Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rich lead in calling city's 311 line

When the going gets tough, the rich start ringing.
Toronto’s wealthiest postal code leads the charge when it comes to calling 311, the city’s information portal, data collected between Oct. 7 and Nov. 7 shows.
Postal code M4N, which according to Canadian Business magazine is the city’s wealthiest jurisdiction, had the highest calling rate for service requests of anywhere in Toronto, ringing up 311 46 times per every 1,000 households.
Contrast that with hardscrabble M4H – which includes Thorncliffe Park – which calls 311 for service requests a mere five times per 1,000 households over the same timeframe.
Other frequent dialers include some of the city’s tonier areas such as Leaside, Moore Park and the Beaches.
Missed garbage pickup is by far the leading category of service requests to 311 – which also takes calls for general city information. Of the more than 21,000 calls in the 30 days looked at more than 9,000 were garbage related.
That’s certainly true for M4N – where garbage complaints about missed pickups, overflowing bins and changes to bin size accounted for nearly half of all calls.
But over in M4H though, garbage collection was only third on the list. Complaints about property bylaw violations were the most frequent there.
Overall, nearly 2,500 callers were looking for help with water-related problems – everything from reporting a watermain break to help getting service turned on to leaking pipes.
There were also more than 1,000 calls about property standards and 259 calls about zoning concerns.
Service requests only represent about 25% of all the nearly one million calls 311 has received since launching in September 2009. The rest are for information of any and all kind – a person from the United States called to ask if crossing the border meant they would be in Canada.
The service can take calls in 200 languages and also handles email questions.

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