have to get your 3 star.
Money - There's loads of funding out there if you need it. Speak to your RCO/LCO/SDO.
BCU vs. UKCC - You don't have to transfer, no ones going to come and take your certificates away.

OK, you can shout at me now, I'm going on holiday!
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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by Nigel Gettings »

Hi Guys,
Just been reading through all your thoughts on this issue, Very interesting in-put. I personally think thast we are ALL Dead-Wood just drifting around until some-thing comes along at we agree upon and understand.

Question is, who is responsible for the excistance of the BCU? We the members, but do we the members have a say as in what roads to take, No we leave this to those who think for us but without taking in to account the affects it might have on its members. Why because by the time the changes have taken place and the BCU have put their mighty gip on the changes; we the small, but important members have to put up with it.
It really doesn't matter if you write to them I have put in complaints only to find out that the OLD BOY NETWORK SYSTEM looked after their own.

All you have to remember is this, If you enjoy the sport and want to get qualified you have to comform, we have to shut-up and put-up with every-thing they throw at us. I've do so for the past 12 years.

What have I got out of BCU? shit loads of qualifications that I now have to in some areas start over again (Assessor grades) loosing out on money that I have to fork out in getting qualified and attending these courses. Time away from the family in order to attend and the list goes on and on. But don't let this put you all off guys, It's only the beginning........Of....The....End...............Come back Monty Python ' Always Look On the Bright Side Of Life'.

Regards,

Nigel

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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by Owen »

powereduppackman wrote: Open boats - Get over it, you only have to get to 3 star standard - it's not rocket science is it? - you don't even have to get your 3 star.
- Chris.
I think this is going to be the problem. By forcing people to do both disciplines when they have no interest in the other discipline. Their going to do the bare minimum needed, then when they have to coach that side of things their going to make a half arsed job of it. I'm not saying you Chris will do this but I fear many will.

You can take a hourse to water but you can't make it drink, comes to mind.

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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by jmmoxon »

Just because you've been made to do some open canoeing doesn't mean you ever have to use one again - unless you want to assess 2 star - you can still coach paddlers without using the star scheme, but hopefully using an open boat has made you think more about being a novice again.

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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Nigel Gettings wrote: If you enjoy the sport and want to get qualified you have to comform, we have to shut-up and put-up with every-thing they throw at us.
I'm gradually engendering the idea that people who want skills can get these from anyone who is willing to pass them on. Certainly it helps if that person has had some training in coaching. If people want paperwork then they need to look at hoop jumping and maybe buying in suitable certificate-holders. I think the dicipline thing will gradually sort itself out with people learning skills in their chosen craft, not bothing with star awards until such time as they feel the need to gather their own paperwork.

The reason I started this thread was due to a possible further misconception on the BCU's behalf that those dropping out of the scheme were just old has-beens rather than disillusioned genuinely good coaches.

Oh, yes, the other misconception was that the membership might appreciate what the BCU are doing. In that, from the many posts on here, I think they are sadly misguided.

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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by Wilf »

I think you will find that the normal thing has happened Adrian.

Those with an axe to grind will speak up, and those who are happy will stay quiet. This is not paddling specific, it happens with most things.

How many people take the time to tell shops, resturaunts etc that they are generally happy with the level of service they get? I would suggest the number is far fewer than those complain when they feel they have missed out in some way.

Moderately satisfied people say very little. Unhappy people speak up.

Just because more people say they are unhappy, does not mean there are more unhappy people than those who are satisfied.
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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by Grumpy old man »

Hi
I'm Deadwood in the eyes of the GB. I used to be level 3 inland, I have no intentions of updating, I have been on skills courses where I have kept up to date with modern paddling technique but these. as I believe do not count as updates. The updates that I have been on over the years have been more to do with child protection than boating and to be honest I'm not at all interested in that sort of thing. I just get the impression that a lot of boaters/has been coaches just are not bothered any more and that's why a lot of people won't reply to this thread.

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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by paddledragger »

Not sure whether we would be considered deadwood or new wood not progressing as someone said earlier.

We (my husband and myself), passed our level one just 14 months ago, however in agreement with some of the posts above, the expense, time and effort, paperwork etc involved in progressing and disillusionment in general has put us both off continuing any further, I also don't wish to feel pushed into open boating-which I did feel when taking the level one, prefer to make that choice for myself. We had cause to contact the BCU on a few occasions in relation to a couple of matters and never once, despite several attempts each time, either by phone or e-mail received a response from them, and certificates gained have proved difficult to obtain, the Level one certificates finally appeared about 8 weeks ago - strangely enough about four days after a reply to a post on here stating they had never been received. We also decided not to renew our BCU membership. We are happy to help out others where we can as and when but it won't be in an official coaching capacity, just as a paddler passing on experience. In a nutshell, 2 fairly new coaches already making the decision not to continue.

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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by Ricks-Freestyle-Mind »

Wilf wrote:I think you will find that the normal thing has happened Adrian.

Those with an axe to grind will speak up, and those who are happy will stay quiet. This is not paddling specific, it happens with most things.

How many people take the time to tell shops, resturaunts etc that they are generally happy with the level of service they get? I would suggest the number is far fewer than those complain when they feel they have missed out in some way.

Moderately satisfied people say very little. Unhappy people speak up.

Just because more people say they are unhappy, does not mean there are more unhappy people than those who are satisfied.

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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by Nigel Gettings »

Hi Guys,
Have you seen this in Products & Services: "UKCC Impact on Clubs/Coaches".
I think that there are a lot more dissatisfied members of the BCU than we really think.

What we must consider is that we should all have a say in how our membership to the BCU is spent in the improvement of this sport, not only in the competition areas but within the whole system.

If we the members were consulted prior to the new introduction of the UKCC and the implications / Affects it would have on its members would the BCU have continued forward with it, I think not. I think that due to the Government and the up-incoming Olympics they were more focused on the areas of the BCU that would make them look GOOD.

Let’s take a look at the OLD BCU Qualifications:
BCU 1 - 3 Star was skill specific concentrating on making the skill perfect and them going away and either using them from your personal paddling or coaching them the costs ranged between £25 for 1 Star up to £35 for the 3 Star.
Canoe Safety Test: a two day course costing around £30
BCU Level 2 Training Course: Cost between £65 - £75 a two and a half days
BCU Level 2 Assessment Course: Cost £60 for a one day assessment
BCU Aquatic First Aid: Cost £30 for a two day course.

Lets add this up to get qualified to BCU Level 2 whereby you are able to work independently and able to assess up to two star in your chosen discipline = £230. Number of DAYS = 9.5 Days

NOW let’s look at the new UKCC Level 2 in Paddle Sport where by you are able to work independently:

New Two Star: Cost £25 - £60
UKCC Level 1: Cost £225 - £250
New 3 Star: Cost £50 - £100
FSRT: Cost £35 - £60
UKCC Level 2 Training: Cost £260 - £285
UKCC Level 2 Assessment: Cost £60 - £75

Full Level 2 UKCC in Paddle Sport = £770 Number of Days =14 Day attendance
Theses figures are taken at the top end of the pound scale. The BCU UKCC level 3 COACH you will be looking at £800+ covering 5 days of Training not including the Assessment fee’s.

So guys so you can see why there are some paddlers who wish to enter this new scheme a little disgruntled.

Regards,
Nigel

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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by janet brown »

We have an older L2K BCU coach in our club who doesn't believe in BCU updates, but is active within the club.
Now at times this can be very useful if we don't have enough cover on the water, but...
He paddles an older style fibreglass river boat. Now this probably means he can get away with a different style of paddling, but he coaches a style that would probably be ineffective in a modern plastic whitewater river boat. A particular issue is unpicking the "leaning back" sculling for support he teaches our newer paddlers.
What are the feelings of the forum about sculling?
I have been taught that sculling when leaning back is asking for trouble in a stopper, as the back of the kayak will just sink, capsizing the paddler? Now I have seen the same version taught in a different sea kayak club, but thats a bit different as theres plenty of volume in the back of a sea kayak!
Discuss!
Janet

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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by Nigel Gettings »

Hi Janet,
It's quite simple ask your old level two coach to demomstrate in a 1mtr stopper.......
The norm is to sit up-right with a slight lean forward whilst sculling.
Regards,
Nigel
janet brown wrote:We have an older L2K BCU coach in our club who doesn't believe in BCU updates, but is active within the club.
Now at times this can be very useful if we don't have enough cover on the water, but...
He paddles an older style fibreglass river boat. Now this probably means he can get away with a different style of paddling, but he coaches a style that would probably be ineffective in a modern plastic whitewater river boat. A particular issue is unpicking the "leaning back" sculling for support he teaches our newer paddlers.
What are the feelings of the forum about sculling?
I have been taught that sculling when leaning back is asking for trouble in a stopper, as the back of the kayak will just sink, capsizing the paddler? Now I have seen the same version taught in a different sea kayak club, but thats a bit different as theres plenty of volume in the back of a sea kayak!
Discuss!
Janet

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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by Martyn Hartley »

janet brown wrote:A particular issue is unpicking the "leaning back" sculling for support he teaches our newer paddlers.
What are the feelings of the forum about sculling?
I have been taught that sculling when leaning back is asking for trouble in a stopper, as the back of the kayak will just sink, capsizing the paddler? Now I have seen the same version taught in a different sea kayak club, but thats a bit different as theres plenty of volume in the back of a sea kayak!
Discuss!
Janet
Why teach it at all? The reality is that it is rarely used in the real world - which is why it is no longer in the syllabus.

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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by Jim »

El Pres wrote:
Now I've heard from a few people that they have recently given up the coaching scheme albeit that they may not have given up coaching.
Ive been " Deadwood" for years then !! ......... I Aint Bovered
Ditto.
Must be 10 years since I did any coaching, UKCC might stop me getting back into it, but more likely the fact that I moved on will stop me getting back into it. I don't think I have anything to write about.

However I agree with Adrian's sentiment - if people really are quitting coaching as a direct result they should let their NGB know because from what I can see they are currently dismissing this as unfounded rumour and claiming that they haven't had many written complaints about the system (forum gripes don't count), and/or not recently - so in fact don't just do it once, keep on writing until you are taken seriously.

As for the term deadwood, surey that applies to the truly awful coaches out there that are blind to the fact that they have virtually no teaching skills whatsoever. I reckon such people could still manage to pass courses and progress within any scheme, but never actually be of any use. Fortunately there aren't many of them. However to understand the BCU's use of the term deadwood, it would probably help to replace it with dissident or troublemaker.

I think more of an issue than current coaches transferring, is the possible issue of new coaches at the grass roots level simply not bothering because the scheme looks expensive or complicated, and they won't have the opportunity to go for the old certificates instead.

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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by Pam Bell »

Martyn Hartley wrote:Why teach it at all? The reality is that it is rarely used in the real world - which is why it is no longer in the syllabus.
Many years ago I was demonstrating sculling to a group and one of them asked 'Why?' I couldn't come up with an answer that made any sense to him.

It's a long time since I've seen it taught at all. I learned the 'old' way, lying back. The rationale for teaching it was to build conficence and as a prelude to rolling. The rationale for the 'laid-back' approach was to allow the PFD to take the paddler's weight. I've seen people sculling in stoppers lying back, but they seemed to stay there a long time... When I started paddling with the Welsh Lifeguards 20 years ago, they were using the upright position, coming over onto a low brace.

My sculling eureka moment came in my early paddling days when I inadvertently went over Chapel broadside trying to catch a swimmer. I remember thinking "So that's what sculling is for!"

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Re: Are you the Deadwood?

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Wilf wrote:How many people take the time to tell shops, resturaunts etc that they are generally happy with the level of service they get? I would suggest the number is far fewer than those complain when they feel they have missed out in some way.

Moderately satisfied people say very little. Unhappy people speak up.

Just because more people say they are unhappy, does not mean there are more unhappy people than those who are satisfied.
Wilf, to continue your analogy, if I am not satisfied with the restaurant, yes, often I don't make a fuss but you can be absolutely sure that I will not re-visit and I think this is the case with many people.

Unhappy people often do not speak up but I am encouraging them to do so.

I don't know if there are more unhappy people than satisfied but if no-one complains, the BCU will be able to use this as evidence of an entirely satified membership. If they were a restaurant, maybe their profits would be down but because they are a monopoly restaurant, they may well stay in business.

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