Wednesday, the City of Lubbock launched a new 311 non-emergency help line. The number is designed to take calls about problems in the city such as potholes, animal control issues, or trash collection.
Within its first few hours of operation the 311 center received more than one hundred calls. The city already had a general number to take calls and transfer them to the correct departments. Now, the person who answers your call will take your information and file a report to the correct department for you.
"What we're trying to do now is just add more of a customer service impact when you make the call. We are trying to answer, and get some of the questions answered at this level so maybe you don't have to be transferred," said Leslie Cox, Director of Telecommunications for the City of Lubbock. They hope this will help city departments take care of problems more efficiently.
The call center received a complaint Wednesday morning that a dumpster on 44th Street was overflowing with trash. By Wednesday afternoon, the problem was taken care of.
Another one of the first reports the 311 operators filed came from Rita Thompson. She called to request a new dumpster because the lid on hers is broken. The city hasn't responded to her request yet, but she was impressed by how quickly the call center took her report. "I was quite surprised that the lady who answered the phone took my information. Normally, I was expecting to be transferred," said Thompson.
Thompson gave them all the information they needed, including her e-mail address. The city will e-mail her whenever they make progress on her request.
You can call 311 from any land line in the City of Lubbock and from AT&T and Alltel cell phones in the city limits. Other cell phone providers are currently working to get their network connected to the 311 center.
The 311 Call Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is also a new online component to file reports with the city 24 hours a day (click here).
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