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5 things you need to know when contacting 311
January 28, 2022
Each day, we strive to improve your quality of life, but we know concerns or issues can come up with the wide range of services we provide. When that happens, we want to know about it so we can make things better. That’s why our 311 Contact Centre is there to help.
When you reach out to us, there are a few things to keep in mind to make the process a lot easier for everyone.
You can reach us 24/7
We know that no one likes to wait on hold. Our staff works to answer all calls to 311 as efficiently as possible, however wait times can depend on a variety of factors, including the day of the week and time of day.
“I think generally people think that we're only open Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., so we notice our phones are the busiest then,” said Joel Knockaert, 311 Operations Supervisor.
Call volumes can also be driven by what is happening in the city at any given time, such as tax assessments, snow clearing operations, and recreation programming.
“Whatever is on your mind is likely on the rest of the city's mind,” he said. “So if you are calling in for a snow-related issue for example, don’t be surprised if we’re busy because snow is probably why other people are calling as well.”
Calling isn’t the only way to reach us
Your time is valuable, that’s why we have other methods of reaching out to 311 that can be quicker and easier than calling.
We have more than 25 self-service online forms that can be filled out on your computer or phone. These include ones on problems with peggo, malfunctioning traffic signals, reporting parking violations, advising us of a pothole, and requesting snow removal as well as sanding on a slippery road or sidewalk. You can see the full list by using the Apply/Register/Report dropdown menu under service requests on the 311 website.
We also have a front counter at 510 Main St. inside the Susan A. Thompson Building and at the Bilingual Service Centre at 170 Goulet St. Both locations are only open weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Be as detailed as possible
If you are going to e-mail or message us, we need you to tell us all the relevant information on the issue.
Make sure to include your name, phone number, location, reason why you are reaching out, and if you give the City permission to setup online tracking. If your message doesn’t have all the required information, we have to reply back looking for more details, which can slow the process down.
Once we have all the necessary information, your report is passed on to respective department to investigate. You can track your service request online to see its progress.
We understand dealing with an issue can be stressful, but we ask that you treat our 311 staff with respect. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.
“We have had callers who use foul language, are abusive to the call taker and call them names,” said Andrew Yee, 311 Social Media Team Lead.
Please keep in mind that our 311 staff are not responsible for your issue and they are not personally doing the investigation.
“Whatever you have at your work in terms of a respectful workplace applies to when you call in,” said Knockaert.
We live here too
Just like the employees in our other departments, our 311 staff take great pride in serving Winnipeg residents and truly want to see your issues and concerns resolved as quick as possible.
“Everything that they stand to gain by calling us, we stand to gain too,” said Knockaert. “I think people forget that we’re a part of the community too, we care about what is going on and we want the best for the city as well.”