Anyone Else Having Trouble with the online 311 System?

311 trouble

Update from OP: “Thanks for posting the story. Within four hours of the posting, the 311 site was fixed.”

“Dear PoPville-

With the uptick in crime in Columbia Heights, many attributing it to gangs, I’ve been trying to report graffiti on at 1023 Fairmont St., NW to the city though the 311 system. But every time I report it the system keeps failing. I know that the call center wants people to use the online system, but when it fails, there is no recourse other than taking up someone’s time on the phone. Have others found the online system to not let people report issues?”

18 Comment

  • phl2dc

    Have you tried another browser?

  • I have the problem that I get a confirmation email for many of the things I report stating that the problem has been resolved and the report number is closed, yet nothing has happened. So infuriating.

    • What kinds of requests are you getting this for? I’ve noticed that when I report dumped mattresses, etc., my request is almost immediately closed out with a note (and sometimes a service request number) for an alley cleaning.

  • I used to get an error when I used the 311 online system. Last year I switched to using the 311 phone app and have never had a problem.

  • I’ve had a problem several times scheduling a bulk pickup. Never provided a date to put out my crap. then I would get a notification that the request was closed. apparently, they came by to pick up, but nothing there.

  • The company that set up the new 311 system did a poor job of it. It looks like the reason the OP’s graffiti removal request isn’t working is that the first item — “Graffiti removal requests are accepted…” — is marked as being a question that requires an answer, but there is no corresponding selection box or textbox to put an answer in.
    The other week I was trying to I was trying to use “311Force Application Issues” category to report a similar flaw with required answers in the “Sanitation Enforcement” request category. The first thing it asked me for was a street address. I gave up. *facepalm*

    • FWIW, I never had any problems with the old 311 website, which makes me wonder what the necessity was for overhauling it in the first place and — especially given the mistakes/flaws in the new version — whether somebody is getting kickbacks for the overhaul.

  • what exactly is failing here? it says the law states that graffiti clean up on private property requires a written waiver, so it’s not letting you proceed, which makes complete sense. the law may seem archaic to you, but I would definitely prefer the city get a written request to paint over grafiti on my house vs. come by without permission and paint it over. is something else breaking?

    • Yes, something else is broken.
      I wondered whether the system was set up to reject graffiti-removal requests from anyone other than the owner… but when I experimented with it a short while ago, I received the same “Please provide answers for all required questions” error message as the OP did, even when I selected the options for “Private property” and “Yes, I am the owner.”

    • Thanks for the ‘tude. I changed that answer to “public” before writing to PoPville, and it still didn’t allow me to proceed.

  • Another thing: Apparently the D.C. government can’t/won’t do anything about graffiti on private property unless the property owner makes the request.
    Rather than reporting this to 311, a better bet for the OP might be to get in contact with your ANC rep and make sure it’s on his/her radar, and also contact the Ward 1 liaisons for the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations.

    • textdoc: I think you’re exactly right about the page needing a field for the first * item. And thanks for the suggestions on who to follow up with.

  • I also had difficulty with the 311 app when attempting to report new grafitti over the weekend. The application wouldn’t allow me to choose the location. When I called 311, the operator had the same problem… We even tried inputting multiple locations, no dice. When I asked the operator for an incident number, she wasn’t able to create one because the system wouldn’t input the geographical location. OUC response was, call back again next week and try again. Hopefully their 911 system is working.

  • worked fine for me just now to enter a graffiti request with the same characteristics. This is built on, which is definitely the right platform for them to be using.

  • I have been trying to get my crumbling street paved for two years and I also get a confirmation saying the problem is fixed and ticket is closed. Even called the DOT and spoke with supervisors. 311 is good in theory but fails horribly when put into practice

  • I know they have been moving over from an older system to a newer one (the new one is the salesforce one). From what I have heard, the old one was less customizable and had issues with tracking. I know they are also getting ride of the current third party 311 app and replacing it with one with better integration with the saleforce platform they are moving into. The old 311 app, being third party, didnt pass all info entered into it to DC which often created problems.

    OUC was also aware of complaints of issues being entered in and then closed out with out resolution, but who knows if that will get better.

  • Same problem again now.

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