BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2017: Vote FAQs

BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2017 contenders
The 12 contenders for BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2017
BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2017
Date: Sunday, 17 December Time: 18:45 GMT Venue: Echo Arena, Liverpool Coverage: BBC One, Radio 5 live, BBC Sport website

You can cast your vote on the night for BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2017 by phone or for free online.

Voting will open during the show, with phone numbers shown on screen during the broadcast and made available online.

Online votes are capped at one per registered account. Here are some frequently asked questions about this process.

General

Who can I contact if I need assistance / have further questions?

BBC Helpline: 0370 010 0222 (standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply).

Can I vote via social networking?

No, you can only vote on the website bbc.co.uk/spoty or by phone.

Will my votes be only counted from one entry method? I.e. MSDC

No, all votes will be counted.

Does the BBC receive any revenue from the calls?

No. The BBC does not receive any revenue. Revenue from the calls (if any) goes to charity.

Is the vote being independently verified?

Yes.

Voting online

How do I vote online?

In order to cast your vote, you must sign in to your BBC account, which you can do here. If you do not already have a BBC account, you will need to register before you can vote here.

Once you have created a BBC account you are then ready to go. You are advised to sign in to your BBC account before the vote opens.

During the live show the presenter will let you know when the vote has opened. You will then be able to cast your vote online here.

Why is the online vote not displaying properly?

If the vote is not displaying correctly on your device then please try refreshing the page or using a different browser or device.

If you are using an ad-blocker then this may inhibit your ability to cast your vote. If you disable the blocker and refresh the page then you should be able to cast your vote.

How many times can I vote online?

You can vote once per voting window on Sports Personality. It may appear as if you have been able to cast more than one vote, however only your first valid vote will have been counted.

Can I vote using my smart phone or tablet?

You can vote online using your mobile phone, tablet or your home computer. Online votes on different devices using the same BBC account details will count towards the maximum number of votes per account. For Sports Personality 2017, the maximum number of votes per account will be 1 per voting window.

Can I vote via the BBC iPlayer app?

You cannot vote via the BBC iPlayer app on your Smart TV, tablet or smart phone. Please visit bbc.co.uk/spoty to vote, where you may need to sign in again or register to cast a vote.

Why is the 'VOTE NOW' button not working?

If you're trying to vote but the 'Vote Now' button has turned grey and you're having trouble submitting your vote then you might not actually be signed in, even if it appears that you are and you've been presented with the vote options. To check if you are signed in, click the BBC account profile button on the left hand side of the top bar and this should allow you to sign in correctly or alternatively go to bbc.com/signin. Once you're signed in, head back to the Sports Personality page and continue to cast your vote.

What if I can't remember the password to my BBC account?

If you have a BBC account, but can't remember your password, you'll need to reset it. You can find out how to do that here https://www.bbc.co.uk/usingthebbc/account/how-do-i-change-my-password/.

When registering for a BBC account what information do I need to give?

This depends on your age. We ask everyone to provide us with your date of birth, gender and a secure password.

For anyone aged 13 and over, we ask users to provide an email address, and let us know if they would like to receive emails about things they'll love. Your email address lets you reset your password if you forget it. And it means we can get in touch if we need to tell you about something new, like a change to our terms of use. For anyone under 13 years old, we ask you to provide a username, but no email, so it's important you remember it (as well as your password), because we won't be able contact you.

If you are 18 years or older, we ask for your postcode, and if you are under 18, we ask for your hometown.

If you previously used to sign in with a username, you'll need to use your email address from now on if you are over 13.

If you previously signed in with Facebook or Google+, we unfortunately do not use these platforms to sign in anymore.

If you haven't signed in to your account in the last year, then it may have been closed unless you have signed in with an email address. If that's the case, you will need to register for a BBC account again.

Why are you asking for my age, postcode/hometown or gender when I register for a BBC account?

We use your age, postcode/hometown and gender to give you relevant local info online and in any email newsletters you sign up for. We also use this information to ensure we are making something for everyone, as part of our public service remit.

Some parts of the BBC are only meant for certain ages. We also need to know how old you are to make sure you can use the parts that are meant for you.

Find out more about how we use your data here.

What if I don't want to register now?

If you decide not to proceed with registering your BBC account then unfortunately you will not be able to cast your vote online, however, you can still always vote via phone. Just watch the show for the phone numbers or visit the website whilst the vote is open for the phone vote information.

Why when I click on 'sign in' am I not taken to the sign-in page?

If you click on sign in and you are already signed in to your BBC account then you will be directed to the BBC homepage or you will remain on the same page. That means you are ready to cast your vote once it opens here.

I'm having another problem signing into my account that's not covered here - where can I go for help?

We have a separate page that can answer your questions around signing in to your BBC account, and also put you in touch with someone if you are unable to find the answer you need. Visit here.

I don't have an existing BBC account, and need to register for one so I can vote, but need help. Where can I go?

We have a separate page that can answer your questions around registering for a new BBC account, and also put you in touch with someone if you are unable to find the answer you need. Visit here.

If you have not used your account in a while and have forgotten your password you will need to click on the 'forgotten password' link before the show to allow enough time for a new password to be sent through. This will only be possible if you provided a valid email address when registering.

What exactly is a BBC account?

If you have any questions about your BBC account you can find some FAQs here which might help.

Why are you asking if I want email updates about more things I'll love?

You can decide if you want to receive occasional emails to tell you about BBC programmes and services or not. It's completely up to you. We may personalise them based on your location and how you use the BBC online site, to help you get the most from the BBC. Find out more about the emails here. You can also unsubscribe at any time.

Is there a cost to vote online?

No, you will not be charged to vote online by visiting http://www.bbc.co.uk/spoty during the live show. Please check your broadband or mobile contract to check the cost of using data services.

Voting by phone

Why have I been charged outside the vote window?

We state clearly on screen and verbally when the voting period opens and closes and that callers should wait until that time before casting their vote. There is a small chance that if you called outside this time that another network other than BT would charge for this call. If you have been charged, then notify your service provider immediately.

I was trying to call for (x) and got (y) instead.

All voters are asked to dial carefully. The BBC has implemented a thorough testing schedule before each show to ensure correct audio is playing on the correct celebrity line. If you have a phone bill you can send us, we can check whether the number you called corresponds with the correct Sports Personality audio.

I have been trying to vote, but keep getting the engaged tone.

Because the phone lines are very active throughout the UK when the vote window opens, some callers may experience the engaged tone - especially those in rural/remote areas. We recommend that you call back within a couple of minutes when the traffic through your local exchange would have subsided. Engaged tones are controlled at local telephone exchanges and are something that the BBC cannot control.

You can also opt to vote online via http://www.bbc.co.uk/spoty.

I called but received a dead tone.

If after dialling the first four numbers of the premium rate number you heard a dead tone - then this means that you are premium rate barred and you should check with your telephone service provider about lifting the ban if you wish to vote.

You can also opt to vote online via http://www.bbc.co.uk/spoty.

I tried voting, but couldn't get through. Why?

Given the high volume of viewers and callers that some TV voting shows generate, it is possible for a very large number of people to pick up the phone simultaneously when the onscreen announcement is made. Sometimes this can cause some callers to get an engaged tone for short periods of time immediately after an onscreen announcement; however, any congestion tends to clear quite quickly. You can also opt to vote online via http://www.bbc.co.uk/spoty.

Can one number be constantly engaged and another free?

Like all the big shows; Sports Personality uses a voting system where at least the first eight digits of the phone numbers are the same for all contenders, with only the last few digits of the phone number changing depending on who you want to vote for.

As the telephone network only uses the first eight digits in a telephone number to route calls to the voting system, it is impossible for calls for different contenders to be treated differently.

Once calls reach the voting system they are answered in turn, on a first-come, first-served basis. Each answering point is instructed to accept votes for all contenders; there are no dedicated answering points for individuals.

This means that your chance of getting through to vote will never depend on the contender you wish to vote for.

What are Mobile Short Dial Codes (MSDCs)?

Mobile Short Dial Codes (MSDCs) are the numbers to call (not text) from UK mobile phones where callers are charged a guaranteed fixed price for the call (15p for Sports Personality voting) regardless of their UK mobile telephone service provider. The MSDC numbers are shorter than a normal telephone number, typically between 5 and 7 digits long.

When MSDCs were introduced, calling the premium rate '09' numbers from mobile phones resulted is a large variance in charges, dependent on the UK mobile telephone service provider. MSDCs removed that variance.

Calls to the Sports Personality '09' numbers, whether from a landline or mobile, cost the caller 15p plus the access charge set by the landline or mobile telephone service provider of the caller. Costs to call the '09' numbers vary across both landline and mobile calls.

The continued use of MSDCs for voting therefore has the advantage that callers from UK mobile phone networks should pay less to vote as no access charge is applied to these calls.

When voting from a UK mobile using a MSDC number you will hear a vote confirmation message in the same way you would when voting by calling a '09' premium rate number from a landline.

How do I vote by MSDC?

Using your UK mobile phone, simply dial the short number shown on screen for your favourite contender when the vote is open. There is one number allocated to each sports person. If you call while the vote is open you will hear a message confirming your vote. If you try to call when the vote is closed you will hear a closed non-chargeable message. You can't text/SMS to the MSDC.

Why are you offering voting via MSDCs instead of Text Voting?

Text voting cannot be offered for Sports Personality due to the relatively short periods in which the vote is open and during which the result needs to be provided and verified. There is the risk of potential delays within the mobile networks at busy times which could result in text votes not being received within the period the vote is open. With a phone call, if the exchange is busy you will hear an engaged tone, however with text/SMS you would not know if there is any late delivery of your vote (causing it to not be registered). There are no such potential network delays with MSDCs other than busy tones at local exchange level with heavy traffic.

In addition, call attempts to MSDCs outside of the vote open period, or to numbers no longer in use, are non-chargeable to callers, unlike text where charges may still apply.

The advantage of using telephone calls for voting rather than text voting is that the caller knows at the time of the call that their vote has been counted and also that they have been charged for their vote. They will also know from receiving an engaged tone if they did not get through and that they can then just press redial to try again. The same is not true of text voting as the texter has to wait for a confirmation message back from their mobile telephone service provider which may take some time to arrive or which may not arrive at all.

How much will it cost to vote by MSDC?

Voting on Sports Personality via a MSDC from UK mobile networks will cost 15p per vote.

Will I be charged if I try to vote using a MSDC when the vote is closed?

No. Calls outside the vote open period and those made to any of the Sports Personality numbers not currently in use will not be chargeable.

It is very unlikely that callers will be charged when calling a closed vote line as we use free of charge messaging during these times. If you have been charged, then notify your service provider.

Why can't I vote by MSDCs from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man?

The Channel Islands and Isle of Man are covered by separate mobile telephone service providers who do not currently support voting by MSDCs. Viewers in these regions may still be able to vote by dialling the '09' numbers from their landlines or mobiles at 15p plus their network's access charge per vote. Please note; calls to '09' numbers from mobiles can cost considerably more than calls from a landline.

Can I call a MSDC from my landline?

No. MSDC voting is only available from mobile phones, if you try to call a MSDC from your landline you will not be connected to the voting service and your vote will not be counted. In a very small number of cases, the landline telephone service provider may route the call to a local destination as it may match a "local" telephone number which may result in a 'wrong number' call being made. Such calls would be chargeable if they are answered.

Can I vote by text message to the MSDCs?

No. Sports Personality voting will be made using telephone call voting only as this offers the caller the benefits of knowing at the time that they place their vote that their vote has been counted and that they have been charged. This would not be true of text votes.

Can I still call the '09' numbers from my mobile?

Yes. It will cost you 15p plus your mobile network's access charge per vote. The '09' voting numbers should preferably only be called from your landline if you have one. If using your mobile, you should call the MSDC if you can as it will be cheaper at 15p per vote. No access charge is applicable on the MSDCs. If you decide to call the '09' voting numbers from your UK mobile phone then you will hear a non-chargeable message at the start of the call asking you to call the MSDCs instead. If you remain on the line after the message then you will be able to vote for your chosen sports person but your UK mobile telephone service provider will charge 15p plus the network's access charge per call.

Will I receive 'spam' / unwanted marketing texts if I vote by MSDC?

No, you should not receive any text messages from Sports Personality or any other organisation as a result of voting using the MSDCs. The BBC does not sell on nor, except if required to do so for legal reasons, supply mobile telephone numbers to any third party. Text spamming is caused by companies sending unsolicited text messages to mobile telephone numbers. The BBC in no way supports this practice and takes great care to guard numbers from any unauthorised use. If you receive unwanted text messages from other companies that you are being charged for, you can contact Phone-paid Services Authority, the premium services regulator on 0300 30 300 20 between 9.30am - 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays, standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply) or via http://www.psauthority.org.uk to report this.

Why can't I call the MSDC number from my mobile?

There are a small number of UK mobile phone users who are unable to call MSDCs. You should check with your mobile telephone service provider to see if you can lift the calling bar or simply vote by calling the '09' voting numbers using a landline.

Why can't I call the MSDC number from my "Voice over IP" (VOIP) connection?

Not all UK telephone service providers, including some VOIP operators, allow voting by traditional premium rate '09' numbers. The new MSDC numbers are intended only for voting via the UK mobile telephone service providers and so will almost certainly not be supported by the fixed line and VoIP telephone service providers.

Why can't I vote by MSDCs from outside the UK?

The MSDCs are provided by the UK mobile telephone service providers and are only accessible via these operators. It is also unlikely that calls can be made to MSDCs from UK mobiles when these are outside of the UK, as this would be subject to mobile telephone service providers' international roaming arrangements with foreign telephone service providers.

Throughout these FAQs "UK mobile phones" means mobile phones provided in the UK under UK contracts by Vodafone, O2, Everything Everywhere (previously T Mobile and Orange), Virgin and '3'.

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