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(Huffington Post)   Please hold...your estimated wait time is 43 days   (huffingtonpost.com) divider line 76
    More: Sad, Fifth Third Bank, mortgage refinancing, Chong, Air Canada, Accenture  
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20043 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Jan 2013 at 6:10 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-24 10:11:59 PM  
Pressing 0 usually works for me.
 
2013-01-24 10:13:10 PM  
Fark the Huffington Post and their autoplay bullsh*t.
 
2013-01-24 10:47:05 PM  
Let's do a little math.  Let's assume a lifespan of 80 years.  So that's 0.5375 days/year, or 774 minutes.  Average out to every day, and that's 2 minutes, 7 seconds every day on hold.  That seems unlikely.
 
2013-01-24 10:55:48 PM  

GAT_00: Let's do a little math.


I was told there'd be no math.

Which is why I read USA Today.
 
2013-01-24 11:47:56 PM  
Why does being on hold even matter? You put the phone on speaker and mute it and go about doing other things while the music plays. Then, when a voice finally comes on, you unmute it and say, "hold one one second, mkay?" and go about finishing up whatever you're doing. After another minute or so you come back to the phone and go about your business. No fuss, no muss. Multi-tasking is the key to everything.
 
2013-01-24 11:57:53 PM  

Pocket Ninja: Why does being on hold even matter?


I have had to deal with most govt. agencies, drug companies, insurance companies... If you mash the 0 button you will most likely (90% of the time) get a person to speak with. I know some companies have nuked that option, but most haven't.

Just press 0 and wait. If that fails, hold down the 0 key for a solid minute...you will either be disconnected, keep waiting, or get a person. You will most likely be greeted with a real, live person who can: NOT understand your wants/needs and create a case # that will be thrown in the cylindrical file. They will plead the Fif and by the end of the call you'll be apologizing to them.

Also, 99.999995% of people FAIL at multi-tasking. I'm surprised they can dress themselves in the morning.

Drink Duff Beer!
 
2013-01-25 12:06:24 AM  
Another fine product brought to you by the folks at "We Pull Random Numbers out of our Asses"LLC
 
2013-01-25 12:13:51 AM  
I'm on hold right now, so I'm getting a real kick out of these comments...
 
2013-01-25 12:25:44 AM  
img507.imageshack.us

"Thank you for waiting! Your call is *very* important to us, so please stay on the line for quality assistance..."
 
2013-01-25 12:30:48 AM  

NewportBarGuy: Pocket Ninja: Why does being on hold even matter?

I have had to deal with most govt. agencies, drug companies, insurance companies... If you mash the 0 button you will most likely (90% of the time) get a person to speak with. I know some companies have nuked that option, but most haven't.


Comcast has. I was trying to get through to them the other day. Press the 0 key too many times and it just hangs up on you.
 
2013-01-25 01:00:24 AM  
What's really funny is I work for a company that sells their product with the promise of 24/7 tech support

/I am the only support tech, and I do not work 24/7
//not for what I get paid
 
2013-01-25 06:34:00 AM  

GAT_00: Let's do a little math.  Let's assume a lifespan of 80 years.  So that's 0.5375 days/year, or 774 minutes.  Average out to every day, and that's 2 minutes, 7 seconds every day on hold.  That seems unlikely.


You have obviously never called Adobe support..... It would average out years of no hold days in one sitting.
 
2013-01-25 06:39:20 AM  
NewportBarGuy: Pressing 0 usually works for me.

Fark Business School case study: [ take it or leave it, i dont care ]

My business caters to a somewhat tech savvy/well off demographic internationally. If we've learned anything, it's that our american customers always believe themselves to be exceptional, whether they admit to it or not. For example, this is why on any given airline flight in the USA, you have half the flight with special requests, be it their kosher gluten free whatever meal or special consideration for some claimed medical condition that should award them the better seat or more carry-on capacity or whatever. good or bad, it's how americans are - people who spend so much time as consumers that gaming the system has become part of the system for them.

this is true, by the way, even if the net costs of such activities are quite high "dead weight" - there's a good reason why the US's "discount airline", Southwest, is typically 4-10 times more expensive than Ryanair for similar routes and those credit card "rewards" in total do have a cost if *everybody* gets them.

But I digress. The point is this: our USA telephone systems are actually designed knowing damn well that very many an american considers himself , or rather, acts as an entitled little snowflake who has some god given right to jump the queue (the others waiting on hold are not as important as you, after all!). the whole customer service flow is based on an "expectation of special/exceptional treatment" that americans have. while I am an american, i've been living abroad long enough that it took me some time to really comprehend this cultural thing and while occasionally i biatch and moan about the costs involved, well, we still make money so I can't complain too much.

and of course the ultimate irony is that many of those americans (not you necessarily) who routinely demand special treatment are more or less blind to it and in fact often themselves biatch about others who receive special treatment. once pointed out to them, they insist that they're not blind to it, but it's "the american way" of competition - even as a consumer.
 
2013-01-25 06:45:21 AM  
farm9.staticflickr.com
 
2013-01-25 06:45:32 AM  
Personally, I would hang up after the second day. Third tops.
 
2013-01-25 06:49:26 AM  
Bah and my mum complains about me wasting time on computer games.
 
2013-01-25 06:51:20 AM  
Either start encouraging abortions and condom usage, or just get used to the fact that there's going to be a line.
 
2013-01-25 06:55:27 AM  
What could be improved is the 'hold' music they play. Fed Ex used to have a jazz loop nightmare played at several decibels over normal speaking volume. Customers should be given a choice : press 1 to hear Skrillex, press 2 to hear headache relief commercials, press 3 for the suicide hotline...
 
2013-01-25 06:59:45 AM  
Really by now this should have been fixed - I am sure you could change it so it detects when there is more than minimal queue time and give you an option "Press 1 to get called back as soon as one of our operatives is available"
 
2013-01-25 07:04:31 AM  
After spending years in cammies standing in line I swore when I got out never again. If theres a line I leave, if you put me on hold I hang up, if it is important I google the company, go to their investor relations page and email the VP of whatever division I have a beef with and tell him my problem clearly and succinctly, 99% of the time the flunky handling the mail takes care of the problem quickly.

/now get off my lawn
 
2013-01-25 07:24:06 AM  
encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com
 
2013-01-25 07:26:11 AM  
Some places have hidden options to try and trick you.
Forget which place I called but it went like this

"Welcome to blah-blah, push 1 to get sold something, push 2 to speak to someone in Icelandic, push 3.....
*0*
'Sorry, that is NOT a valid option. Push 1 to...'
*0*
'Sorry, that is NOT a valid opt-'
*0*
'Sorry, that is NO-'
*0*
'Please wait.'
[human] "Hi! How can I help you?"

Of course some other companies give you this instead:
"You have push the wrong button too many times. Call back when you know what you are doing. *click*"

Of course the really trollistic companies put you on hold for 30 minutes, and then you hear the line ring, and then instantly disconnect.

Comcast was doing this when they made everyone go to those digital boxes that would NOT auto activate for shiat. Between waiting on hold, getting disconnected, finaly talking to someone who said my box would turn in in 5 minutes, calling back 1 hour later and getting disconnected again before I gave up in anger, I spend about 3 hours on hold and went 2 days without TV (oh, the horror, I know)

My favorite one was I have having some sort of utility problem. I am on the line with tech support for 45 minutes. The the tech says "hold on just one second ok?" and then the line disconnects. I call back and get "Sorry, we are now closed" Farking bastards.
 
2013-01-25 07:29:40 AM  
More of these "call centers" should be using chat to supplement the voice calls - I get through to my ISP / land line provider within two minutes during the busy times using their chat - for a voice call it is usually more than 20 minutes.

The reason is that the chat agents can easily handle several calls at once.
No repeating needed, especially for tickets, phone numbers, accounts, etc.
Accents are no longer a barrier to communications.
Both parties have a time-stamped record of the conversation that can be referred to for repeat calls.

If your internet is down, you can still use the IM chat on your phone.

More organizations should provide this service.
 
2013-01-25 07:31:46 AM  
Study was sponsored by the VA department of motor vehicles...

CSB: when calling some bland government office, the recording brightly informed me my waiting time would be...(insert bored grunt here) minutes, and i was very important. Phone must Volgon inventions...
 
2013-01-25 07:33:48 AM  

Oafmeel: Study was sponsored by the VA department of motor vehicles...

CSB: when calling some bland government office, the recording brightly informed me my waiting time would be...(insert bored grunt here) minutes, and i was very important. Phone must Volgon inventions...


Phone trees, derp
 
2013-01-25 07:34:04 AM  
My favorite one was I have having some sort of utility problem. I am on the line with tech support for 45 minutes. The the tech says "hold on just one second ok?" and then the line disconnects. I call back and get "Sorry, we are now closed" Farking bastards.

Sounds like Time Warner Cable... come to think of it the IRS pulled that on me once too when I called with a question. They closed for the day and left me on hold for 4 hours! (kid you not)... I had them on speaker phone and ended up just hanging up because they aren't worth my time. Too bad for them, I ended up just guessing on my taxes, boo hoo.
 
2013-01-25 07:37:07 AM  
ArcadianRefugee

Proof that after 9 years of tripe they finally got it right again.
 
2013-01-25 07:38:22 AM  
Obamacare?
 
2013-01-25 07:42:37 AM  
My fark-leagues and I who are Veterans of the armed services LAUGH at your whiny civvie 43-days-on-hold whinings. Forty-FIVE days is the standard with Peggy to get one's VA claim to move from "Gathering Evidence" to "Review of Evidence" (the fourth and fifth stages of a 10-stage labyrinth).

/At least with the PITTSBURGH RO.
//EAOS spring 2012. Estimated claim completion date in eBennies: late 2014.
 
2013-01-25 07:54:13 AM  
43 days on hold, but at least that the only time in your life you would be on hold.
 
Slu
2013-01-25 07:56:20 AM  
Who in the hell calls an airline to confirm a flight, as stated in TFA? The reason we have to hold is because of idiots that call for stupid shiat like this in the first place. These must be the same idiots that take 15 minutes when they check in for a flight. What in the hell are you talking about at the desk?!?!?
 
2013-01-25 07:58:24 AM  
I got 3 days trying to reschedule a flight during the hurricane

i guess you win, internet
 
2013-01-25 08:00:58 AM  

Slu: Who in the hell calls an airline to confirm a flight, as stated in TFA? The reason we have to hold is because of idiots that call for stupid shiat like this in the first place.


This is what people did before flightaware, so they still do it, ignorant of the change.
 
2013-01-25 08:10:21 AM  

Bomb Head Mohammed: NewportBarGuy: Pressing 0 usually works for me.

Fark Business School case study: [ take it or leave it, i dont care ]

My business caters to a somewhat tech savvy/well off demographic internationally. If we've learned anything, it's that our american customers always believe themselves to be exceptional, whether they admit to it or not. For example, this is why on any given airline flight in the USA, you have half the flight with special requests, be it their kosher gluten free whatever meal or special consideration for some claimed medical condition that should award them the better seat or more carry-on capacity or whatever. good or bad, it's how americans are - people who spend so much time as consumers that gaming the system has become part of the system for them.

this is true, by the way, even if the net costs of such activities are quite high "dead weight" - there's a good reason why the US's "discount airline", Southwest, is typically 4-10 times more expensive than Ryanair for similar routes and those credit card "rewards" in total do have a cost if *everybody* gets them.

But I digress. The point is this: our USA telephone systems are actually designed knowing damn well that very many an american considers himself , or rather, acts as an entitled little snowflake who has some god given right to jump the queue (the others waiting on hold are not as important as you, after all!). the whole customer service flow is based on an "expectation of special/exceptional treatment" that americans have. while I am an american, i've been living abroad long enough that it took me some time to really comprehend this cultural thing and while occasionally i biatch and moan about the costs involved, well, we still make money so I can't complain too much.

and of course the ultimate irony is that many of those americans (not you necessarily) who routinely demand special treatment are more or less blind to it and in fact often themselves biatch about others who receive ...


It has nothing to do with being entitled, it has to do with not wanting to sit through 12 layers of menus and still not ending up where I need to be when 30 seconds with a human would likely solve my problem.
 
2013-01-25 08:13:38 AM  
I work for a VoIP company and can tell you that the services like Call Center and Auto Attendant may OR MAY NOT BE set with a 0 out option. It's the customer's choice in set up for their callers. MOST do. But MOST have the 0 out option going to a voice mail. MOST have done this in order to keep you from holding and MOST of them seem to be pretty good about calling the caller back.

Anyway, to Bomber Muhammad Head or what not, I agree...for some reason, MOST Americans have some sort of entitlement plan ingrained in their head. As a support tech, I get it all the time. For some reason all the senior techs of whatever company call in believe that they should have ALL PRIORITY over any other tech calling in. It's amazing. I've even heard 'they can wait, this is a priority' straight out of the mouths of these guys. They totally expect that you must work past your last hour or even through your lunch just to accommodate them. It's always because THEY are going on vacation the next day and this has to get done NOW or they're leaving the remote site in one hour and you have to help them or get help for them BY THAT TIME.

Don't get me started on the one's that CC the bosses if their e-mail isn't handled within in 45 minutes of them sending it.

However, while we're talking about it in the manner of nationalism and NOT racisim, I find that Indians (India) are the same way as the Americans. Very push and demanding set of folks who somehow believe all of the extras should just be provided as normal customer service.

MOST, not all.
 
2013-01-25 08:17:54 AM  

Bomb Head Mohammed: The point is this: our USA telephone systems are actually designed knowing damn well that very many an american considers himself , or rather, acts as an entitled little snowflake who has some god given right to jump the queue (


If you're regularly having that problem then what you've really designed is a shiatty phone system and call center that's not capable of handling the expected capacity.

But, no, you keep pretending that saying "people who paid for something and expect service in return for their outlay are entitled jerkasses" is anything but utterly retarded.
 
2013-01-25 08:20:21 AM  
StrangeQ: It has nothing to do with being entitled, it has to do with not wanting to sit through 12 layers of menus and still not ending up where I need to be when 30 seconds with a human would likely solve my problem.


It has nothing to do with being entitled, it's just that the rules don't apply to you because you assume that everybody else, including those who design the voicemail systems are idiots and that you should be able to speak to a live, expensive person NOW NOW NOW because you have no patience for machines... let the others who have time to spare talk to machines. if this isn't entitlement mentality, i don't know what is.
 
2013-01-25 08:22:18 AM  
"This research shows how poorly the phone performs as a customer-service channel," TalkTo CEO Stuart Levinson said in a release.

The last time I went to a customer service establishment, The outer door was steel with diamond plate welded over it. There was no door knob only a bar to pull the door open, the "waiting area" had dark stains on the floor, they'd given up painting the steel that served as the lower part of the counter and the glass on the upper part was the glass that has heavy wire cast into it. I could tell it was glass by the shards on the floor and the fact that it looked frosted it'd been smashed so many times. It was translucent because of all the times it had been smashed. You could only see shadows moving behind it. The "Speaking Grill" hole was covered by more diamond plate leaving about a quarter of an inch for any audio to pass either way.
You could tell they'd made "adjustments" to their security as time passed. Sort of surprised the waiting room wasn't a cast concrete tank.

So face to "face" isn't all it's cracked up to be either.

1978 - goooood times
 
2013-01-25 08:25:27 AM  
Take 3 mins and press the right options...pressing zero usually gets you to the wrong dept..
 
2013-01-25 08:30:52 AM  
Vegan Meat Popsicle: Bomb Head Mohammed: The point is this: our USA telephone systems are actually designed knowing damn well that very many an american considers himself , or rather, acts as an entitled little snowflake who has some god given right to jump the queue (

If you're regularly having that problem then what you've really designed is a shiatty phone system and call center that's not capable of handling the expected capacity. But, no, you keep pretending that saying "people who paid for something and expect service in return for their outlay are entitled jerkasses" is anything but utterly retarded.

But here's the problem with your theory. thousands of europeans and others throughout the world use the same "shiatty" support/service system every day with a 1%-3% "request to talk to customer service" rate, while the number is closer to 20-30% for americans. I look forward to your speculative rationalization as a followup to your speculative rationalization as to our "shiatty phone system." I'm glad that you were able to define that we are 'retarded' and incompetent engineers or whatever you're on about.

I want to make clear: I'm not critizing americans. being overdemanding snowflake customers (and, as you've illustrated, rude know it alls who have the instant ability to come to definite conclusions "retarded", "shiatty") based on the flimsiest of understanding-- is what americans do. I can no more criticize this than I can criticize a bear for shiatting in the woods and not a toilet - it's just the way things are. but, it's just a shame since, as i said, the net result is higher costs for the american consumer.. because they feel they have a god given RIGHT to speak to somebody, even if actually if they had a modicum of patience they would have found out that the automated services work well. In the UK, for example, I routinely run into phone systems that say "If you'd like to do this, please log into your account online, click on x and y. thank you, goodbye!" if you did this in the USA, people would act as if you just raped a bus full of girl scouts. it is a real cultural difference in consumer behavior and expectations and, again, americans end up paying higher prices because of it.
 
2013-01-25 08:38:35 AM  

Bomb Head Mohammed: Vegan Meat Popsicle: Bomb Head Mohammed: The point is this: our USA telephone systems are actually designed knowing damn well that very many an american considers himself , or rather, acts as an entitled little snowflake who has some god given right to jump the queue (

If you're regularly having that problem then what you've really designed is a shiatty phone system and call center that's not capable of handling the expected capacity. But, no, you keep pretending that saying "people who paid for something and expect service in return for their outlay are entitled jerkasses" is anything but utterly retarded.

But here's the problem with your theory. thousands of europeans and others throughout the world use the same "shiatty" support/service system every day with a 1%-3% "request to talk to customer service" rate, while the number is closer to 20-30% for americans. I look forward to your speculative rationalization as a followup to your speculative rationalization as to our "shiatty phone system." I'm glad that you were able to define that we are 'retarded' and incompetent engineers or whatever you're on about.

I want to make clear: I'm not critizing americans. being overdemanding snowflake customers (and, as you've illustrated, rude know it alls who have the instant ability to come to definite conclusions "retarded", "shiatty") based on the flimsiest of understanding-- is what americans do. I can no more criticize this than I can criticize a bear for shiatting in the woods and not a toilet - it's just the way things are. but, it's just a shame since, as i said, the net result is higher costs for the american consumer.. because they feel they have a god given RIGHT to speak to somebody, even if actually if they had a modicum of patience they would have found out that the automated services work well. In the UK, for example, I routinely run into phone systems that say "If you'd like to do this, please log into your account online, click on x and y. thank you ...



Well here in America someone else fixes our problems. I don't have time to log into some site and figure it out.
 
2013-01-25 08:40:36 AM  
-turns on a blender for service-
 
2013-01-25 08:41:25 AM  
The best way to get through a phone tree is to go to Sales first, then ask that human to send you to the right human. Sales is always the fastest to pick-up.
 
2013-01-25 08:47:09 AM  

cameroncrazy1984: Fark the Huffington Post and their autoplay bullsh*t.


Flashblock FTW.
 
2013-01-25 08:48:00 AM  
Who waits on hold for longer than it takes to hang up?
 
2013-01-25 08:54:26 AM  
Ironically, I am in my 23rd minute of being on hold with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. To be fair, tax filing deadling is 31 Jan and this is the Friday lunch break. I am, however, multitasking and this isn't bothering me in the least, especially since I know they will be helpful, polite and (shockingly for a government tax agency) willing to go to bat for me, as per our conversation yesterday. Hooray for good government agencies!
 
2013-01-25 08:58:34 AM  
The last time I called a company and got the "hold" message, I was given the option to leave my number and have someone call me back when the opportunity to speak with someone opened up. I chose this option, and it worked like a charm. A real person called me back and I was able to resolve my issue fairly quickly. I thought it was a pretty good service.
 
2013-01-25 09:00:46 AM  
Since most people do other things while they are on hold.... so what?
 
2013-01-25 09:10:41 AM  

Slu: Who in the hell calls an airline to confirm a flight, as stated in TFA? The reason we have to hold is because of idiots that call for stupid shiat like this in the first place. These must be the same idiots that take 15 minutes when they check in for a flight. What in the hell are you talking about at the desk?!?!?


I feel this way about most things in life. I'm always quick and to the point when dealing with... well anyone, about anything. There are just people who like to chat or act like morons because thats what they've grown accustomed to. Probably the result of somewhat mundane lives.
 
2013-01-25 09:11:06 AM  

engrishmajor: The last time I called a company and got the "hold" message, I was given the option to leave my number and have someone call me back when the opportunity to speak with someone opened up. I chose this option, and it worked like a charm. A real person called me back and I was able to resolve my issue fairly quickly. I thought it was a pretty good service.


When I called the VA back in May they had the same thing. I got a call about 30 minutes later when they said I would. I had to call them in August and the earliest I could talk to a person was the following Wednesday, six days later. I've tried to call them at different times during the last month and get a recording stating that no one is available, call back later. So apparently their system can only handle appointments a week out.

They also have an email system that says I should expect a response in 5 workdays. I used that on December 19th, and I haven't heard back from them yet.

/VA rant
 
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