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Contacting the Council [Aug. 29th, 2017|12:04 pm]

This morning's e-mails included a request from the Council: they wanted my opinion. "Dear Customer," it began, which isn't a great start - I think of myself as a resident, a Council Tax payer and occasionally an elector, but not as a customer of the Council. Never mind, here's what the e-mail said:

We would like to hear about your experience of contacting Durham County Council.

We would appreciate it if you could take a couple of minutes to complete a short survey to give us your views.

Your feedback is important and will help us to develop and improve our service.

I don't know why they wrote to me, I haven't been in touch recently, but I have in the past. Most recently - and I know that this was at the end of June, because the r-mail I wrote is still in my 'sent' folder - I contacted the neighbourhood warden to say that the students down the road had put out their recycling before leaving for the summer. Said recycling included a large pile of cardboard boxes, which extended over much of the pavement, were already sodden with rain, and would not be picked up by the scheduled recycling collection for another week. The rubbish had subsequently been cleared, but I had received no acknowledgment, and I knew I wasn't the only person to have reported it: had my letter gone to the right person? I didn't know. I knew this wasn't an isolated case, because [personal profile] durham_rambler and I had discussed it, and he had had a similar experience (in his case, I think, reporting street lights which weren't working).

So I trotted off the SurveyMonkey to answer the questionnaire. What did I contact the Coucil about? And there's a radio button for 'refuse and recycling', so that'll do. Next it wanted to know whether I had an online account with the Council, possible answers 'yes' and 'no'. So I? Haven't a clue. It's perfectly possible I've set one up in the past - to register for garden waste collection, say, or for some previous consultation. But if 'don't know' isn't a possible answer, am I going to put the time into tracking down a hypothetical login and password? So the answer is 'no'. Next question, how did I contact the Council: did I fill in a form on their website, or phone up or e-mail or other... Well, I e-mailed, but if you answer 'other' you get to tell them why you did other rather than fill in the form on the website. So I did that, and explained that e-mail was easier than hunting through their website to find a form, with the possibility of having to register before I could use it (I didn't go on to say that I prfer e-mail because it gives me a record, but that, too). Next -

But there isn't a next question. Thankyou, it says, and here are the services you can access online. So they never got to hear whether I was satisfied with my contact with them.

Apologies for the boring post: I wanted a record because County Council 'consultations' are an ongoing game.

This entry cross-posted from Dreamwidth: comments always welcome, at either location.