Got a complaint? Text this number and reach the city

The program uses artificial intelligence to help residents reach their city government.
The program uses artificial intelligence to help residents reach their city government.

Credit: Citibot

Credit: Citibot

A DeKalb County city has become the first in the state to use a new texting service that allows residents to use their phones to make complaints and requests.

Chamblee partnered with the Charleston-based tech company Citibot to add the new service, which people can activate by texting the word "hello" to 470-450-2533.

That allows residents to text common city-related questions or make complaints, which would then get added to the city’s “to-do list” thanks to an interactive chatbot that uses artificial intelligence. That can include reporting potholes, broken street signs and missed trash pickups.

“As a city, we want to provide the highest quality customer service while being accessible via all modes of communication. Citibot enables us to be connected to all constituents through text messaging,” Chamblee Mayor Eric Clarkson said in a statement.


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Cities including North Charleston, Boulder, Colo. and Gloucester Township, N.J. already use the service, according to Bratton Riley, the CEO and co-founder of Citibot.

Residents can text to get answers about business licenses, trash pickup times and public meeting announcements.

Texting, the city said, saves time that is typically spent on lengthy web searches and customer service calls.

“Cities like Chamblee are leading the way by delivering powerful solutions to maximizing efficiency and enhancing access to information and vital services,” Riley said in a statement.

Chamblee also allows residents to reach the city through its website and a phone app.

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