311: A Reverse Prank Call?
by Buck Quigley - posted 12:47 pm, July 31, 2008
City Hall is making all kinds of technological leaps these days. Whether it’s solar powered parking meter kiosks that are expected to increase revenue raised by charging people more effectively to park on its streets, Citistat meetings posted on the city Web site that invariably fail to play correctly, or the awesome 311 Call and Resolution Center—where “One call does it all.”
I gave it a try this morning. I dialed 311 twice and got no ring at all. I then called 851-4890, the alternate, old-fashioned seven-digit number. A voice answered, thanking me for calling 311.
I was told the call “may be monitored and recorded for quality assurance purposes.”
Well, two can play at that game. Here’s a recording of the two minutes and forty-eight seconds I spent dialing 311 twice, 851-4890 once, pressing the number two to speak to an agent, then waiting another minute through some sort of spacey muzak until a busy signal ended the call. I never got to say a word.
I can’t believe I fell for the old reverse prank call trick. Maybe the Jerky Boys are working down at city hall?
But I’m still left to wonder how I’m going to request a new garbage tote. Or finally get that stump removed from in front of my house.