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.