Viewpoint – Getting customer service

As a Rodney Local Board member I come across a lot of complaints. They can be via email, phone call, social media, or at meetings, events, the supermarket, and even social gatherings.Social media is a great means of communicating concerns. For me it is a valuable tool for listening to the voice of the people. But Facebook is a demanding platform for complaints as issues can pop up in almost any community or interest group discussion.

I subscribe to as many of these feeds as I am aware of, but realistically I’m not glued to Facebook 24 hours a day and things get missed or discussions about an issue can spiral into misinformation and frustration before I see it. I’ll frequently see people taking the time to complain on Facebook about a persistent pot hole, or some poorly done maintenance.

That doesn’t change anything because the Council staff who need to see it aren’t watching a local Facebook group.Perhaps we all need to look at this differently. We need to see ourselves as customers who are paying for a service that we aren’t getting. If your telephone stops working you phone your telco to get it sorted. It’s the same with roads.

Logging issues with Council, and encouraging your neighbours to do the same, is a vital part of ensuring the services we receive are of a high standard, and the contractors who carry out the work are meeting the service levels Council expects.

Council has made it easy to do this. There is an app available through the Apple or Android app store, or you can also simply go online to the Council’s website and fill out a form.

The app is especially convenient because it allows you to take a photo of the issue to attach to the complaint and plot the location. For those of you who prefer to telephone, call the Council 09 301 0101 number (think ‘093 oi oi oi!’). This number is toll-free from residential landlines within Auckland Council boundaries.

An online or app complaint will generate an automated response with a job number and this will be followed up within 10 days. This information can feed into annual maintenance assessments so is important in measuring the levels of service required. If you’re finding you’re not getting a satisfactory response, you are welcome to email the reference number to me so I can follow it up for you: We’re entitled to the same levels of service across Auckland, whether we’re in Remuera or Ahuroa, but it does rely on us all taking the time to bring issues to the attention of Council staff.

Finally, my Christmas wish for you is that you have no complaints over the holiday period, and take time to enjoy all the good things about living or holidaying in north-east Rodney.

Viewpoint - Rodney Local Board