Have you ever heard the phrase, “help us help you?”

When you submit a service request to fix an issue like a pothole or broken street light, we forward information about that issue to the appropriate servicing department. It’s very important for a department worker to have all the facts they need to amend the problem.

This process starts with you, the resident. Next time you submit a service request, here are four tips to ensure a swift and satisfactory result:

Location is everything

A house number painted on a front fence that reads 4529

When you submit a service request, fully describe the issue’s location. Always include the closest exact address (street name and number). If you are unsure of the exact address, use our City atlas to locate it. Having the correct address on the report is essential for success.

Be as detailed as possible

A large, rectangular hole in the driving lane of the street

Don’t be shy! Tell us everything you can about the issue in the “description” field. We want servicing departments to know every detail about the matter so they can find it and properly resolve it. Here’s a thorough, detailed description for the above photo: “There is a rectangular ditch in the road outside of 4529 Osage Avenue. It is about six feet wide and a few inches deep. It is in the westbound driving lane.”

Snap a photo

A human hand taking a picture of a rectangular hole in the street with a phone

A photo of the problem helps Philly311 staff assign it to the correct category and department. City workers also use photos as a reference while resolving your issue.

Our mobile app allows you to attach a photo from your phone’s camera roll to your request. You can also attach photos while using our web and email reporting systems. Embrace your inner photographer and snap away!

Follow up with us

A woman who works for Philly311 at her computer talking on a phone headset to a customer

After you submit a service request, you can easily track its progress. If the servicing department closes your request, but your issue isn’t visible fixed, please follow up with us. We will be happy to give you more information about your request and/or contact the servicing department about the issue.

You can follow up with us by completing a short survey in the closed case email you receive. You can also email us directly, send us a message on Twitter or Facebook, or call 311 (215-686-8686 if outside Philly). Make sure to have your 8-digit service request number on hand when you follow up.