Certain complaints have issues being documented with 311

The new app from 311, which released in June, attempts to help residents document 311 complaints from their cell phone.
Photo courtesy of 311

What started with great fanfare and expectations is today a mere shadow of its earlier self, claim many disgruntled users.

New York City’s 311 complaint line has residents frustrated on how to properly file a report.

The phone operator’s insistance of an exact address location when reporting a pothole or requesting a street light repair has many caring citizens wondering why isn’t the agency being more user-friendly.

Other complaints made by residents, noted Community Board 11 district manager Jeremy Warneke, include the lack of follow up on their complaints..

According to Bronx residents, attempts to file a complaint using cross streets or street corners instead of an actual address number are rejected by the service.

However, there are many properties in the Bronx that don’t post an address such as 2443 Poplar Street, 1750 Melville Street, 843 and 845 Morris Park Avenue as well as 1665 Yates Avenue, said Warneke.

This makes it difficult to identify the exact location, he pointed out.

As a result, 311 has refused to file these complaints.

“I stopped calling 311 after a while because it was becoming such a waste of time,” said Linda Fishman, who has been without elevator service in her building for over two months, and has filed multiple complaints with the 311 and the Department of Buildings with an address number but, still, has not yet been responded to.

“The service was great when it was first started, but now they transfer you around the department and nothing ever results from it. Something needs to be done – especially regarding local complaints that aren’t connected to the number of a building – because an address can’t always be found.”

In other cases, when residents call 311 to place a complaint, the 311 operator refers the call to the Department of Buildings.

However, according a 311 caller who wished to remain anonymous, DOB will not respond to the complaints because they have not been issued a 311 compaint number.

Because of this policy, the city agency is unable to act on the complaint

The portion of the Hutchinson River Parkway service road that travels underneath the Whitestone Bridge, ‘The Ring Road’, has, for years, been the subject of complaints that usually can’t be documented or filed with 311 due to the lack of address information.

Warneke advised residents to document their complaints with 311 again and again and obtain a 311 complaint number so it can be tracked.

If not responded to, Warneke encourages residents to call Bronx Customer Service at (718) 960-4710.

Reach Reporter Steven Goodstein at (718) 742–3384. E-mail him at sgoodstein@cnglocal.com.

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