Calling to place an order, server immediately puts you on hold then phone disconnects: Do you call back?

I’ve had this happen multiple times in the past year, I don’t know if somehow COVID is responsible but I’ll call to place an order at a local mom n pop place, somebody picks up but then immediately says “Please hold” then you’re put on hold, and about 5 minutes later the phone eventually disconnects (I don’t know if it’s an automatic disconnect or if the physical phone is turned off). The server sounds distracted taking the call every single time as well (like they’re in the middle of taking another order)

Out of principle I will never call back, and instead just buy my food somewhere else that day. Mainly because I don’t want the “Fool me once” thing and have them immediately put me on hold again and waste my time even more (which also happened once which is why I never call back anymore).

Would you call back? Or wouldn’t you?

I would assume it was an accident and call back.

If it happens the second time around, I would try someplace else.



Depends. If Ive got my heart set on ordering this food from this restaurant, I’ll try at least one more time, and maybe even more persistently. On the other hand, if I had several potential places / orders in mind and narrowed it down to this one, I might treat this as a sign that no, I should go with one of my other options!

Yeah, of course. It’s not like the person on the end decided I wasn’t worth their time. It was either a system error or user error. Calling back does not appreciably add to the amount of time it’s going to take me to order my food.

If it happens a second time, I probably wouldn’t call back.

In a case like the one described by the OP where it sounds like I keep calling in the middle of a lunch or dinner rush, I’d try calling an hour earlier or later if I had my heart set on that place.

Yeah, waitresses are not trained customer service agents, and the quarantines have thrown staffing schedules into utter disarray. I’d simply call back under any circumstances. Now, I have extra patience for these hiccups.

A nearby pizza joint often requires a dozen or more tries until you get through. It’s totally worth it, and they’re not ignoring me, for heaven’s sake. They’re just slammed with customers.

I’d assume they were simply very busy, so they get a second chance. If they mess up a second time, I would feel fine about moving on, because they’re already very busy. I’m making an active effort to support local businesses, so it’s cool to spread the wealth, if need be.

Depends on the track record of the place I’m calling. If I know from past experiences that a restaurant’s quality, speed, and accuracy suffer when they get overwhelmed I’ll cut my losses and go elsewhere. If I can trust that once my order gets in that I’m good to go I’ll suffer on the front end.

I can’t imagine why I wouldn’t call back. Unless I decided I no longer wanted their food, I’d just assume it was a mistake.
After a few minutes of being on hold, their phones likely make some sort of a noise. It might sound like a regular ring, it might sound a bit different, but regardless, I’m guessing someone picked it up, realized it wasn’t a normal call, panicked and put it back down. Or, in order to get it to stop ringing, they picked it up, hit the hold button again (or attempted to transfer it to someone that could talk to you) and put it back down, but screwed it up so you got hung up on.
I see both those things happen all the time.
Also, this is on the assumption that you were actually on hold (heard music or something). It’s also not uncommon for someone that doesn’t know how the phone system works to screw up something as simple as putting you on hold.

I’d have to look through my phone system manual to see if there’s any kind of ‘auto-disconnect’ feature, but I don’t recall there being one.

Well, I’ll be…there is an auto disconnect feature.
The default, from the time you’re put on hold to the time it hangs up on you, at least on my system, is over a half hour though.

So the other side of this is when you’re an in person customer and the person serving you decides to answer the phone, or gets interrupted by another employee and goes off down that road for more than a few secs before completing your transaction.

You hate that, right?

So now you’re on the other side of that.

You don’t know the reason why you got disconnected, but you do know that someone’s trying to do more than they can handle or is one of those people who don’t realize you should do one thing at a time.

Personally, I’d call back. Once. If the same thing happened again I’d move on, I’m not wasting any more time.

Phones can be complicated - especially if it isn’t your “regular” job.
At my previous company, I’d need to transfer people about once every two months or so and never quite figured out how to do it. When someone needed to be transferred, I’d find the other person’s direct line and the main office line, and give both of those to the transferee and warn them “I might hang up on you. It’s not intentional.”

If a restaurant goes from that on-hold to hung-up state, I’d assume that someone clicked the wrong button on accident. I’d probably call back at least once.

That would be my advice, too.

There’s a Chinese takeout place close by that’s very good. I don’t think I’ve been put on hold but I may have been, but the person on the phone always sounds busy and distracted. But that’s because they’re busy because they’re good. They’ve always got the order exactly right, it’s always been delicious, and I’m going to keep using them. If their phone service sucked, though, it would run my patience out pretty quickly. One can understand being put on hold in a busy situation, but there’s no excuse for dropping a call.

I don’t understand why you seem to be attributing malice to this, like the person did it on purpose because they don’t want your business. Why would you assume it was anything other than an accident? I’ve had this happen many times when calling all kinds of businesses. Someone presses the wrong button and the call is disconnected.

While I’m sure it’s not dissimilar from plenty of other phone systems, for whatever reason newer employees (and in their defense, have likely never used a phone system) will almost always hang up on people when trying to send them someone’s voicemail. It’s literally just two buttons, both labeled with a big note that says “PUSH VM THEN PUSH JOEY”. But, they do it backwards and the person is gone…or they hit hold first and the person sits on hold for a few minutes and hangs up.

On the other hand, we have a couple of real jackass customers who don’t seem to understand we’re actually hanging up on them. Like, if you call me, yell and swear at me and then hear a dial tone…do you think we got disconnected by accident?

I’ve had some VERY bad customer service in the past couple of months, including calling a restaurant, getting a server who seemed distracted the entire time but still took my order, I immediately drove 20 minutes to pick it up only to find the place had closed literally 5 minutes before I actually placed the order but for whatever reason the guy still took my order and wasted my time.

I now just assume malice/active incompetence at this point.