A new set of cast-iron pledges to residents on services like refuse collection and housing repairs has been issued by Birmingham City Council.
The 'Birmingham Promise' has been drawn up to give citizens a guarantee that quality services will be delivered on time.
It pledges that missed rubbish will be collected within three days, street lights fixed within a month and routine housing repairs made within 30 days.
A full response to complaints are also promised within 20 days and managers whose departments fail to meet deadlines could lose performance-related pay while those who do well will be rewarded.
The Promise has been drawn up by councillors who are inundated with complaints, covering rubbish bins, housing repairs, benefits, school admissions, roads and pavements and parks.
Governance scrutiny committee chairman Coun Carl Rice said managers blamed others for poor performance too often.
He said: "At a meeting, I heard our fleet and waste management managers blaming problems on government cuts and on the residents themselves. I never heard anything about their own responsibility as senior managers.
"They gave us excuses and not once said what would be done to put it right."
Coun Marje Bridle (Lab Shard End), who helped draw up the seven-page Promise, said: "What is important is that we get our basic public service delivery right."
She called for the document to be sent to the Plain English Campaign to ensure it was easily understood by citizens and followed by officials.
Council chief executive Mark Rogers welcomed the clear targets, saying people wanted a quality and timely response to any issue.
But he added that he preferred the carrot to the stick for managers.
"I've found that encouragement works better than sanction," he said.
The draft Birmingham Promise is now available for public consultation and will be finalised and implemented next year.