NOOOO! Don't leave me on hold!!!
On-hold technology is a multi million dollar business. One of the bigger players in the marketplace is Audiomax. I found some interesting things on their website, including a tongue-in-cheek version of how on-hold came to be,
One of the statements I found was this tidbit;
"1994 National On-Hold month is adopted by Audiomax. This is a month to recognize everyone who has been placed “on-hold” after calling a place of business, and to honor those businesses who make this hold time more enjoyable by supplying informative messages and music for their callers waiting on-hold."
National On-Hold month? Yup apparently this is a recognized national observance. I found references to it on a number of websites that list all kinds of obscure holidays and celebrations. It is celebrated in the month of March to honour Mr. Bell and his first patent.
I found some interesting stats on http://www.audiomax.com/ regarding being On-Hold. Rather than listing those stats, on this page, I have added them as a comment to this post. They are an interesting read!
I, like millions of others hate being put on-hold, and am not impressed or softened by their tinny canned music and self promotion. Depending on the reason I called, I may hold for a few minutes but if it is a general inquiry, I rarely wait more than a minute. If they really want our business they need to answer our calls quickly.
Voice mail and automated system hell is probably just as despised as on-hold, as you are prompted through the various options only to be placed on-hold or have the system hang up on you when you enter an invalid option! AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!
If, for some reason you were still using rotary phones as opposed to touch tone, the system would kick over to an operator after about a minute, however most systems have now been upgraded to hang up if no numbers are entered within a certain time or you are instructed to leave a message for a call back. You used to be able to get around the automated systems by pressing 0. This would alert the system that you needed assistance. Alas, this option rarely works anymore either as companies just aren't prepared to talk to every customer. They want our business and our money, just don't want to have to talk to us! There is a growing market for the secret codes to bypass the automation and two of the more popular sites can be found athttp://www.gethuman.com/
I really don't think Mr. Bell would be impressed. Where is Ernestine when you need her?
"One ringy dingy... two ringy dingy. Yes Hello ..Have I reached the party to whom I am speaking?"