How to ask a question to Taipei City

I’m lucky enough to live in a very quiet place in Taipei. However since the last typhoon, I think someone’s water pump must have been severely broken because it was making an awful noise almost all the time, including at nights. With fall and winter upon us, I was really bummed at the idea of keeping my windows closed. A local friend of mine suggested that I file a complaint with Taipei City government. Well, why not. So here is how it went.

How to do it

Two solutions: you can either call at 1999 (I think it’s free from landlines) or ask directly on their horrible website that looks it hasn’t been updated for 20 years. Note that you’ll still need a decent amount of mandarin to get through the whole process, so if you’re not comfortable with that, you should ask the help of a local.

website1999

If your Chinese is ok, you can try directly this new site, hello Taipei.

What will happen

A couple of days after explaining my issue (I also added a video to the case), I receive a very professional phone call asking me when to set a meeting time. They were extremely accommodating and are ok coming after office hours. Again, it’s better if you can speak basic Mandarin here.

During the meeting time, they will try to find the source of the problem (the faulty pump for my case) and record as many details as possible. They asked my neighbors about it, and luckily everyone agreed this sound was a real pain. It surprised me a bit that I was the first one to actually do something about it.

After that, they managed to get in touch with the landlord of the problematic unit and asked him to change his pump. The day later I received an official notification (in English!) telling me about everything. And 24 hours later, voilà, my neighbor already fixed their pump and I can finally sleep properly.

In short

Taipei  Government has a great way to file pollution-related complaints, whether it’s because of noise, health hazard, and other problems. My experience was definitely very positive, but I would recommend speaking Chinese or asking help from a local friend.

website1999-survey

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