St. Louis City using Twitter to fulfill citizen complaints and requests

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - How do you get a pothole fixed in St Louis City? Or notify the proper department when trash is spilling out of the dumpster? It's not as difficult as you might expect. In fact, social media is speeding up the process in the city.

Saint Louis city's Citizens' Service Bureau, a 25-year-old consumer complaint agency, is turning more and more to tools like Twitter and the Internet. The agency responds to 5,500 complaints a month regarding quality of life issues.

The staff now uses a geographical information systems computer program to assign repair jobs and inspections when problems develop particularly in neighborhoods. Each complaint is assigned a specific service report number so the citizen can track the city's response.

The bureau's Twitter handle @stlcsb has more than 3000 Twitter followers. It allows citizens to upload photographs of the problem whether it is a pothole, a derelict vehicle or a dangerous broken sidewalk.

Dotti McDowell, who manages the service, said attaching pictures via Twitter is "really helpful to the operating departments to see what the actual problem is. "

Overgrown weeds on private property are among the problems most frequently reported in the spring and summer. A property owner will be notified when the grass needs to be cut and given 10 days to do it. If the matter is not resolved, the city's Forestry Department will cut the grass and send the owner the bill.
Building and health code violations are also complaints which should be sent to the CSB.

Mc Dowell said, "social media has really helped to expand the services that we are able to provide in the call center. We are moving more to a contact center model because there are several ways the public can interact with the Citizens' Service Bureau.

You can submit a request for service online: or call a customer service representative Monday through Friday between 8 AM and 5 PM at 314–622–4800.

Here are a few examples of their work:

Don't ttry to contact them through Facebook:

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