FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
What is 311?
- 311 is an easy-to-remember telephone number to request information or services from the City of Winnipeg. Just one call will connect you with highly-trained Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) ready to provide answers to your questions or assistance in requesting a service from the City.
Who can call 311?
- Any residents, businesses or tourists wishing to get information or request services from the City of Winnipeg may call.
- With over 500 different telephone numbers listed to access city services, many people did not know what number to dial to reach the appropriate department. Now you can connect to city services with only two numbers to remember:
311 Non-Emergency services
How do I connect with the Contact Centre?
- You can access our citizen inquiry service in any of the following ways:
Toll free: 1-877-311-4WPG
Canada Post Mail: c/o 510 Main Street, Winnipeg, MB R3B 1B9
When should I call 311?
- You should call 311 when you have a specific:
- request for service (sewer back-up, water main break, garbage collection, etc.)
- request for information (permit processing, animal control, building inspection, traffic/parking issues, hours of operation, etc.)
- concern (parking ticket, property condition, road/street maintenance, snow clearing, noise, etc.)
When is the Contact Centre open?
- The 311 Contact Centre is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Can I call 311 from my cell phone?
- Yes. If you cannot get through on your cell phone, please contact your cell phone service provider directly.
Should I visit the Centre now to pay my bills?
- The Contact Centre is home to our Customer Service representatives who operate our citizen inquiry service and as such is not a public office.
- Citizens wishing to pay bills, apply for permits or conduct any face to face business with the City should continue to visit the appropriate departmental offices.
Can I access our emergency service by dialing 311?
- No. In the case of a police, fire or medical emergency, you must call 911. In the interest of public safety, if you call 311 with a request for emergency service you will be advised to hang up and call 911.
Should I report police non-emergencies to 311?
- You should continue to report any police non-emergencies to 204-986-6222, e.g. minor fender benders, etc.
If 911 is busy can I call 311?
- No. In the case of a police, fire or medical emergency, you must call 911. In accordance with the ruling of the Canadian-Radio and Television Commission of November, 2004, if you call 311 with a request for emergency service you will be advised to hang up and call 911 directly.
What happens when I call 311?
- Upon receipt of your call our Customer Service Representatives will:
- search our knowledge base for the answer to your question; or
- if you are calling to request a service, the CSR will open a new case for your request and will provide you with:
- the approximate length of time to complete your request and,
- a unique reference number for that request. It is important that you keep this number handy for future inquiries due to privacy legislation; if you lose the number or don't record it, we will not be able to provide you with any updates on your service request, or;
- should you require additional expertise from departmental staff our Customer Service Representatives will be pleased to connect you with the right individual during normal business hours or to assist you in leaving a message in the right location should you wish to do so.
Does every service request have a tracking number?
- Yes. When you request a service, the Customer Service Representative will provide you with the unique reference number.
If the Contact Centre is open 24 hours a day, does that mean all city offices and services are now available 24 hours a day?
- Our Contact Centre is here to provide the ability to request information or services from the City at your convenience. Should you place your inquiry to the Centre outside of normal city business hours, our CSRs will ensure that your request for service is sent to the appropriate department for follow-up during the next business day.
Will I get a call back the next day to confirm the department has received my request?
- One call is all you need to request a service. When you call with your request for service, you will be provided with:
- a unique reference number related to that particular request; and
- an estimated time for completion of your request.
How long do I wait before calling back to follow-up?
- When you place your initial request for service, the CSR will provide you with the length of time (e.g. 2 days) for the completion of your request. Should the service not be completed within the timeframe provided, please feel free to contact 311 again. Using your unique reference number, the CSR can track the status of your request. Please note that due to privacy legislation, the CSR cannot provide any information on your request without a reference number.
Do I have to give my name when I call 311?
- Only information required to successfully complete the request will be asked for during the call.
Will my personal information be shared?
- The 311 Contact Centre’s operations are governed by The Freedom of Information and Personal Privacy Act of the Government of Manitoba. Only information required to successfully complete the request will be asked for during the call.
Is my personal information secure?
- Yes, your information is protected by the same level of security as all information used by the City of Winnipeg.
Will my call be recorded?
- Yes, all calls received by the Contact Centre are recorded for quality assurance and training purposes.
Is service available in any other language?
- The 311 Contact Centre will provide service in both official languages. Our Centre also has access to an extensive list of city staff prepared to assist in interpretation in many other languages.
Can I call using my TTY phone?
- Yes. Please dial 204-986-1311 to reach a Customer Service Representative specially trained for TTY. Calling from out of town? Please call collect 204-986-1311.
What if I want to speak directly to an individual in a department?
- The implementation of the 311 consolidated Contact Centre is intended to enhance the quality of service provided by the City of Winnipeg. In the majority of cases, our highly trained CSRs will be able to provide the answer to your question, however, should you require additional service/information, our CSRs will be happy to generate a request for the department to contact you directly.
Can I still contact the Mayor’s Office or my ward Councillor directly?
- Yes, phone numbers for the Mayor’s Office and your Councillor can be found on http://winnipeg.ca/council/ or in the MTS White Pages.
Why can’t I call into departments directly like I used to?
- City staff are still available to assist you.
- The Contact Centre provides an efficient centralized point of access to all city services. No longer will staff or citizens need to spend time searching for the right person to call on any service -- one number will provide the answer.
- Should you require a highly specialized service, our CSRs will be pleased to:
- connect you with the right individual during normal business hours, or,
- assist you in leaving a message in the right location, should you wish to do so, after normal business hours.
Why can't I get through when I dial 311?
- In the case of a power or telephone outage the 311 Contact Centre may be temporarily unavailable. In that case, we would encourage you to visit www.winnipeg.ca to seek an update to the existing situation or to find answers to your questions.
- If you cannot find the answer to your question on www.winnipeg.ca please forward an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there a fee?
- 311 and its related toll-free 800 number, 1-877-311-4WPG(4974) are free of charge; however, please beware that your wireless carrier will charge for the minutes used during the call according to your contract.
- If you are calling from an MTS phone booth the normal .50 fee will apply.
How much training do the Customer Service Representatives receive?
- Our CSR's receive a minimum of three weeks of full-time training before taking calls from the public. The training ranges from briefings on all city services through to extensive hands-on training on the Contact Centre interactive systems. Regular quality assurance reviews are held to ensure our CSRs are providing quality service.
Who do I call if I have a complaint about the service I receive?
- Our CSR's are trained to provide excellent quality services to our customers. However, in the unfortunate circumstance that our CSRs were not able to provide the service you may ask to speak to the Supervisor on duty. Written complaints can be directed to the Contact Centre, c/o 510 Main Street, Winnipeg, MB R3B 1B9.
I noticed on your website there were still other numbers to call, do I call them or call 311?
- You can always call 311 for answers to any questions related to services you may have. The numbers existing on our website are being provided in addition to 311. In some instances, they may be direct numbers to the senior city officials and in other cases they are information lines which have been pre-recorded to provide answers to many of the popular questions citizens have related to that service, e.g. Assiniboine Park information line.
Last updated: April 25, 2014