On hold thread

Absolutely fucking hate it.

One of the things I do at work is develop the telephony system. I had to push for a lot of nice features like a service that will give them the option to request a call back instead of waiting if the queue is estimated to be more than 7 mins long. The trade off was that they have to navigate a loaf of menus and meet certain criteria to get there. I think a lot of hold music is intentionally irritating so that you will hang up and use the app or website, which is just even more aggravating because you’re ringing for something which isn’t on those platforms.

I’ve just been on hold with Virgin Money for half an hour, they transferred me to another department which took another half hour, and then the call just hung up. Absolutely fuming. Callbacks should be the standard with this stuff.

Oh god, I hate how every call now involves waiting a minute for an audio recording to suggest using their website. Of course, why didn’t I think of that?


That, KT Tunstall, and this for some reason?

I’ve found the best way to deal with companies is via Facebook messenger now. Certainly with SSE, they sorted something in a couple of messages which had been ongoing for ages

A few years ago I was on hold with one company and they actually gave an option to chose what genre of music you’d like to listen to while on hold. Not a good sign that you’re going to be answered quickly

Trying that now, cheers! Last time I tried that was with Homebase and it took about a month for them to respond. Guessing other people were struggling, as anything they posted on Facebook had 500 comments underneath just saying ‘REFUND!’

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This is the only good hold music:


I wish I was on hold. Been trying to ring the local council for a week now, each time I call I get a message saying “All our advisors are currently busy, goodbye”. Madness.

Whack in a mention of the terrible customer service as well, might get something back

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On the other hand, if you work in a call centre, and you have cause to make an outbound call to another department or company, and you’re on hold for ages, it’s amazing. Bonus break, time for me work on my sketching.

Think this is 100% true, especially given most customer service depts that deal with these calls are stats/metric-driven so I think that disincentivises actual good customer experience.

Those menus sometimes let you choose no music at all which I appreciate.

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Managed to write my car off a few years back and spent an entire morning waiting for the insurance company to arrange it’s recovery. Had to listen to the theme from True Romance every time I phoned them. Hate it!

Also will forever associate Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with the Job Centre…

I used to work in a call centre, if it was quiet I’d sometimes try to read a book but I kept getting told off. I asked them what I should do instead and their answer was pretty much, ‘nothing’. So I started reading webcomics instead, which thanks to Qwantz and Achewood, frequently meant that I’d answer the call in hysterics and have to compose myself whilst someone complained to me about their bins.


I used to work in an outbound call centre, and if I was kinda done with talking to people and wanted a break then I would call my mobile and leave long conversation-style messages on my own voicemail. Shocking behaviour (I regret nothing).

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On the odd occasion that we had no calls coming in we were told we should be updating our “development plans” or brushing up on the smallprint of the various products we sold. Such fucking bullshit.

Most websites were blocked, we weren’t allowed to have any personal devices, or any paper for “data security”. All we had was a little whiteboard on which to write down notes, so I could only do doodles of things to amuse myself. Call centre work is grim.

Yeah, the stuff we used to do to amuse each other because we weren’t allowed anything on our desks, just made us do more disruptive stuff. We had fully rotating screens, so often we’d put a daft/disgusting picture on there, and turn it round whilst someone was on a call to try to make them laugh. Wouldn’t have done that if they’d just let me sit there and read in peace.

I’m still on fucking hold