james mckay dot net
because there are few things that are less logical than business logic

Why can't every call centre let you know how long you'll be waiting?

There are some smart companies that regularly tell you how many people there are ahead of you when your phone call is in a queue waiting to be answered. I wish every call centre would do that. In fact, I wish it were a legal requirement.

Unfortunately, they are very much in the minority. Most companies just churn out canned platitudes that “Your call is important to us” every minute or so without giving you the faintest indication whether you’ll be on hold for two minutes or half an hour. Of course your call is important to them. Especially if you have called an 0870 number, when the longer they keep you on hold, the more money they earn. If you knew you were going to be kept waiting for twenty minutes at 7.5 pence a minute, you’d no doubt take your business somewhere more efficient.


  • # Reply from colin at 23:15 on 31 Aug 2009

    How long is a piece of string ?

  • # Reply from James at 09:06 on 1 Sep 2009

    Telling you how many people are ahead of you in the queue can give you a rough guide.

    If you have seventeen people ahead of you when you start and it goes down to twelve after a minute, you’ll probably think it’s worth hanging on. OTOH if it takes five minutes to go down to sixteen, you probably won’t.

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