The waiting game at other city agencies

Posted: January 13, 2012

DO OTHER agencies in the city have a phone number that someone answers? We tried calling other city numbers, each a few times.

Generally we were able to get through. Here are the agencies we called:

3-1-1 - Automated menu; spoke with a person in about 30 seconds.

Health Dept. Air Management Services (noise complaints) - 215-685-7580. Picked up after one or two rings, except after 4 p.m., when we got voice mail (office hours end at 4:30).

Health Dept. Vector Control (rats) - 215-685- 9000. Picked up after one ring.

Parking Authority - 1-888-591-3636. Got an automated menu; spoke with a person in about seven minutes.

Gas Works - 215-235-1000. Got an automated menu; spoke with a person in about six minutes. The department also offers to call you back when an operator is available.

Peco Energy - 1-800-494-4000. Got an automated menu; spoke with a person in about two minutes.

SEPTA - 215-580-7800. Got an automated menu; spoke with a person in mere seconds!

Parks and Recreation - 215-683-3600. Picked up after one or two rings.

PennDOT - 1-800-932- 4600. Got an automated menu; spoke with a person in about four minutes. A recording always let us know (accurately) how long we'd be waiting. Nice touch.

Water Department - 215-685-6300. Got an automated menu; spoke with a person in less than a minute.

Streets Department - 215-686-5560. Usually picked up after one or two rings, but a couple of times, we heard no ringing - only a weird white buzzing.

Dept. of Human Services - 215-683-4347. Got an automated menu; spoke with a person in about two minutes.

Animal Control - 267-385- 3800. Got an automated menu; spoke with a person in about a minute.

Housing Authority - 215-684-4000. Usually got an automated menu and spoke with a person in about a minute, but a couple of times, the phone just kept ringing and ringing . . .

Philadelphia Media Network (Yes, that's us) - 215-854-2000. Got an automated menu; spoke with a person immediately, except after 1 p.m., which is when operator hours end. After 1 p.m., we got only menu options.

If a city number is giving you trouble, let us know at 215-854- 5855 or howl@phillynews.com.

- Juliana Reyes

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