The Honolulu 311 smartphone application was launched by the city Jan. 31 as an accurate, cost-effective way to report complaints, from broken street lamps to stored property violations. The app uses GPS technology and pictures to pinpoint the location and description of what's being reported.
But more than seven months after the free app appeared on the market, online reviews have been mixed. Of the 24 reviews that are posted, at least 12 are negative.
One poster going by the user name ammbooth wrote, "App is very slow and freezes regularly. It's a waste of resource by the city of Honolulu."
Gordon Bruce, director of the city's Information Technology Department, said freezing issues related to Honolulu 311 are more than likely caused by the type of smartphone being used, not the application itself.
"Whether you've got a $300 Android, or a free Android, you can well imagine you get what you pay for," said Bruce. "Freezing could be the device, it could be the carrier (or) it could be an application that's being called within the device. It could be a number of things."
Other complaints about the smartphone application relate to how the city responds to reports that are issued.
Another user identifying herself as Meghan Chun said she reported a stored property violation in a residential area, but the city failed to take action.
"I reported it over two weeks ago, the status on the report says closed," wrote Chun. "The stored property has doubled now and getting worse!"
Gayle Haraguchi, whose Customer Services Department is charged with filtering reports received through Honolulu 311, said complaints over reports being closed are simply a matter of verbiage, which the city is working to correct.
Haraguchi said when a Honolulu 311 status report says "closed," all it means is that her department has received the complaint and forwarded it to the proper city agency for resolution.