CHARLOTTE (WILX)-- The next time you hit a pothole wouldn't it be nice to snap a pic and text it to the city, and it's fixed instantly?
That's the idea in Charlotte. The city started 'Complaints by Text' on Tuesday hoping to improve neighborhood quality.
When residents observe a situation requiring city attention, they should take a picture, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org-- and add a message with a location and description.
The texts can be used for multiple types of complaints. It could be a street light not working, a sidewalk falling apart, or a neighbors high grass.
People who've already texted in their own complaints say it's an easy process.
"I thought I'd give it a try. It's a simple matter of using your cell phone," said Don Sovey.
Sovey was the first to text a complaint to the city.
"What we want to do is keep the standards high in the community of Charlotte."
All texts go to City Manager Gregg Guetschow's email. He says it's easier that way because he'll make sure all complaints go to the right department.
Right now the city gets an average of two complaints a day via e-mail. Using text that number's expected go up, possibly double, as the city becomes notified of issues it wouldn't normally find.
"People who live here are more accustomed to see things we might miss as we drive through those same neighborhoods. An example would be a street light that's out. We don't know that it's out until someone tells us," said Guetschow.
For those who have a hard time with technology don't worry, the city's still taking complaints by phone calls and on their website. The texting is just an added resource.
"As we relied on people phoning us in the past, or sending us an email, this just seems to be one more tool for us to provide to residents to help us keep their neighborhoods in good condition."
*Depending on your cell phone plan, users may incur charges when texting complaints.