When you call a hotline, would you hold your phone for 1 hour?

How long do you wait? - Picture of a hotline staff.
Singapore
March 12, 2007 5:17am CST
Some of you may recall from one of my discussions at http://www.mylot.com/w/discussions/870306.aspx that I am getting a new phone. I had to call up my telco provider because I wasn't sure if my 2G SIM card would work with my 3G phone. I dialed the hotline number and I was put on hold for 1 hour. Yes I know that's why it's called a hotline.. because it is HOT. Anyway I thought I was being smart since I put the call on speaker mode so that I would not have to tuck my handset between my chin and shoulder and risk getting a sprain. :P 1 hour later, I finally got a voice. I quickly reached for my phone. Before I crossed the 1.5 metre distance, the voice said, "Hello, I am not getting a response!". I shouted, "Yea, hang on", yet when I finally picked up the phone, the line was dead. This was one time when expletives loosen themselves uncontrollably from my mouth. I could have continued swearing but I still needed to check out my situation with them - so I had no choice but to dial again. The interesting thing is that when I was asked to key in my mobile (aka customer) number, it kept saying it was invalid. I was quite sure I keyed in the right number. Anyway, after a few tries, I was surprised to be informed that an operator will respond to me since I am not making sense (well, they put it in a nicer way). And within the min, I was put through to an operator. Isn't this freaky? I followed the procedure and got cut off after waiting patiently for 1 hour. Yet by supposedly keying in the wrong information, I got to someone within a min. Am I supposed to be grateful? *humph!* So have you encountered similar situations such as mine where the hotlines were really HOT? How long on average do you have to wait? Do you "cheat" by using the speaker mode? Or would you hold the phone for as long as it takes so that you won't get cut off like me? Do share your thoughts. ;-)
24 people like this
86 responses
@whyaskq (7532)
• Singapore
12 Mar 07
Ya, HOTlines are really "HOT" depending on the hour you called. I like hotlines which operate 24 hours and I often called past midnight. The waiting time might be longer, but I am sure to get a response :P I hate Hotlines, especially if they do not operate 24 hrs. I will try calling at intervals instead of holding on to the line. And by holding, yes, it is on speaker phone, but NO, the phone would not be 1.5m away as I know very well it will be cut off once they picked up and you do not respond immediately. I even go to the extent of using 2 lines to call. There was once I tried whole day calling the hotline and eventually, I called the head office or any number I can get hold of and complain. I will be attended to then.
• Singapore
12 Mar 07
I think that girl was really long not to wait longer. She should have EXPECTED that some people would use speaker mode when calling. Instead of waiting 5 more secs and making a customer happy, she chose to spoil someone's day with her ill courtesy.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
30 Mar 07
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@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
12 Mar 07
I have had this happen, not the speaker phone but was "on hold" listening to the most boring music in the world in between every few minutes a canned voice informing me to please to not hang up an operator will be with me shortly. Normally I would not hold on but there have been a couple times I held on for over an hour. One of those times when I did finally get through I was informed I had the wrong department and was transfered to the correct office to wait longer.
4 people like this
12 Mar 07
I cetainly would not hold the phone for that long. I would have hung up after 5 minutes. I am way too busy to spend half my day on hold. I do ty to call back at different times of the day. I think the longest I have waited was for 15 minutes. Well, that call was not cheap. I gave up after that.
4 people like this
• Philippines
12 Mar 07
I haven't encoutered suvh things but if I was to be put on hold for quite some time I prefer to call later because it is such a waste of time, and energy too. Waiting irritates me and I always tend to report such incidences when I try to call again.
@brokentia (10396)
• United States
12 Mar 07
Oh my gosh! I would have had a few choice words coming out of my mouth too if I waited that long just to be disconnected too! And yes, I have been known to use the speaker phone too when waiting. I do not like being on the phone really. So, even when I speak to family or friends for long periods of time, I often put them on speaker also so I do not feel like I am on the phone. And that is just crazy that since they could not recognize your number, they put you through immediately! Wow! If that were so, I would probably cheat next time and not enter the number! LOL
3 people like this
• Singapore
12 Mar 07
I think I will try remember to "cheat" this way in future. :P
1 person likes this
@liranlgo (5748)
• Israel
12 Mar 07
well i am aware of this problem and yes we have it also here but not for an hour!! maybe 15-20 minutes meximum..and if this is the situation they will inform in the opening introduction that there is atleast a 20 minutes wair right now..so you can choose if to wait or to call at a less busy hour. and the part that you dialed incorrectly and was answered immediatly that sounds like a thing you can post in the joke catagory of mylot..lol
3 people like this
@jahvo6 (623)
• Peru
4 May 07
NO I would never wait that much, I can wait like 10 minutes and then redial I am aware that these operators are really busy and can for get to respond your call so it´s better to call again.I hope you won´t have to wait 1 hour again...
2 people like this
• Singapore
4 May 07
Sure.
1 person likes this
4 May 07
I hate calling these so-called *hotlines* as you never seem to get an answer, then if the unlikely happens and you get through, you have the usual computer generated mechanical voice asking you to press buttons, followed by naff music, then another automated response telling you to press another button, followed by more naff music, well you know what I mean. I would never hold on for an hour, it's my phone bill that is clocking up the costs.
2 people like this
• Singapore
4 May 07
All companies should offer toll-free hotlines. :P
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Mar 07
I think that I have waited over an hour before easily. I set my Phone line up through a Crappy company named Qwest here in the states and they are so incompetent! I was on the phone 2 hours to set it all up and then nothing was right! All of my features were wrong and my service was double billing. They are nuts! I had to call several tmes to fix it and each time I spent a half hour or so on hold! this is ridiculous they can take our money but service is minimal!
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (102593)
• United States
12 Mar 07
We all know now that we will not use Qwest, so I have learned something extra from this discussion, actually two things. 1. I do not want to use Qwest, and 2.If I have to put in a customer service number to an automated system, I will make an error, so that a real person will talk to me. Thanks
@Marie2473 (8519)
• Sweden
12 Mar 07
I work on an hotline and it is amazing what people do while they wait for someone to pick up, I have seenit all - people being on the toilet, taking a bath, brushing their teeth. We try a few times saying hello, hello, heeeeeello - if still no response we have to hang up and take next caller. However I do not know how yo could get through in a minute the next time =)
2 people like this
• Singapore
12 Mar 07
I know it is not an enviable job working at the hotline. I also understand that there are more nasty customers than good... but hey, if you don't at least start off with a smile and being polite, you are more likely to make the customer turn nasty. :P
1 person likes this
@aretha (2538)
• United States
12 Mar 07
yes if i really needed to talk to someone i would. i have waited about 40 minutes on hold to make my 2 year old an appointment to see the doctor. if it was not something i really needed i wouldn't wait no more then maybe 10 minutes.
2 people like this
@flowerchilde (12547)
• United States
12 Mar 07
It seems to me I discovered that little trick too.. It was a while back, cause they said "if you are dialing from a rotary phone please hang on for next available operator.." I thought, sure! I'll try that! Maybe the first time I actually was using a rotary phone.. It does take me awhile to catch up to the times.. I can hold on the line for awhile, if I've got the time and don't have to be somewhere. I will sit with a book and count it as a reading break! It helps if they're not playing irritating music, or worse yet commercials(!) in your ear while you're waiting!
@lols189 (4797)
12 Mar 07
i have rang the gas company and been kept on hold for about 40 minutes. after holding the phone for 10 mins my arm starts to ache so i put the phone next to me on speaker mode and if i leave the room i take the phone with me as we can never be sure when the other person will speak.
2 people like this
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
12 Mar 07
I think you stumbled onto something that most of us can used to get service quicker. We have to use what we can to get the service that we deserve. Sorry you have to be the guinea pig however it did serve a purpose. The next time you are waiting stay near the phone and read or something. It should turn out better. Good luck next time.
@g3n3j0rd (721)
• Philippines
6 May 07
If there are too many people trying to call at one time and there are less representatives answering the call, you would definitely have to wait a little longer. Try calling during non peak hours like at midnight if they have 24 hour service. The representative should have asked at least three times before hanging up which would have given you enough time to cross the 1.5 meter dash. As for getting an operator or a representative, I think you have learned the trick; just mumble some incoherent or incorrect responses and the system will bring you to a live person.
• Singapore
6 May 07
Lol.. useful trick to know. :P
1 person likes this
@g3n3j0rd (721)
• Philippines
6 May 07
I work in a call center, I should know.;) Hey, this discussion thread has been going on for two months now and still is going strong. No wonder you're points is very high. I wonder when will I ever going to hit a blockbuster such as this one!
1 person likes this
• Singapore
6 May 07
I think you got something wrong lol... the number in the bracket refers to the number of responses you have made. Discussions, no matter how many responses they receive, equal 1 point only. Like for instance, this discussion has 103 responses - My current rating is 5166. This discussion only contributed 1 out of 5166. I get paid maybe 2 cents for EVERYTHING. For even I get 1000 responses and I add 1000 comments, I get paid 2 cents in TOTAL. Cheers.
• India
12 Mar 07
The maximum I have ever waited was 30 minutes and as it happened to you so did to me. I was so hasseled after that, that the next thing I did was to call them up again and as soon as I got to the operator agve him my number and told him to discontinue the service. Actually I am an avid user of the telecom services and I nearly spend around 5k to 7k on my phone every monthand so I am on the golden customer desk of the telecom company. So as soon as the operator checked my number he asked me if there were some problem or something, giving me a good chance to vent out all my problems and so I did. And since then I had been dealt with in a good manner. Take Care May GOD Bless YOU
1 person likes this
• Singapore
12 Mar 07
WOW. You are a big customer and I am glad you were at least treated right. If I pull the same trick, I am just concerned it would backfire. :P
• Singapore
30 Mar 07
tsk tsk - You are in the running for best response!
.
• India
4 May 07
Thanks LordWarWizard... Thanks A lOt
@anonymili (3138)
12 Mar 07
Oh my God, you waited for a whole hour only to be cut off? That would have had me swearing blue murder LOL. I wouldn't have held on for an hour though, I learnt a while back when you call these automated services you can often get through to a "human" (if that's what you can call them!) by keying in the wrong information (as you did even though it wasn't intentional) - that gets someone speaking to you soon enough. The longest I've waited is probably 10-12 minutes. I get bored very quickly, even if it's on speaker phone. Actually when it's a freephone number (i.e. it's not costing me anything) I tend to hold on for longer. Too many of these companies that you have to call up give a national rate or local rate number to call which if I do call I will only hold for a few minutes (less than 5). Power to the people, if your call is free of cost to you make sure you hold on for longer as it costs THEM money! LOL
1 person likes this
• Singapore
12 Mar 07
EXACTLY. :P I was on speaker phone remember? So it's wasn't that bad. But I can't get over that "Hello, I am not getting a response". *MAD* Now that you mentioned it, HOLY NO, it wasn't a toll-free number!!!
• Singapore
30 Mar 07
tsk tsk - You are in the running for best response!
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@all4ucnc (861)
• United States
12 Mar 07
A year after we purchased our 5 piece sectional couch, my husband was getting up off of it, and happen to slice his ankle on a razor blade that had been sewn into the hide-a-bed portion. It cut through the fabric on the front and through my husbands ankle....Not happy was he....But we had a 7yr warranty and so I called it in...On hold 45 minutes finally get a lady, who transfers me to diffrent department...on hold 20 minutes....She takes my information then sends me to a different guy, since they had recently switched holders for the warrent....on hold another 20 minutes and the guy has me fax all my papers to him.......which luckily I have my own fax machine and was able to do it immediately.....a week goes by and I hear nothing...So I call again...hold for 45 minutes and am actually able to talk to someone who tells me they never received my fax, so I send it again....2 YEARS later, and after MANY phone calls, letters, and faxes.. They reimbursed us for that part of the sectional ...Though it's still got a tear in it ..... I hate being on hold, and I have used the speaker phone part, and have been disconnected like you too...
1 person likes this
• Singapore
12 Mar 07
I have similar experienced of being transferred here and there too. It's plain irritating especially if the result turns out to be unsatisfactory as well. I have to explain the situation again to each person whom I was transferred too - it certainly didn't help my mood. One horrible experience was Standard Chartered bank. I was so fed up since I was transferred 3 times with my problem still unresolved. In the end, I had to write in an official complaint before things can be resolved.
• Singapore
30 Mar 07
tsk tsk - You are in the running for best response!
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@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
6 May 07
Hello Lordwarwizard, Yup, I cheat with the speakerphone. Without it, my ear gets all clammy. My brother and I jokingly refer to this condition as 'cauliflower ear'. I find the absence of real 'customer service' a genuine problem in today's world. A customer is the bread and butter of a company's bottom line, and I find it unconscionable to expect a customer to wait on the phone for an hour. So no, I will not wait for an hour. If it's really important, I'll try to time my call at a less busy time of the day, like first thing or during the dinner hour. Just as an aside, most phone systems have built-in short-cuts. So, I'll usually try to find the short-cut. It used to always be the '0', but many organizations realized that people would immediately press the '0', and changed their short-cuts. Now the '*' is often the short-cut, or the '#9' or the '#6'. So, if you get stuck on hold again soon, you might find these short-cut tips helpful.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
6 May 07
Cauliflower ear, eh? Interesting term. :P The thing is, some d*mnable systems forces you back to the being where they say hi to you if you press anything other than the option. I have to be so careful not to press the wrong option - or they will send me back all the way, up many sub menus, or just cut my line.
• United States
5 May 07
I would only hold that long if it was really important for me to speak to someone.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
6 May 07
Yea. It gets frustrating when you are busy, yet must wait because it is important that you speak to someone.