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City Controller Calls 311 System A “Glorified Answering Service”

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Steve Tawa Steve Tawa
Steve Tawa joined KYW Newsradio in 1990, and splits his time between...
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – An audit that is critical of the Philly 3-1-1 system shows that it’s a $6-million “glorified answering service,” according to City Controller Alan Butkovitz.

Butkovitz says 3-1-1 is not meeting any of the key goals Mayor Nutter established, including off-loading non-emergency calls.

butkovitzalan bytawa City Controller Calls 311 System A Glorified Answering Service

Alan Butkovitz (credit: Steve Tawa)

“311 has not alleviated the pressure of non-emergency calls to 911. In fact, the reduction in non-emergency calls to 911 has been virtually non-existent.”

Of the more than 1.3-million calls that came into the 311 system in 2010, Butkovitz says only seven percent were monitored. He says that makes it difficult to evaluate, track and code 3-1-1 calls to determine if city services were properly delivered.

“There’s no excuse for allowing 93 percent of all 311 calls to go un-monitored.”

City Managing Director Rich Negrin points out that figure includes folks who get what they need through recorded information and hang up without speaking to a call agent. Negrin says an independent firm’s data shows the customer satisfaction score has improved markedly since its initial 68 percent figure in 2009.

“Philly 311 has a 93 percent customer satisfaction score.”

Negrin says the customer satisfaction score is the number they care most about.

Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio

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