New pothole reporting system promises 'better customer experience' says Hertfordshire County Council

Watford Observer: New pothole reporting system promises 'better customer experience' New pothole reporting system promises 'better customer experience'

An online pothole reporting system for Hertfordshire has been relaunched promising residents a "better customer experience" than its much-criticised predecessor.

Hertfordshire County Council said the new system is more reliable with an "improved look and feel". It also promised to make it quicker and easier for people to report faults such as potholes and problem streetlights.

The relaunch comes after the previous system was branded "useless" by opposition Liberal Democrat councillors.

Last year the council’s Conservative administration said it would be seeking compensation from the company behind the old reporting system, Serco.

Councillor Stuart Pile, the cabinet member for highways and transport, said he hoped the new system would encourage more people to report road faults.

He said: "This system has been developed in response to what people were telling us they wanted. It is a significant improvement on what we had before and we hope this will encourage more people to report faults online."

People using the new system are encouraged to give feedback using the GovMetric system built into the website.

Highways faults can be reported online using the new system at www.hertsdirect.org/highwayfaults

Comments (25)

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6:37pm Wed 20 Feb 13

MarsLander says...

What's wrong with a person on the end of the phone. We all know how to use that system? You can also get updates that way.
What's wrong with a person on the end of the phone. We all know how to use that system? You can also get updates that way. MarsLander
  • Score: 0

6:49pm Wed 20 Feb 13

TRT says...

You get updates through the website too. Everytime someone sneezes in the office! I like the website - it automates the tracking number and emails it to you so you always have a record of when you reported something. This doesn't replace the phone system, and it's been running for the last five years anyway. The old system had broken down, I believe, so they've overhauled something somewhere and now it's working again.
You do know that when you phone up, it's someone on the other end sat in front of the same system, don't you?
I like it as I can get in at 4am and report a problem I've seen on the roads before I forget about it.
You get updates through the website too. Everytime someone sneezes in the office! I like the website - it automates the tracking number and emails it to you so you always have a record of when you reported something. This doesn't replace the phone system, and it's been running for the last five years anyway. The old system had broken down, I believe, so they've overhauled something somewhere and now it's working again. You do know that when you phone up, it's someone on the other end sat in front of the same system, don't you? I like it as I can get in at 4am and report a problem I've seen on the roads before I forget about it. TRT
  • Score: 0

7:20pm Wed 20 Feb 13

Watford_Chick says...

reporting potholes online maybe be "better customer experience" than its much-criticised predecessor.
But the actual work of the men who slap a top layer on tarmac into the hole isnt getting any better!!!
Barton Way is living prove of how crap there work is!!.. being a cyclist.. its even worse!!!
reporting potholes online maybe be "better customer experience" than its much-criticised predecessor. But the actual work of the men who slap a top layer on tarmac into the hole isnt getting any better!!! Barton Way is living prove of how crap there work is!!.. being a cyclist.. its even worse!!! Watford_Chick
  • Score: 0

7:42pm Wed 20 Feb 13

LSC says...

Excactly Watford_Chick. The moment I saw the name Serco, my heart sank, and I'm afraid buzz names like GovMetric doesn't fill me with confidence.

They are not the Government, so we don't need the Gov part. And I think most of the country is Metric, or did Serco fill in a pothole by the pint?

A quick visit to the website confirms my fears; do they say, 'talk to us about filling in potholes'?

Of course not. They say they can help you by "combining the core service with Customer Segmentation data, Equalities & Diversity and through understanding the levels of Avoidable Contact."

Now if that doesn't SCREAM b**lsh*t at you right away, then you already work for a Council and I can't help you.

But you WILL be pleased to know this: "Intuitive customer-facing interfaces collect customer feedback easily using our trademarked Smileys".

Thank goodness for that. I'd dread to think where the world would be without trademarked smileys. People might be getting on with filling in potholes or something equally daft.
Excactly Watford_Chick. The moment I saw the name Serco, my heart sank, and I'm afraid buzz names like GovMetric doesn't fill me with confidence. They are not the Government, so we don't need the Gov part. And I think most of the country is Metric, or did Serco fill in a pothole by the pint? A quick visit to the website confirms my fears; do they say, 'talk to us about filling in potholes'? Of course not. They say they can help you by "combining the core service with Customer Segmentation data, Equalities & Diversity and through understanding the levels of Avoidable Contact." Now if that doesn't SCREAM b**lsh*t at you right away, then you already work for a Council and I can't help you. But you WILL be pleased to know this: "Intuitive customer-facing interfaces collect customer feedback easily using our trademarked Smileys". Thank goodness for that. I'd dread to think where the world would be without trademarked smileys. People might be getting on with filling in potholes or something equally daft. LSC
  • Score: 0

7:46pm Wed 20 Feb 13

The Rover says...

Potholes on Tolpits Lane reported. Lets see how long it takes for anything to be done about it. I will keep you posted!
Potholes on Tolpits Lane reported. Lets see how long it takes for anything to be done about it. I will keep you posted! The Rover
  • Score: 0

8:04pm Wed 20 Feb 13

Reader (R) says...

Street lighting reported online 13 December 2012 and discussed by phone many times but still not resolved. H.C.C. are not fit for purpose.
Street lighting reported online 13 December 2012 and discussed by phone many times but still not resolved. H.C.C. are not fit for purpose. Reader (R)
  • Score: 0

8:32pm Wed 20 Feb 13

pietas says...

Cannot see any difference between current and previous site. Except that now I can no longer find the page that listed all previous faults I had reported.

Also can anyone tell me where the Log Out button is to be found now?

Took the opportunity to report again a double street light on Ring Road that I first reported 7th. October 2012. The information on the website then was that this light needed specialist equipment and would be dealt with ASAP, and the fault was closed!

I noticed the other day that in some sections of the Ring Road there are more lights not working than are lit. One way of saving electricity, just don't repair the lights. Probably cheaper than changing some of them to turn off at midnight.
Cannot see any difference between current and previous site. Except that now I can no longer find the page that listed all previous faults I had reported. Also can anyone tell me where the Log Out button is to be found now? Took the opportunity to report again a double street light on Ring Road that I first reported 7th. October 2012. The information on the website then was that this light needed specialist equipment and would be dealt with ASAP, and the fault was closed! I noticed the other day that in some sections of the Ring Road there are more lights not working than are lit. One way of saving electricity, just don't repair the lights. Probably cheaper than changing some of them to turn off at midnight. pietas
  • Score: 0

9:16pm Wed 20 Feb 13

Nascot says...

But do they have the money to fix them?
But do they have the money to fix them? Nascot
  • Score: 0

6:05am Thu 21 Feb 13

AlbansWoodBear says...

There's something missing from this photo - there's no LibDem Councillor, or would be LibDem Councillor, pointing at the pot-hole with a grimace - what's going on? - Does this need reporting on the New System?
There's something missing from this photo - there's no LibDem Councillor, or would be LibDem Councillor, pointing at the pot-hole with a grimace - what's going on? - Does this need reporting on the New System? AlbansWoodBear
  • Score: 0

8:33am Thu 21 Feb 13

TRT says...

AlbansWoodBear wrote:
There's something missing from this photo - there's no LibDem Councillor, or would be LibDem Councillor, pointing at the pot-hole with a grimace - what's going on? - Does this need reporting on the New System?
They could replace the default pin on the map with an avatar of the appropriate councillor. :)
[quote][p][bold]AlbansWoodBear[/bold] wrote: There's something missing from this photo - there's no LibDem Councillor, or would be LibDem Councillor, pointing at the pot-hole with a grimace - what's going on? - Does this need reporting on the New System?[/p][/quote]They could replace the default pin on the map with an avatar of the appropriate councillor. :) TRT
  • Score: 0

8:53am Thu 21 Feb 13

captain lard says...

Nascot wrote:
But do they have the money to fix them?
Its ok its March next month, so every department will be getting rid of their remaining budget, so expect every road to be disrupted while they make a poor attempt to repair the potholes. Then we can spend the next 12 months reporting new ones and the old ones when the poor repairs have failed.
I suspect potholes are an issue throughout the country but in my opinion they are getting worse year on year, but at least if they are reported the next time someone comes of their bike or knackers their wheel (car or bike) the council won't be able to shirk their responsibility.
[quote][p][bold]Nascot[/bold] wrote: But do they have the money to fix them?[/p][/quote]Its ok its March next month, so every department will be getting rid of their remaining budget, so expect every road to be disrupted while they make a poor attempt to repair the potholes. Then we can spend the next 12 months reporting new ones and the old ones when the poor repairs have failed. I suspect potholes are an issue throughout the country but in my opinion they are getting worse year on year, but at least if they are reported the next time someone comes of their bike or knackers their wheel (car or bike) the council won't be able to shirk their responsibility. captain lard
  • Score: 0

9:00am Thu 21 Feb 13

Hornets number 12 fan says...

Do they become legally responsible for any damage to vehicle caused AFTER the report? I went to Hertford the other day and theres some horrendous potholes on a 70 mile an hour road which are downright dangerous and could actually cause a blow out at that speed!
Do they become legally responsible for any damage to vehicle caused AFTER the report? I went to Hertford the other day and theres some horrendous potholes on a 70 mile an hour road which are downright dangerous and could actually cause a blow out at that speed! Hornets number 12 fan
  • Score: 0

10:11am Thu 21 Feb 13

TRT says...

If they could reasonably have fixed it between the reporting and the incident, then they'll have failed in their duty of care and be liable for consequential actual damages.
The problem is proving negligence. They are supposed to keep a log of which inspection vehicles went out and which routes they took. So long as the log matches their practice and the practice is reasonable (i.e. a practice which stated that an A road would be inspected only once every two years would not be reasonable, but an inspection every month would be more than reasonable), then the motorist doesn't have a leg to stand on.
If they could reasonably have fixed it between the reporting and the incident, then they'll have failed in their duty of care and be liable for consequential actual damages. The problem is proving negligence. They are supposed to keep a log of which inspection vehicles went out and which routes they took. So long as the log matches their practice and the practice is reasonable (i.e. a practice which stated that an A road would be inspected only once every two years would not be reasonable, but an inspection every month would be more than reasonable), then the motorist doesn't have a leg to stand on. TRT
  • Score: 0

10:13am Thu 21 Feb 13

TRT says...

Oh, and the answer is no, they do not automatically become legally responsible. One would have to prove negligence with consequential loss before they paid out, and even then they wouldn't be legally responsible for the damage, only financially liable for incurred loss.
Oh, and the answer is no, they do not automatically become legally responsible. One would have to prove negligence with consequential loss before they paid out, and even then they wouldn't be legally responsible for the damage, only financially liable for incurred loss. TRT
  • Score: 0

1:42pm Thu 21 Feb 13

edhorn says...

Whoever first came up with the term "customer experience" should be given the "red hot poker experience". What a lazy way to use the English language. How about "a better level of customer service"?
Whoever first came up with the term "customer experience" should be given the "red hot poker experience". What a lazy way to use the English language. How about "a better level of customer service"? edhorn
  • Score: 0

1:50pm Thu 21 Feb 13

Roadrunner38 says...

Unfortunately (for us) Herts Highways work at the speed if a tortoise on tranquilisers! Every time i report a fault I invariably have to call back three or four times to get any sense of urgency in these so called public servants.
Unfortunately (for us) Herts Highways work at the speed if a tortoise on tranquilisers! Every time i report a fault I invariably have to call back three or four times to get any sense of urgency in these so called public servants. Roadrunner38
  • Score: 0

1:50pm Thu 21 Feb 13

Roadrunner38 says...

Unfortunately (for us) Herts Highways work at the speed if a tortoise on tranquilisers! Every time i report a fault I invariably have to call back three or four times to get any sense of urgency in these so called public servants.
Unfortunately (for us) Herts Highways work at the speed if a tortoise on tranquilisers! Every time i report a fault I invariably have to call back three or four times to get any sense of urgency in these so called public servants. Roadrunner38
  • Score: 0

3:14pm Thu 21 Feb 13

Honest Rog says...

Oh perleeze. Just employ guys, shall we call them "council workers"? They will work from council depots and respond to instruction from their mangers. These public workers will be paid from the public purse and will not be part of the "public/private" partnership cons which have stolen our tax payments over the years. Whole layers of management have got fat on our tax money over the decades since Thatcher and her goons chanted the mantra "Private good, public bad". This, backed up by pliant right-wing rags has been the downfall of what was once an efficient. caring society.
Oh perleeze. Just employ guys, shall we call them "council workers"? They will work from council depots and respond to instruction from their mangers. These public workers will be paid from the public purse and will not be part of the "public/private" partnership cons which have stolen our tax payments over the years. Whole layers of management have got fat on our tax money over the decades since Thatcher and her goons chanted the mantra "Private good, public bad". This, backed up by pliant right-wing rags has been the downfall of what was once an efficient. caring society. Honest Rog
  • Score: 0

6:17pm Thu 21 Feb 13

Wacko Jacko says...

A new website is one thing, what they do with the information logged in it is another. I've yet to see a priority 1 fault fixed in the claimed 24 hours since the new roads contractor was appointed. Keep logging those faults folks there are thousands around Watford that need urgent fixing
A new website is one thing, what they do with the information logged in it is another. I've yet to see a priority 1 fault fixed in the claimed 24 hours since the new roads contractor was appointed. Keep logging those faults folks there are thousands around Watford that need urgent fixing Wacko Jacko
  • Score: 0

6:21pm Thu 21 Feb 13

pc49plod says...

Evenin' all,
The flying squad say that they have to be very careful when the 'blues and twos' are on to not hurt their vehicles on the craters around the town. I wonder if they get preferential treatment from Herts Highways if one of their cars gets damaged? The sarge says that he's used the reporting system and it's very good for reporting but the bit that really needs improving is the quality of the repair work. How many times does the same pothole have to be repaired before it's done properly. Roll on global warming then we won't have all the damage caused by ice and snow !!
Evenin' all, The flying squad say that they have to be very careful when the 'blues and twos' are on to not hurt their vehicles on the craters around the town. I wonder if they get preferential treatment from Herts Highways if one of their cars gets damaged? The sarge says that he's used the reporting system and it's very good for reporting but the bit that really needs improving is the quality of the repair work. How many times does the same pothole have to be repaired before it's done properly. Roll on global warming then we won't have all the damage caused by ice and snow !! pc49plod
  • Score: 0

9:25pm Thu 21 Feb 13

Mohandas says...

Watford_Chick wrote:
reporting potholes online maybe be "better customer experience" than its much-criticised predecessor.
But the actual work of the men who slap a top layer on tarmac into the hole isnt getting any better!!!
Barton Way is living prove of how crap there work is!!.. being a cyclist.. its even worse!!!
Some of the work looks like someone dropped a load of cow pat and ran off before someone commented on the stinking job.
[quote][p][bold]Watford_Chick[/bold] wrote: reporting potholes online maybe be "better customer experience" than its much-criticised predecessor. But the actual work of the men who slap a top layer on tarmac into the hole isnt getting any better!!! Barton Way is living prove of how crap there work is!!.. being a cyclist.. its even worse!!![/p][/quote]Some of the work looks like someone dropped a load of cow pat and ran off before someone commented on the stinking job. Mohandas
  • Score: 0

1:55pm Sat 23 Feb 13

LSC says...

edhorn wrote:
Whoever first came up with the term "customer experience" should be given the "red hot poker experience". What a lazy way to use the English language. How about "a better level of customer service"?
Besides, I am NOT a 'customer' at all; I cannot take my 'custom' elsewhere. I am a tax payer, and I have no say in who or how this work is done.
When I am a customer and not happy with the service, the law says I do not have to pay the bill. So where is my tax cut please?
[quote][p][bold]edhorn[/bold] wrote: Whoever first came up with the term "customer experience" should be given the "red hot poker experience". What a lazy way to use the English language. How about "a better level of customer service"?[/p][/quote]Besides, I am NOT a 'customer' at all; I cannot take my 'custom' elsewhere. I am a tax payer, and I have no say in who or how this work is done. When I am a customer and not happy with the service, the law says I do not have to pay the bill. So where is my tax cut please? LSC
  • Score: 0

8:28am Sun 24 Feb 13

The Rover says...

The Rover wrote:
Potholes on Tolpits Lane reported. Lets see how long it takes for anything to be done about it. I will keep you posted!
The potholes on Tolpits Lane were repaired within 24 hours of being reported. Very impressive!. However, the temporary repairs look so bad that I doubt they will even last a week. By doing temporary repairs they are just increasing their workload. Surely it makes more sense to do the job properly rather than just doing a bodge job, then having to come back and do it again?
[quote][p][bold]The Rover[/bold] wrote: Potholes on Tolpits Lane reported. Lets see how long it takes for anything to be done about it. I will keep you posted![/p][/quote]The potholes on Tolpits Lane were repaired within 24 hours of being reported. Very impressive!. However, the temporary repairs look so bad that I doubt they will even last a week. By doing temporary repairs they are just increasing their workload. Surely it makes more sense to do the job properly rather than just doing a bodge job, then having to come back and do it again? The Rover
  • Score: 0

12:31pm Sun 24 Feb 13

LSC says...

The Rover wrote:
The Rover wrote:
Potholes on Tolpits Lane reported. Lets see how long it takes for anything to be done about it. I will keep you posted!
The potholes on Tolpits Lane were repaired within 24 hours of being reported. Very impressive!. However, the temporary repairs look so bad that I doubt they will even last a week. By doing temporary repairs they are just increasing their workload. Surely it makes more sense to do the job properly rather than just doing a bodge job, then having to come back and do it again?
And there you have privatisation in a nutshell. It might make more sense not to do it twice, but doing it twice makes more money for the contractor..
[quote][p][bold]The Rover[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Rover[/bold] wrote: Potholes on Tolpits Lane reported. Lets see how long it takes for anything to be done about it. I will keep you posted![/p][/quote]The potholes on Tolpits Lane were repaired within 24 hours of being reported. Very impressive!. However, the temporary repairs look so bad that I doubt they will even last a week. By doing temporary repairs they are just increasing their workload. Surely it makes more sense to do the job properly rather than just doing a bodge job, then having to come back and do it again?[/p][/quote]And there you have privatisation in a nutshell. It might make more sense not to do it twice, but doing it twice makes more money for the contractor.. LSC
  • Score: 0

12:41pm Sun 24 Feb 13

LSC says...

Look at Victorian engineering. So much is still around, and still works today. Then look at modern engineering. Everything either falls apart after 3 years or we are encouraged to buy the 'new updated' version that they could have made in the first place. Sometimes, do a job too well and you put yourself out of work in 5 years time.
Despite all the new technology and alloys etc, the average lifespan of an ordinary car has hardly changed in 50 years. That's no accident.
Look at Victorian engineering. So much is still around, and still works today. Then look at modern engineering. Everything either falls apart after 3 years or we are encouraged to buy the 'new updated' version that they could have made in the first place. Sometimes, do a job too well and you put yourself out of work in 5 years time. Despite all the new technology and alloys etc, the average lifespan of an ordinary car has hardly changed in 50 years. That's no accident. LSC
  • Score: 0

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