Ticked Tenant Troubled by Terrifyingly large Telly

A local resident changes the channel to snark when Citizens Connect staffers falsely mark a ticket resolved.

The reception at the mayor's office seems crystal-clear, and they're on the same wavelength with a bit of cleverness themselves.

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      Technically, the garbage and

      Technically, the garbage and recycle guys don't' pick up televisions. A separate truck does around later. Maybe that's what happened here.

      The garbage and reclying went by and the poster thought the TV had been skipped. But the TV/computer guys will come later.

      Similar experience

      There was a television left by a distant neighbor. Since the people living near the hazardous waste were unwilling to do anything about scheduling a pickup I contacted Citizen's Connect. The first two times the Citizen's Connect notice was closed without any action. On the third time I added in the comment section that this had been reported twice and still no action. Finally it was picked up.

      The city will pick up televisions if the department responsible (Public Works?) is called. You will be told when the next pick up is scheduled. I had tenants leave a huge television behind. Called the city (Public Works?), got a date, put the tv out the night before and the next day it was gone.

      If nothing else trash pickup in Boston seems to generally be a good service.

      Ayup

      Have had DPW pick up two TVs with no problems - after calling first. The city also has a yearly drive-up event (it's been at the Bayside, don't know if that's changed now that it's UMass Defunct Mall), where you can drive up with all your dead electronics and they'll take it away for recycling.

      @MovingForwardorBackward,

      @MovingForwardorBackward, regarding the TV left out by a neighbor, can you contact us with some details about your reports? The goal of Citizens Connect is to make it easier for constituents to take advantage of services the City provides, not to mke them feel like they're rolling the dice.

      I'd like to look into those incidents and see where we could have done a better job A) collecting the TV, and B) providing you a better answer once a course of action has been decided on.

      You can reach us at [email protected].

      Thanks!

      -Alan

      I'm impressed, Alan

      I'm impressed that you are looking into this.

      I have heard from a number of people, "yeah, I tried Citizens' Connect and I just got 'ticket closed' with absolutely no further information. I couldn't tell whether the city was going to deal with the problem or was saying that they didn't believe me or weren't going to deal with it, so I haven't bothered to use it again. That's a shame, because it's got great potential.

      Rather than asking people to report to you, I would suggest you be more proactive and pull a report from the database that lists tickets closed without any response by the city. Then you could scan through that and weed out the ridiculous ones ("My neighbor's cat is casting spells on me," or "There's a gum wrapper on the sidewalk at #347 main street".)

      From the list, identify a couple of obviously legitimate requests (big pothole, abandoned vehicle, broken traffic light, etc.) and then find out who closed the ticket and ask them why there was no information provided.

      Follow-up

      Hi,

      I'm not sure if the last two posts were made by the same person, but I'll address both of them here.

      Roughly 325 cases are closed per day by 30-50 unique individuals, across 5 city departments. While I agree in principal that every single case should have a personal note from the city employee that closed the case, in practice marking a case with one of the 5 closure reasons is usually enough to describe what happened (fyi, the 5 reasons are Resolved, Noted, Invalid, Duplicate and Referred to External Agency). We do have a bug in the Citizens Connect interface that strips out the closure reason, and only displays the note, if there is one. If there isn’t a note, it fills in some canned text that says the case is resolved (which is what happened in most of the cases linked to in the following post). We’re working to resolve that bug, and will apply the fix as soon as possible.

      For the linked cases:

      • The first three were potholes, and simply marked as resolved in our system. If you notice that any case has been closed, but the issue hasn't been fixed, we're counting on you to let us know - after all, we needed you to tell us there was a problem in the first place ;)
      • The fourth was an abandoned vehicle. BTD reports that the vehicle was towed on 3/10.
      • The fifth was a streetlight outage. PWD closed this one as a duplicate of an existing case. This is a good example of a situation where fixing the bug I mentioned above would have told you the disposition of this case.
      • The last case was reporting that recycling wasn't collected on that street. PWD marked it as resolved, which presumably means they sent the contractor back to collect the recycling materials. Again, we're counting on you to tell us if that didn't happen.

      If you ever have a question about a particular case or a suggestion for how we can improve Citizens Connect, please let us know by either using the "Feedback" link inside the app, or sending us a note at [email protected].

      Thanks!

      -Alan